Mr. President, distinguished colleagues, I rise before you on a matter of collective and personal privilege.
Looking back to last week’s Committee of the Whole 2-day hearings, I couldn’t help but think that we’ve been had. Instead of having the information needed to aid us in our legislative work mainly because some people in the panel of our resource persons who are in charge of the vaccine program were not forthright and honest in their responses to the questions raised by the members of this august chamber.
Nevertheless, we find comfort from the wise words of Winston Churchill, who said and I quote: “Truth is incontrovertible, malice may attack it and ignorance may deride it, but, in the end, there it is.”
At the center of the firestorm that had almost consumed the two-day long hearings and had consumed us the most was the Sinovac vaccine for a number of reasons.
Continue reading “Privilege Speech on the National Vaccination Program”
Mr. President, I stand before you on a matter of personal and collective privilege.
During his fourth State of the Nation Address (SONA), we heard President Rodrigo Roa Duterte loud and clear:
“You are free to investigate. I don’t take offense. If there is anything wrong in my department, the executive, you are free to investigate. Feel free to expose anything….”
In all of my years as a public servant and as a member of this revered institution, I have been unflinching in my fight against corruption and wrongdoings, blowing the lid off anomalous activities in the government – from the money-laundering scheme by one Jose Pidal; the diversion of P728 million in fertilizer funds engineered by one Jocjoc Bolante; Comelec Commissioner Virgilo Garcillano’s “Hello, Garci” tapes; the botched $329-million contract between the Philippine government and China’s ZTE for a national broadband network project; the “chopper scam” where secondhand helicopters were sold as brand-new to the Philippine National Police; the “Tara List” or Payola in the Bureau of Customs; and the cholesterol-rich pork barrel, to name a few.
At a Glance: PhilHealth and Department of Wealth
A Closer Look: Doctors Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Continue reading “PhilWealth and Department of Wealth”
We spend a great deal of taxpayers’ money for an automated processing system, x-ray scanners, even for brokers’ accreditation, not to mention fairly high salaries for seasoned military men at the helm of the Bureau of Customs. But at the end of the day – all our efforts be damned — we are still one hell of a mess.
Mr. President, distinguished colleagues, I rise before you on a matter of personal and collective privilege.
To say that our country is treated like trash appears to be true, as in literally, amid news reports of tons of waste being illegally shipped into our lands, no thanks to local and foreign smugglers, unscrupulous Customs brokers and corrupt Customs officials.
At a Glance: A Dumping Ground of Garbage and Drugs
“KITA KITA” (sa Customs): Paglahad sa Payola sa Bureau of Customs
Continue reading ““What a Mess: A Dumping Ground of Garbage and Drugs””
Mr. President, I rise before you on a matter of personal and collective privilege.
“To See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil.”
Mr. President, put literally, this proverbial adage serves as an age-old directive for dealing with impropriety — by looking the other way, refusing to hear and speak out, and feigning ignorance when something wrong is unfolding.
Living Without Pork (2003 privilege speech)
List: Institutional Amendments Proposed by Sen. Lacson in the 2019 Budget
Continue reading “Privilege Speech: Living Without Pork (Part II)”
“Hell is empty, and all the devils are here.” So said William Shakespeare many, many years ago. Little did he imagine at that time that more than 10,000 kilometers away and some 400 years later, he would be describing our present day Bureau of Customs. Thus, let me update Shakespeare by paraphrasing him – “Hell is empty and all the devils are at the Bureau of Customs.”
Continue reading ““KITA KITA” (sa Customs): Paglahad sa Payola sa Bureau of Customs”
I rise again today on a matter of personal and collective privilege.
On several occasions, I took the floor of this august hall on very important issues affecting national interest.
Jose Pidal. Hello Garci. The NBN-ZTE Broadband Deal. The Fertilizer Scam. Jueteng Anomaly. The C5 Extension Road Project Double Appropriation. The Pork Barrel Anomalies. Plus many others, the latest of which talked about Joseph Ejercito- Estrada in “Dalawang Mukha ng Sining.”
Continue reading “Prosecution or Persecution?”
In Greek drama, masks were useful devices that allow the actor to play several different characters.
In the Philippine political drama, nothing much differs.
Mr. President, distinguished colleagues. Today, I rise on a matter of personal and collective privilege.
Continue reading “Ang Dalawang Mukha ng Sining”
This will be a short privilege speech. At the outset I would like to thank the minority leader for yielding the floor to this representation and likewise to the lady senator from Antique.
Continue reading “Face the Issue (Part 2)”
Mr. President, distinguished colleagues of the 14th Congress of the Philippine Senate, ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon. I rise on a matter of personal and collective privilege.
Continue reading “Face the Issue (Part 1)”
I would not have taken the floor today as I am concerned the core issue of corruption in the national budget will be diverted. But for the lies that are now part of the Senate record and other misinterpretations of the contents of my privilege speech last Monday by the gentleman from Makati and Camarines Sur, I now rise on a matter of personal and collective privilege.
Continue reading “Kaban ng Bayan, Bantayan! (Part 2)”
Distinguished colleagues, members of the Senate of the 14th Congress of this once proud and great Republic, ladies and gentlemen:
Continue reading “Kaban ng Bayan, Bantayan! (Part 1)”
I rise today on a matter of personal and collective privilege. I rise as a Filipino who has been paying by way of onerous tax impositions and deprivation of proper services, the burden of a huge public debt. I rise on behalf of two generations that will come after us who will be saddled with paying the debts this administration has contracted and obligated.
In the Special Joint Investment Coordinating Committee (ICC) and Technical Board Meeting of the President’s Cabinet held on 26 March 2007, the Department of Transportation and Communications took up with the economic team, particularly Finance Sec. Margarito Teves and then NEDA Director-General Romulo Neri along with their support staff, the so-called National Broadband Network Project.
Continue reading “Legacy of Corruption”
Mr. President, distinguished colleagues:
Today, I rise on a matter of personal and collective privilege.
Two years ago, the country was caught in a political maelstrom brought about by revelations arising from the voice tapes taken of a man and a woman, the identities of whom have since been laid public.
Continue reading “The Lighthouse that Brought Darkness”
Mr. President, distinguished colleagues. The past week was not very enjoyable for this representation. This week, I suppose, will be no different.
Being a law enforcer for thirty years with some basic knowledge of law, I can not understand how a majority of the members of the Supreme Court could conspire so indecently with the administration of Mrs. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to subvert the Rule of Law, the primacy of the Constitution over Acts of the State, and the independence of the judiciary.
With your indulgence, let me belabor this issue.
Continue reading “Huwag Matakot, Stop Kurakot! The Incredible Hulk (Chapter Three)”
Mr. President, distinguished colleagues, I rise today on a matter of personal and collective privilege.
More than half a century ago, our forefathers established the Third Philippine Republic from the ruins of the last Pacific war. A few years later, the nation was embroiled in various scandals involving graft and corruption. Right after the war, government officials were involved in the surplus war materials scandal. When then President Elpidio Quirino ordered the prosecution of the Chairman of the Surplus Commission, his Liberal Party stalwarts warned him, and out of the mouth of no less than a former President of the Senate, came the infamous words-“What are we in power for?”
It is now the 21st century. While those words are no longer spoken, a very powerful man – Atty. Jose Miguel Arroyo a.k.a. Jose Pidal wields that power like no other. Even the integrity of institutions tasked to assist law enforcement agencies with scientific and expert analysis has not been spared. I will prove my point later, Mr. President.
Continue reading ““Mr. Jose Pidal, Alam ba ni Mrs. Itoh” … The Incredible Hulk (Chapter Two)”
Mr. President, Distinguished colleagues in the Senate of the Republic:Mr. President, Distinguished colleagues in the Senate of the Republic:
I rise today on a matter of personal and collective privilege.
It has been more than two years since this representative was pilloried before media through accusations so vile and propaganda most vicious. So vile and vicious in fact that this chamber of peers took notice, conducted investigations complete with nationally televised public hearings and just recently, unveiled on this floor a committee report which would give the public the impression that my detractors were somehow right.
Continue reading “The Incredible Hulk (Chapter One)”
I rise again on a very urgent matter. This is not to wage war against fellow Senators, all of whom I hold in the highest respect. It is, rather, to urge them to have a second look at the moral hypocrisy of this administration.
Continue reading “Her Excellency, Her Helplessness”
There is a new dangerous office in government today. It is the first of its kind in our history. It is the Department of the Underground. And I rise to forewarn the Senate of the Republic and the Filipino people.
Mr. President, the Arroyo Administration has been in power for only a little more than eight months. It is powerful all right. It is powerfully corrupt.
Continue reading “Gloria’s Underground Department”
I rise today on the matter of personal privilege. Even now I want to thank you and my fellow Senators for this opportunity. It is to defend my honor and dignity in the eyes of my peers – and, hopefully in your hearts.
There is no Senator today more bothered broken, and burdened than this very humble representation. I have been demonized without notice. I have been sent to hell without trial.
Continue reading “In Defense of Dignity”