P/Gen Rodolfo Azurin Jr, Chief of the Philippine National Police; members of the command group and Directorial Staff and all the officers present; the men and women of the proud and brave organization, the PNP, magandang umaga po sa ating lahat.
It always feels good to be back home. To some of us in the Board of Trustees of the PNP Foundation Inc. Camp Crame is our home, a place where we spent most of our adult professional life facing challenges too many that we have lost count of the number. How time flies, and fast.
Twenty-two years ago, I used to preside and lead our regular Monday flag-raising ceremonies where we would start our week’s work in our offices, in the field, or wherever we could be deployed to serve and protect the people; unsure if we would still be alive to attend the next hoisting of the Philippine flag right on this spot where we stand now.
This is it. My long journey of 50 years now comes to an end. Looking back, I had a very simple childhood ambition. To become a lawyer and to start and cap my career as an agent of the NBI. With some unplanned twist of fate I graduated from the PMA. My dream then was to wear that insignia with a star on my shoulder. Instead I got four stars as chief of the nation’s police force and with a bang.
Magandang, magandang gabi sa ating mga pinakamamahal na aking kalalawigan sa lalawigan ng Cavite. Mabuhay ang Cavite!
Bago ang lahat, ay nais ko munang bigyang pugay at pasalamatan ang isang Kabitenyo na talagang isang tapat sa pakikisama at lapat makipagkaibigan. Siya po ang isang tunay na kaibigan na maski talikuran kami ng lahat nariyan pa rin siya sa ating tabi. Ang aking tinutukoy walang iba kundi si Rep. Roy Loyola. Mabuhay si Cong Loyola!
Tuwing kami haharap sa mga tao, ayaw naming kami lang ang nagsasalita. Gusto namin may ugnayan. Marami kaming natututunan at naibabahagi sa ating mga kababayan sa iba’t ibang lugar sa Pilipinas. Kanina, galing kami sa Brgy Cataggaman Nuevo, may natutunan kami kay Mayor Jeff Soriano. Dati once a week, ngayon twice a week, meron siyang People’s Day.
Ano itong People’s Day? Siguro alam na ng karamihan sa inyo ito. Ang People’s Day, ito maganda, i-apply sa Isabela pag upo nyo bilang mayor. Minsan dalawang beses sa isang linggo nilibot ang barangay sa Tuguegarao, naka 3-4 rounds. Iniimbita ang national line agencies, OWWA, PAO, DILG, PNP, PhilHealth. Lahat na line agencies nariyan sa tabi. At ang tao sa barangay lahat na may concerns, nariyan. At si Mayor Soriano nangangasiwa ang tao sa buong brgy sa Tuguegarao dalawang beses sa isang linggo bawa’t barangay, sila ang pinuntahan ng line agencies. Sa halip na sila babangon ng maaga, sasakay ng tricycle, maglalakad ng mahaba, lilipat ng jeep para lang pumunta sa siyudad galing sa brgy para humingi ng tulong.
How time flies. Some 34 years ago, ako po in-appoint ng dating Chief PC, Gen. Ramon Montaño, na maging Provincial Commander ng PC sa Isabela… Ito ang panahon noong 1988, kalakasan ng NPA noon. Katunayan nang dumating ako rito sabi ng dati kong tauhan sa PC, ang iba city councilor na ngayon, na huwag magbibiyahe papuntang Tuguegarao kasi yan ang aming regional headquarters, ng lampas alas-kwatro kasi nag-checkpoint ang NPA sa highway. Sabi ko hindi pwedeng ganon dahil tayo ang PC di ba tayo dapat ang mag-checkpoint? So ganoon binaligtad namin, lagi kaming nag-checkpoint, natigil ang checkpoint ng NPA pero malakas pa rin sila noon. Nagtataka kami bakit ang lakas ng armas dahil nagkaroon ng pagkakasundo noon after EDSA Revolution. Ni-release ang political prisoners sina Joma Sison. At nagkaroon directly or indirectly ng coalition government. Nakapasok sila. Napansin namin ang lalakas ng armas so pag nasa gobyerno ang CPP NPA lumalakas ang pwersa nila within the government bureaucracy itself.
Bago ko simulang ibahagi sa inyo ang aming plataporma, ang aming programa ni Senate President Tito Sotto at ang aming mga kasamahan — Monsour del Rosario, Dra. Padilla — gusto ko munang ikuwento sa inyo kung ano yung nasa likod ng nakita niyong video.
Taong 2018, nasa kalagitnaan kami ng tawagin nating plenary debates sa Senado, pinagdedebatehan namin yung national budget para sa 2019. Nakita ko yung appropriations para doon sa right of way. Merong hinihingi ang DPWH na P22 billion para sa road right-of-way, pambayad doon sa mga katulad nina Aling Norma Guillo na taga-Bauan, na dapat bayaran kapag tinamaan ng kalsada ang kanilang property, ang kanilang bahay. Hindi nila nagamit sa taong 2018, P11 billion, so idagdag sa P22 billion para sa 2019 na hinihingi nila; ang ibig sabihin, P33 billion.
Pinapasyalan ko po — hindi lamang sa Batangas maski sa ibang lugar — yung mga may isyu ng road right-of-way, yung mga kawawang kababayan natin na hindi nababayaran ilang taon na. Isa po si Aling Norma at yung kanyang asawa.
Una muna, gusto kong batiin ang aking mga inaanak si Mayor Ramil at saka si Congresswoman Joanna. Of course, batiin ko rin si Governor Dotdot, Governor Edwin Jubahib ng Davao del Norte, si Vice Governor Franco Tito, at yung aking mga kasama; of course, si dating Speaker at Congressman Pantaleon ‘Bebot’ Alvarez na ngayo’y nasa First District ng Davao del Norte.
Ang sigaw ng Partido Reporma at ng tambalang Lacson-Sotto: Aayusin ang gobyerno upang maging maayos ang buhay ng bawat Pilipino. Ano ang aayusin natin sa gobyerno? Marami po. Kaya ang problema natin sa Pilipinas napakarami kasi may mga problema na binibigay ng ating gobyerno. Sa aming pananaw, ang pinakamalaking problema ng ating bayan, gobyerno; at ang solusyon, gobyerno rin. The biggest problem or the number one problem of our country is government, and the solution lies in the face of the government itself. It is called good government.
Governor Dot, Vice-Governor Franco… Si Vice-Governor pala siya yung presidente ng Philippine Military Academy Parents Association dahil yung anak niya baron ng Class 2012 ng PMA. So, Cavalier na rin ang tawag ko kay Vice-Governor. Of course, kay Congressman Ruwel, kay Mayor Rupert at saka yung mga kasama natin dito, magandang umaga. At maraming salamat sa inyong mainit na pagtanggap mula pa kaninang umaga.
Alam niyo, kasisimula pa lamang ng campaign period noong Martes, halos wala pang isang linggo pero katakot-takot na pangako na, katakot-takot na matatamis na salita na ang inabot natin, hindi ba? Galing sa mga national candidates, maski saan. Now, kami, hindi kami mahilig mangako. Sinasabi lang namin yung nagawa na namin, ginagawa pa namin at yung gagawin pa namin—maliwanag. Mag-fo-focus na lang po ako sa isang plataporma.
Una sa lahat, nais ko munang batiin ang youth leaders ng Tagum City. Alam niyo, gusto ko ring magbigay pugay sa ating butihing mayor, Mayor Allan Rellon. Dahil alam niyo, a true leader inspires; a true leader motivates.
At yan ang nakita ko kanina. Nagmamasid ako how inspired and how motivated the youth leaders of Tagum City are. Yun ang nakita ko kanina. So sabi ko nga si Mayor Rellon, pambihira ang ginagawa niya. How could he, you know, do such a wonderful thing? Tinatanong ko nga kay Speaker Bebot kanina, yan bang mga youth leaders sa Tagum City, yan yung na-organize ni Mayor Rellon? Totoo. So sa inyo, saludo po kami ni Senate President Tito Sotto at ang aming mga kasamahan.
“Aayusin ang gobyerno para maging maayos ang buhay ng bawat Pilipino” – yan po ang unang sigaw at laging sinisigaw ng Lacson-Sotto tandem. Ano ba ang mga dapat ayusin sa ating gobyerno? Marami po.
Nabanggit ni Secretary Piñol, sa sektor lang ng agrikultura napakarami. Bakit napakaraming importasyon? We have become an import-dependent country. Sabi nga niya, meron naman tayo bakit mag-i-import? Simple lang po: pag may importation, may kita. May quota, may komisyon.
Maraming salamat, Mayor Congressman Roy Loyola at sa lahat ng mga punong bayan sa ating mahal na lalawigan na naririto na sinamahan tayo ngayong gabi, maraming salamat sa inyong lahat.
Sa aking partner Senate President Tito Sotto, walang nangahas na umagaw ng kanyang upuan bilang SP. Alam nyo consensus builder talagang tunay na leader. Sa Senado laging ang upuan ng SP parang sinisilaban ng sili dahil laging gusto palitan. Pero sa ilalim ng pamumuno ni SP Sotto panatag ang Senado. Lahat kami maski minority leader maski minority nakikisama sa kanya. Yan ang sagisag at katunayan ng isang tunay na leader, SP Tito Sotto.
In recent decades, scientists have been putting forward the radical idea that the human brain is designed to forget that old, unused memories wither over time like a photograph left under the sunlight.
This is exactly the reason why getting old sucks. Let me say what my “mistahs” hate to hear, but I will say it anyway: there is a moment in being old when nothing is left in your brain except happy, pleasant, even naughty memories that you cannot even remember. Do not get me wrong. The surviving members of this year’s Golden Jubilarians, the Matatag Class of 1971 are not there yet.
And when the inevitable happens to many of us – maybe ten to twenty years from now, or earlier – I am quite certain – that my brain would designate a special compartment that houses the good, the bad, the ugly and even the painful memories inside the resounding walls of our cadet barracks, the cadet mess hall and everywhere else within the confines of Fort del Pilar.
To all the members of the Joint Foreign Chambers of the Philippines (JFC), the business and industry experts, diplomats, government officials, members of the press, and to everyone who made the 10th Arangkada Philippines Forum possible, I am truly honored to join you in this virtual event today.
I understand that this has been the 10th year that the Coalition is conducting its annual Arangkada Philippines Forum, which serves as a premier platform in promoting international trade, increased foreign investment, and improved business conditions to benefit our country, as well as the other nations that the JFC members represent.
With the massive economic and social disruptions that confront the entire world primarily brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, I am sure that this year’s forum takes a deeper and more indicative meaning of the word “arangkada”, which essentially means “to accelerate”.
It is a pleasant day to meet you yet again this afternoon, after my guesting only last July of this year.
Far from complaining, I am honored and privileged to have you as an audience because let’s face it — in a crowd of industry leaders who have kept their fair share of “service to change lives”, a chance to speak about my vision for the Philippines and the Filipino people would take more than mere rhetoric. It takes an honest and compelling truth of why I am here after more than 50 years in public office.
Let me take you back to several decades ago when my presence in this event was unlikely, if not impossible. Let me tell you my story: Being born to poor parents and raised in a small, sleepy town of Imus, Cavite, how could a child like me even aspire for higher education when most of the children of my age back then were not even motivated to finish high school? Fortunately, my parents valued education like no other in our neighborhood. I still remember the words of my late mother: “Sukdulang hindi kami kumain ng tatlong beses sa isang araw, makatapos lamang kayo ng pag-aaral, masaya kaming papanaw.”
In my long years in public office, experience has taught me never to go to ‘war’ unprepared — may it be as a Unit Commander in the defunct PC-INP of the AFP, as the Chief of the Philippine National Police, or in my job as a lawmaker for more than 17 years – whether in exposing corruption perpetrated by the powerful and influential culprits in government, or checking misuse and abuse of the national budget.
Today, we face the most disruptive ‘war’ of our lifetime:
If you were in a hospital emergency room – lucid enough to choose between a young, smart-looking and articulate surgeon who had graduated a few years ago and just finished internship – and an unassuming, timid and older-looking surgeon who has tucked under his belt numerous successful surgeries – who would you choose?
Let me answer that question towards the end of my speech.
Executive Director Mr. Ebb Hinchliffe, to the officials and members of this esteemed Chamber, to all the guests joining us today, a pleasant afternoon to everyone.
I wish to thank the Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines (FINEX), together with the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (FFCCCII), Cignal, and The Manila Times, for the opportunity to be the first in line to present my economic platform in your Presidential Forum.
Before I begin our economic prospects in the years to come, I think it is but fair to mention the promising insights of progress that we as a nation worked very hard for in the recent past. Not too long ago, our nation had a message of hope — our fair share of “good news stories”. In fact, never before in our history had we reached an average annual growth rate of above 6 percent in over a 10-year period as we did from 2010 to 2019. Economists then predicted that the Philippines will be the 19th largest economy in the world by 2050 and Asia’s new economic powerhouse.
Kakayahan, Katapatan, Katapangan – Mga katangiang taglay ng Lacson-Sotto tandem na layuning maibalik ang tiwala ng mga mamamayan sa ating pamahalaan.
Kahit minsan hindi tumanggap ng suhol kapalit ang serbisyo publiko – nananatiling walang bahid ng korapsyon ang siya naming gagamiting pinakamabisang armas upang buwagin ang mga sindikato sa loob at sa labas man ng gobyerno.
Kung ipagkakaloob ng Diyos na ang Lacson-Sotto tandem ang mapipiling mamuno, isang disiplinadong burukrasya ang paiiralin – kabilang na ang maayos na paggastos ng pambansang badyet upang makaabot ang biyaya at kaunlaran sa mga liblib na lugar ng bansa. Marapat lamang na mauna ang kapakanan ng higit na nakararaming Pilipino.
Between Sen. Lacson and I are 42 years of legislation, which we firmly believe holds an excellent track record.
We offer ourselves now to the people to hold the reins of the executive department. We have been churning legislation after legislation. There is much to be desired to how it is being executed. And we feel – we believe – that if we hold the reins of the executive department, we will be able to execute it well.
To the University President of the Lyceum of the Philippines-Batangas, Dr. Peter P. Laurel; Senior Vice President Frederick Badillo; VP for Academics and Research, Dr. Cecilia Pring; Chairman of the Founder’s Lecture 2021, Dr. Arnie Christian D. Villena; teachers, parents and our very dear Lyceans — magandang umaga sa ating lahat.
Speaking before you today feels surreal for a number of reasons. In recent years, we seem to live in the greatest irony of our time: There is a surplus of online channels that connects us — yet, we have never felt so distant from each other; we have paved our roads and built bridges, but our mobility has been constantly restricted; the world has been on a moment of standstill but oddly, we all seem to be running against time.
To say much has changed in just a year’s time may be an understatement. From where we stand, you and I would agree that the world we live in has changed literally everything around us.
In spirit, I want to extend my warmest greetings to every Filipino watching this momentous event in Philippine sports and tech. It is an honor to grace this occasion wherein the first and only Esports platform of its kind is being officially and publicly launched.
I speak before you today with so much pride on the meaningful gains that our Filipino youth continue to make in this industry.
Over the past year, we often hear that in the midst of the crises we face, we must seize every opportunity that comes our way. Between you and me, our present reality goes beyond that: crises present not just opportunities but critical junctures through which societies change.
We are fortunate that just within our reach is an arsenal that can transform societies in ways unimaginable. I speak of information technology –one of our anchors for stability in these otherwise uncertain times. It has become more than a tool for progress; it has transformed into a defining force for virtually all societies to survive.
I am glad to speak before all of you for this same agenda: we must harness technology and innovation to adapt to the change of our time.
Whenever I have the opportunity to be heard by a community of leaders, I always aspire to speak of the truth, frankly and boldly, about the hopes, dreams, and challenges of our nation; to leave a message that will carry great weight to what really matters to us — individually and collectively as a people.
Today, I am impelled to tell you what I believe to be the most consequential crossroads of our time – one that evokes a feeling of ‘fear’, a word I prefer not to use in all my 50 years of public service.
Truth is, I have never seen our country at the grips of fear as we have in recent years. I would be lying to you if I said, I do not fear the unknown as we continue to surge forth in the future’s many uncertainties — not much for myself, but for the future generations.
President Sittie Aliah Lumbao, Sittie NB Pasandalan, to the members, officers, and partners of the Association of Lady Shari’ah Counselors-At-Law of the Philippines Inc (ALSCAP) who made this event possible, good morning to all.
Violent extremism is complex by nature, occurs in all societies and is not bound by religion, race, or social class. While it is mostly grounded in the name of ideologies, beliefs, and faiths, the drivers of extremism are evolving. There remains no universal explanation and hence, no universal response to this dilemma across the community of nations.
One thing is certain: How the government reacts to the presence of violent extremism determines the extent and magnitude of its spread in our country. In theory, extremism instantly refers to unrestrained fear, danger, and coercion. Yet again, there is no better way of characterizing so than witnessing the acts firsthand, within our borders.
It is said that the Coronavirus pandemic has been the defining global crisis of our time, with over 101.8 million confirmed cases and over 2.19 million deaths globally.
On top of this, the health crisis has also caused unprecedented disruptions in the economy, pushing nations to deep recession that is expected to leave far-reaching and lasting scars in the next decade.
Our country has taken a beating from the global pandemic and its accompanying economic crisis. Almost instantaneously, economic activities were shut down and tolls of deaths bannered our daily news.
As already mentioned by Dean Lopez, just yesterday, the Philippine Statistics Authority reported that the economy contracted by 9.5% in 2020, making it the largest contraction ever recorded, beating the 7% contraction in 1984. This equates to a P1.4-trillion drop in our nominal Gross Domestic Product, our worst since World War II.
My distinguished colleague and chairperson of the Philippine Army MSAB Governance Committee, Sen. Manny Pacquiao; Philippine Army Commanding General Lt. Gen Cirilito Sobejana; Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Assistant Secretary Alexander Macario; Davao de Oro Governor Tyron Uy; Vice Commander of the Philippine Army Reynaldo Aquino; members of the Philippine Army Multi-Sector Advisory Board; men and women of the Hukbong Katihan ng Pilipinas, a pleasant morning to all.
Mr. Chairman, this representation as one of the Vice-Chairpersons of the Committee on National Defense, presided over a public hearing this morning to deliberate on the ad interim appointments of 29 Senior Officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the nomination of one (1) officer to the rank of General.
Your Committee, after deliberating on their qualifications and fitness during the said public hearing, determined that all of the 29 appointees and one nominee are fit and qualified to the ranks which they are respectively promoted or nominated, and has therefore ruled to recommend to the plenary their respective appointments and nomination for the confirmation and consent of this august body.
It is my honor and privilege to recommend that this body give its consent to the nomination of LT. GEN. GILBERT I. GAPAY to the rank of GENERAL.
Mr. Chairman, this representation as one of the Vice-Chairpersons of the Committee on National Defense, presided over a public hearing to deliberate on the ad interim appointments of 14 Senior Officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the nomination of one officer to the rank of Lieutenant General.
Your Committee, after deliberating on their qualifications and fitness during the said public hearing, has determined that all of the 14 appointees and one nominee are fit and qualified to the ranks which they are respectively nominated or appointed, and has therefore ruled to recommend to the plenary their respective nomination and appointments for the consent and confirmation of this august body.
The Chief of the PNP, Police General Archie Francisco Gamboa; members of the Command Group and Directorial Staff; this morning’s recipient of the PNP Foundation Inc.’s donation, the PNP Retirement and Benefit Administration Service led by their director P/Col. Arthur Bisnar; the uniformed and non-uniformed men and women of the PNP; the awardees of the much-coveted Outstanding PMA Alumnus Award – for your information I was also a proud member of Alpha Company of the Cadet Corps, AFP – a pleasant morning to all of you.
Historian and 19th Century diplomat Washington Irvin once said, and I quote: “Little minds are tamed and subdued by misfortune, but great minds rise above them.”
Over the past months, we have been confronted by a series of misfortunes brought about by a health crisis that caught the whole world unsuspecting, literally altering the way we have known to live our lives.
At the meeting of the Rotary Club of Manila, Sen. Lacson holds the proposed Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 – and its critics – to the Rotary’s Four-Way Test. Sen. Lacson also answered questions on the Anti-Terrorism Bill after the speech.
It is good to once again see familiar faces, virtually at least. I am certain that moving from physical meetings and events to the digital realm is something that is new to all of us. Nevertheless, I find comfort in knowing that this pandemic could not shake the dedication of a Rotarian spirit in living up to its overarching motto: Service above self.
Your invitation says I have 30 minutes to speak. Since there are many points to cover in our virtual discussion today, I will cut to the chase and go straight to the issues at hand.
For the past couple of weeks, among the trending topics that have been dominating the mainstream and social media platforms is the Anti-Terrorism Bill, which as we speak, is awaiting the signature of the President. Unfortunately, the ongoing campaign against this proposed measure, heavily influenced by massive misinformation and disinformation, unfairly devalues the importance of this legislative measure on many fronts.
Hence, as the principal sponsor and one of the authors of the bill, it is incumbent upon me to take every available platform to shed light on the legislative intent and merit of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020, as proposed.
To Governor Presbitero Velasco, Jr., the National President of the League of Provinces of the Philippines (LPP); Gov. Dakila Carlo Cua, National Chairman; Gov. Susan Yap; to all the members of this honorable organization, my colleagues in public service, ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon.
Allow me to express my gratitude for your overwhelming support to the proposed Anti-Terrorism Bill. As mentioned by no less that Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año during last week’s webinar, 784 local government chiefs already signed the Manifesto in Support to the proposed Anti-Terrorism Bill as of June 17. This alone shows us a clear picture that there is indeed a demand for a stricter and effective counter-terrorism measures on the ground.
The Management Association of the Philippines (MAP) President Francis Lim, National Issues Committee Chair Rizalina Mantaring, respected members of this great association, ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon.
When two great legal minds clash, not symmetrically, nor tangentially, but squarely, as in head-on, what do laymen like me and probably some of you in this virtual gathering, do?
I am referring to your last week’s guest, retired Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio on the one hand, and on the other – an equally eminent legal eagle, a former Justice Secretary, and also my colleague in the Senate – Minority Leader Franklin Drilon. Let me explain.
1. A solemn oath – to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth – is exactly what it is – SOLEMN. To desecrate the solemnity of that oath, and worse, with the deliberate and evil purpose of destroying other people’s lives whom they could have succeeded in putting away for the rest of their lives by their lies, thus denying them the basic and sacred right to freedom, is most detestable.
Mr. President, this will be a very short manifestation on the progress of the Senate’s collective effort to build our new home, envisioned to be a national landmark — an iconic, green, functional, and secure Bagong Senado.
Likewise, Mr President, we already secured the Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC), Tree Cutting and Balling Permit, Locational Clearance, CAAP Height Clearance, Fencing and Excavation Permits, and most importantly, the Building Permit. Suffice to say, Mr President, we do not have any more pending bureaucratic requirements that may delay our work.
Mayor Bataoil, you were correct. While Elisa was singing (‘Ang Tatay Kong Pulis‘), I was having goosebumps. Sinabi ko kay Col Red (Maranan, Pangasinan PPO chief), sino ang nag-compose niyan? Napakagandang kanta, very touching and talagang nakatama rito. And sinumang pulis na makarinig, lahat na pulis na makarinig, definitely would be touched by that song, not just the composition, but the lyrics.
Kanina nabanggit ni Mayor Pol, ‘What is right must be kept right, what is wrong must be set right.’ I vividly remember the first time I uttered those words was on November 16, 1999. Ang occasion, it was part of my assumption speech when I was appointed Chief of the PNP in 1999. And we hit the ground running. I chose, of course he was then ahead of me, si then Director Acop, was Director for Comptrollership. And of course I retained him, he was my No. 1 adviser, he was my mentor. Siya ang nag-author ng ICUs of the PNP. Ang ICU, the Inept, Corrupt, the Undisciplined. Siya rin ang nag-put forward ng idea na ang antidote sa ICU, AID: Aptitude, Integrity, Discipline.
A crowd like this always evokes a strong feeling of sentimentality. Like most of you in this hall, I am certainly at the point in my life where I often turn my gaze back over the past and see if those years have really mattered — not only for myself, but for the people who have entrusted me a seat in public office, and for my country that has given me so much in my present life.
It is an honor to join you today as you celebrate the City’s 110th Charter Anniversary.
Baguio has come a long way since the 1900s, when it was still a cold, idyllic marshland in the Cordillera mountains. Its history tells us that the city, nestled within the highlands, is a “mine of gold” – literally and figuratively.
Literally, it was the lure of Igorot gold in the Cordilleras that drew in the Spanish conquistadores and the Americans in the region. Figuratively, the rich culture of our indigenous peoples, panoramic views and abundant resources make for Baguio’s golden value as a tourist destination.
A famous American author, Napoleon Hill, once said – and allow me to quote: “The starting point of all achievement is desire.”
Indeed, it is an honor to join you tonight as guest speaker and inducting officer of the new batch of young leaders who have a burning desire to pursue Rotaract’s overarching goal of being our community’s “partners in service.”
Speaking of legacies, tonight’s gathering poses a short yet provoking challenge to everyone in this room with its theme, “leading a legacy.”
In both formal and informal occasions, I often stress that this is the point in my life where I certainly have more yesterdays than tomorrows. I tell you, as I gaze into my ‘yesterdays,’ I cannot help but realize how much has really changed in every aspect of our lives.
Let me share with you — in the late 1950s, when I was a young elementary student in a sleepy town of Imus, Cavite, I had a vivid memory of a lone policeman we simply referred to as “Kabo.”
He was a highly esteemed and respected man assigned to keep peace and order in our almost obscure barangay called Barrio Bayanluma then.
If there is arrogance in asking for forgiveness, it is the arrogance of courage to admit one’s mistake.
Whenever I speak before an audience like this, I could not help but think of the past generation before my time. This was five, maybe six decades ago when I was sitting as you are now, with our proud parents behind us in the bleachers.
In Cebu, Sen. Lacson led the PNP Foundation Inc.’s turnover of mountain bikes and other equipment to the Police Regional Office 7. The mountain bikes would be useful for police work in beaches and parks where tourists are concentrated. Sen. Lacson, who chairs the PNPFI, is an Adopted Son of Cebu, having served as Commander of Cebu Metrodiscom from 1989 to 1992. Following is the text of his speech at the event.
Police Brig. Gen. Debold Sinas, Police Brig. Gen. Agustin, Police Brig. Gen. Gillamac, the members of the Regional Staff and other officers and personnel present, my Senate staff as well as the PNP Foundation Inc. staff, my former comrades in the Cebu Metrodiscom in Metro Cebu, maayong buntag sa inyong tanan.
First of all, let me personally thank the officers and men of PRO-7 for the warm welcome that you have given me and my staff. Rest assured that I will always be a friend of the PNP in heart and spirit in whatever capacity, either as Chairman of the PNP Foundation Inc., or as an elected Senator of the Republic, especially in my role as Vice Chairman of the Committee on Finance of the Senate.
For the past several years that I have been actively participating in the national budget deliberations, I always make sure the PNP will get the necessary budgetary requirements to more efficiently accomplish your mission.
At the 51st Commencement Exercises of the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila, Sen. Lacson was conferred the degree of Doctor of Laws, Honoris Causa. He was cited for, among others, his crusade against corruption and the pork barrel system, and for exposing anomalous transactions. Sen. Lacson earned his Master’s degree in Government Management at the PLM (1995-1996). Following is the text of his speech at the event:
The Chairman of the Board of Regents, Dr. Benjamin Espiritu; University President Dr. Ma. Leonora ‘Lenny’ de Jesus; PLM Alumni Association Inc. Regent Wilma Galvante; my dear friend Sec. Benny Laguesma; Sen. Tessie Oreta; the other Officials and College Deans; parents; my dear graduates; ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon.
I wish to thank you for conferring on me the degree of Doctor of Laws, Honoris Causa this afternoon. This award is a reminder for me to remain committed to the University’s principles and time-honored tradition of excellence in public service.
If there is arrogance in asking for forgiveness, it is the arrogance of courage to admit one’s mistake.
Thank you very much, the Hon. Sec. Saidamen Pangarungan. It is indeed a distinct honor and privilege to be introduced by an innovative, progressive-minded leader. And with him at the helm, I’m sure the NCMF would be in good hands.
Our guests from the Japanese Embassy, Second Secretary Yoji Konno; our guests from the United Nations Development Programme; the other commissioners and other dignitaries present here; members of the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos; to all the participants of today’s assembly, a pleasant morning. As-salaam aleikum.
Mr. President, distinguished colleagues, a year ago, we embarked on a journey to realize a decades-old dream of having our own Senate Building. We sealed the deal when this august chamber approved the transfer of the Senate to the Navy Village, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City.
I stand here today not only with a renewed confidence in that dream, but also with a clearer picture of it, complete, quite literally, with detailed plans.
Sen. Lacson’s Speech on the Global Conceptual Design Winner for the Senate’s New Home
Mr. President, distinguished colleagues, good afternoon. When we formally started the talks on the relocation of the Senate building, many have had their doubts if we can really translate this vision into reality.
Mr. President, distinguished colleagues, as the chairman of your Committee on Accounts, I have the honor and privilege to give you an account of our progress on the construction and relocation of the new home for the Philippine Senate, as articulated in Senate Resolution No. 293 filed by Senator Sherwin Gatchalian and adopted by this august chamber on November 21, 2017.