Category: Photos

AT WORK: At the Inter-Parliamentary Union’s 141st Assembly in Serbia

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Sen. Lacson is part of the Philippine delegation that participated in the 141st Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union and related meetings in Belgrade, Serbia. Other members of the Philippine delegation include Senate President Tito Sotto, Ralph Recto, Juan Miguel Zubiri, Franklin Drilon, Imee Marcos, Nancy Binay, Sherwin Gatchalian, Bato dela Rosa, Joel Villanueva and Sonny Angara; and Reps. Ferdinand Hernandez and Carlos Zarate.

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‘Nagkalutuan?’: At the Hearing on ‘Ninja Cops’

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[Video Courtesy: Senate PRIB]

At the hearing on corruption and the recycling of drugs, Sen. Lacson smelled a ‘lutong makaw’ in the case of 13 police officers tagged in a controversial anti-drug operation in Pampanga in 2013.

Lacson also questioned the seeming special treatment for P/Maj Rodney Baloyo IV, who was transferred to Tagaytay where he became OIC ‘by design.’

Earlier, Lacson moved to have SPO1 Ronald Santos cited in contempt, for his failure to attend previous Senate inquiries even after being subpoenaed. Santos was among those 13 police officers tagged for grave misconduct in a controversial anti-drug operation in November 2013.

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How to Stop Drug Recycling? Sen. Lacson Chairs the 2020 Budget Hearings of PDEA, DDB

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Sen. Lacson chaired the resumption of the hearing on the 2020 budget of the PDEA and DDB, where the problem of recycling of seized illegal drugs was taken up. Associate Justice Diosdado Peralta and Court Administrator Midas Marquez attended the hearing, upon the Senate’s investigation.

Sen. Lacson cited the problem raised by the PDEA in the previous budget hearing. “Right now, what’s stocked in the warehouse of PDEA is P22B worth of different kinds of drugs. We don’t know because the problem exists as PDEA claims, they have to wait for a court order before they can finally destroy the drugs confiscated. We’d like to find out anong magandang gawin para di ma-recycle ang drugs on account of stocking.”

Related: Sen. Lacson Chairs the 2020 Budget Hearings for PDEA and DDB
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‘Masyadong Mahalay’: At the Hearing on Corruption and Recycling of Drugs

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[Video Courtesy: Senate PRIB]

At the hearing on corruption and the recycling of drugs, Sen. Lacson moved to have P/Maj Rodney Raymond Louie Baloyo IV, relieved head of Pampanga police intel branch, cited in contempt after catching several inconsistencies in his statements on an anti-drug operation in November 2013.

Earlier during the hearing, Lacson questioned why inmates at Bilibid are still being given only P39 worth of meals a day, when the 2019 budget increased their subsistence allowance to P70 a day. Lacson warned the realignment of the funds would be tantamount to technical malversation.

Lacson also scored the revelation by former BuCor OIC Rafael Ragos that the NBP director would get P1M a month from the subsistence allowance. He also questioned Atty. Fredric Santos why he notarized documents of bidders for catering services , when he is an NBP insider and a member of the Bids and Awards Committee.

Related: ‘Do Not Test Our Patience’: At the Hearing on ‘Ninja Cops’
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Sponsorship Speech for the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2019 (18th Congress)

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Thank you, Mr. President. Distinguished colleagues, I have the honor to report on the Senate floor Senate Bill No. 1083 entitled β€œAn Act Amending Certain Provisions of Republic Act No. 9372,” otherwise Known as β€œAn Act to Secure the State and Protect Our People from Terrorism,” as embodied in Committee Report No. 9 in substitution of Senate Bill Numbers 6, 21, and 30.

The amendment to the Human Security Act of 2007 is among the unfinished business of the 17th Congress. Almost eight months ago, I stood here to sponsor the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2019. Unfortunately, time was not on our side to deliberate on the said measure. Since then, the Filipino people have already been confronted by a number of terrorist attacks. As we speak, terrorist groups are probably planning their next attacks.

Mr. President, we have seen a mutation in the way terrorist groups perpetrate their evil acts since the passage of the Human Security Act. We have seen the phenomenon of terrorism become more complex and malevolent. We have seen how the ISIS’ tactics have changed as the terror group continues to lose ground in Iraq and Syria, how their members and sympathizers are taking the fight here in Southeast Asia.

Related: At a Glance: The Anti-Terrorism Act of 2019 (18th Congress)
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‘Do Not Test Our Patience’: At the Hearing on ‘Ninja Cops’

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[Video Courtesy: Senate PRIB]

At the Senate hearing on ‘ninja cops,’ Sen. Lacson questioned the seeming lack of action against the police personnel involved a controversial anti-drug operation in 2013. He also nearly moved to have a police officer cited in contempt for not being forthright.

Related: ‘Masyadong Mahalay’: At the Hearing on Corruption and Recycling of Drugs
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AFP Modernization, West Philippine Sea Updates, and National Security: Sen. Lacson Chairs the 2020 Budget Hearing for the DND

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[Video Courtesy: Senate PRIB]

At the hearing on the 2020 budget of the Department of National Defense (DND), Sen. Lacson cited the need to revisit the AFP Modernization Program for the country to achieve its goal of a minimum credible defense posture, and asked if the DND should get compensation from telcos that set up facilities inside military camps.

Lacson also pushed for a sustainable long-term program that would provide for the pension requirements of uniformed personnel. He inquired about the status of a new infantry battalion that would fight terrorism and similar threats in the Mindanao area.

The DND is seeking a budget of P258.35 billion for 2020, including P119.118B for personnel services; P69.704B for pension; P40.701B for MOOE; and P28.831B for capital outlay.

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‘Make Sure Gov’t Portal Is Always Up’: Sen. Lacson Chairs the 2020 Budget Hearing for the DICT

At the hearing on the 2020 budget of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), Sen. Lacson urged the agency to take steps to make sure the government portal is always up, including closer supervision and control .

The DICT is seeking a budget of P36.393 billion for 2020 , much higher than the P3.76 billion in the NEP.

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Sponsorship Speech for 53 Foreign Service Officers at the Commission on Appointments

The CA Committee on Foreign Affairs chaired by Sen. Lacson took up the appointments and nomination of 53 foreign service officers, including:
* 5 senior officials appointed to the rank of Chief of Mission Class 1
* 10 senior officials appointed to the rank of Chief of Mission Class 2
* 17 senior officials appointed to the rank of Career Ministers
* 20 officials appointed to the rank of Foreign Service Officer Class 1
* 1 officer appointed to the rank of Foreign Service Officer Class 4

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Mr. Chairman, this representation as Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, presided over a public hearing to deliberate on the ad interim appointments of 52 Senior Officers of the Department of Foreign Affairs consisting of five Senior Officials who are promoted to the rank of Chief of Mission, Class I; 10 Senior Officials promoted to the rank of Chief of Mission, Class II; 17 Senior Officials promoted to the rank of Career Minister; 20 Officials promoted to the rank of Foreign Service Officer, Class I; and the nomination of one officer to the rank of Foreign Service Officer, Class IV.

Your Committee, after deliberating on their qualifications and fitness during the said public hearing, determined that all of the 52 appointees and one nominee are fit and qualified to the post where they are respectively nominated or promoted, and has therefore ruled to recommend to the plenary their respective nomination and appointments for the consent and confirmation of this august body.

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FINE-TOOTHED COMB: Sen. Lacson Poses Questions at the 2020 Budget Hearing for the DPWH

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At the hearing on the 2020 budget of the Department of Public Works and Highways, Sen. Lacson raised several questions involving the agency’s use of funds for infrastructure projects. “Sabi kasi ni Senate President, we will go through the budget with a fine-toothed comb. So we are going through all this.”

Sen. Lacson questioned the lodging of two-thirds of the DPWH’s budget in the central officeΒ ; unrecouped advance payments to erring contractorsΒ ; and the delay and/or non-implementation of projects due to poor planningΒ . He inquired as well if the issue involving road-right-of-way (RROW) has become a hopeless caseΒ .

But he also made clear these are not the only questionable cases, adding this is not to find fault. “We are going through all this. This is not to find fault but for (our) future reference.

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