Category: Statements

#PINGterview: Updates on the 2021 Budget, Anti-Terror Law IRR

In an interview on CNN Philippines, Sen. Lacson answered questions on:
* ‘violations’ by the House in passing the P4.5-trillion 2021 budget bill
* possible institutional amendments for R&D, COVID vaccines
* implementing rules and regulations of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020

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On the House Continuing to Tackle Amendments After Approving the 2021 Budget Bill

Last Oct. 16, the House of Representatives approved on third and final reading the P4.5-trillion proposed national budget for 2021. Yet as of today, it continues to tackle amendments via the so-called “small group.”

Art. VI, Sec. 26, Paragraph 2 of the 1987 Constitution is unequivocally clear, regardless of where the amendments will come from. Wala namang sinasabi ang Constitution na pag naghahabol ng “errata,” hindi ito applicable: “Upon the last reading of a bill, NO AMENDMENT THERETO SHALL BE ALLOWED, and the vote thereon shall be taken immediately thereafter, and the yeas and nays entered in the Journal.”

The claim of the House Appropriations Committee chair that the โ€œerrataโ€ a.k.a. amendments will come from the implementing agencies and not from the individual House members will further muddle an already constitutionally infirm and error-filled budget measure. Why? The authorization part of the four-phase budget process is under the exclusive jurisdiction of the Congress, and the executive should deal only with budget preparation and execution.

No amount of technicalities and sweet-talk maneuvers can correct a flawed budget that is supposed to address the problems and concerns of more than 100 million Filipinos.

It is time that we correct the mindset of the so-called representatives of the people in this regard.

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On the House’s Nov. 5 Transmittal of the 2021 Budget Bill to the Senate

If the House of Representatives’ transmittal of the General Appropriations Bill to the Senate will be on Nov. 5 or 6, there is no assurance that we can pass the budget on time and thus avoid a re-enacted budget.

As they have promised the President, they will approve the GAB on third and final reading today, Oct. 16, and it only takes one week to print, so why Nov. 5?

Not only is the delay unacceptable. It is difficult to understand, unless there are plans to amend the bill after the third reading.

That said, the House leadership should be reminded to adhere to Art. VI, Sec. 26 of the Constitution that says: โ€œUpon the last reading of a bill, no amendment thereto shall be allowed…xxxโ€

Amid promises of โ€œbest effortsโ€ to transmit the budget bill by end-October, if the House still ends up transmitting the bill on Nov. 5, does it mean that the description โ€œHouse of the Peopleโ€ is all lip service?

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Ping: Aprubadong IRR ng Anti-Terror Law, Malinaw na vs Terorismo Lang Talaga

Mapapawi na ang takot ng ilang sektor at agam-agam ng mga awtoridad sa pagpapatupad ng Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 ngayong lumabas na ang Implementing Rules and Regulations nito.

Ayon kay Senador Panfilo Lacson na pangunahing nagsulong at nag-sponsor ng naturang batas noong ito ay nasa Senado pa lamang, maliwanag sa 48-pahina ng IRR ng Anti-Terror Law na tumatalima ito sa Bill of Rights sa ilalim ng 1987 Constitution.

“As the principal sponsor of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 in the Senate, I hope that the release of the law’s IRR will now enlighten our law enforcement officers as well as Armed Forces of the Philippines personnel, so they will be properly guided in performing their all-important mission of protecting our citizens from the indiscriminate and merciless acts of terrorism that can only be perpetrated by people with the ugliest and most senseless ideologies,” paliwanag ni Lacson.

Related: Lacson: Anti-Terrorism Law’s IRR to Enlighten Security Forces, ‘Doubting Thomases’
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Lacson: Anti-Terrorism Law’s IRR to Enlighten Security Forces, ‘Doubting Thomases’

The release of the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) for the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 should enlighten not just our security forces but also the law’s critics and doubters, Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson said.

Lacson, who sponsored the measure in the Senate, noted the 48-page IRR places great emphasis on adherence to the Bill of Rights in the 1987 Constitution.

“As the principal sponsor of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 in the Senate, I hope that the release of the law’s IRR will now enlighten our law enforcement officers as well as Armed Forces of the Philippines personnel, so they will be properly guided in performing their all-important mission of protecting our citizens from the indiscriminate and merciless acts of terrorism that can only be perpetrated by people with the ugliest and most senseless ideologies,” Lacson said.

Related: Ping: Aprubadong IRR ng Anti-Terror Law, Malinaw na vs Terorismo Lang Talaga
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On Corruption in the DPWH and the Illegal ‘NEP Amendments’ in Its 2021 Budget

It is timely that the President has raised the corruption issue involving the much-abused budget under the Department of Public Works and Highways, coming as it did at a time when we had just deliberated on the proposed 2021 budget of the department.

Although unwittingly, I had provided the sordid details of such misuse and abuse of the DPWH funds at the Senate finance committee hearing on the DPWH’s proposed budget earlier yesterday.

During the hearing, I relied on the National Expenditure Program (NEP) and the “mangled” or “mutilated” version of the DPWH’s late submission.

The mangled version alone – which contained a pattern of decreased budgets for national projects and increased budgets for local projects – is highly questionable considering that such submission should have only detailed the lump sums in the NEP that Malacanang submitted to Congress last Aug. 25, but not to amend what was originally submitted, which is the exclusive function of the Congress as part of the budget process, thus – Preparation, Authorization, Execution and Accountability.

It has become an open secret that commissions or kickbacks have become the rule rather than the exception in the implementation of public works projects involving not only some corrupt officials of the department but some legislators as well.

Fact is, contractors openly talk behind the backs of these officials, changing the definition of “mabait” and “maginoo” in the process: officials from the executive and legislative branches who ask for “only” 10 percent are “mabait, maginoong kausap” and those who demand 20 to 30 percent are “matakaw,” while those who demand advance payments and renege on their word as “balasubas” and “mandurugas.”

That being said, if no substantial adjustments are made once the final version of the 2021 GAB is transmitted to the Senate, hopefully next week as promised by the new Speaker, I intend to propose during our plenary debates to cut or realign the excessive and unjustified โ€œNEP amendmentsโ€ that the DPWH illegally made.

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Mangled Beyond Recognition! Sen. Lacson’s Interpellation of the DPWH’s 2021 Budget

In his interpellation of the proposed 2021 budget of the DPWH, Sen. Lacson noted a “mangling” of the entire appropriations of the agency – totaling P666,474,289,000 – beyond recognition. “Hindi na natin makilala!

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Ping: Suspected Indonesian Suicide Bomber, Sampol sa Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020

Rezky Fantasya Rullie a.k.a. Cici

Posibleng ang pinaghihinalaang Indonesian suicide bomber na naaresto sa Sulu ang maging pangunang halimbawa o “test case” ng pagpapatupad ng Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020, partikular na sa provision sa “inchoate offenses.”

Ayon kay Senador Panfilo Lacson, ang mga nakuhang pampasabog at gamit sa pagpapasabog sa suspek na si Nana Isirani (a.k.a Rezky Fantasya Rullie o Cici) ay indikasyong naghahanda ito para sa isang pag-atake.

“This is one example of an inchoate offense made punishable under the new Anti-Terrorism Law. By including inchoate offenses as punishable acts under the new measure, we are criminalizing the foregoing acts of the arrested suspects which include planning, preparation and facilitation of terrorism and possession of objects with knowledge or intent that these are to be used in the preparation for the commission of terrorism,” paliwanag ni Lacson, sponsor sa nabanggit na batas sa Senado, sa kanyang pagsasalita sa Philippine Army Multi-Sector Advisory Board Summit.

Si Rullie, kasama ang dalawa pang babaeng pinaniniwalaang mga asawa ng mga galamay ng Abu Sayyaf, ay naaresto sa Sulu noong Oktubre 10. Nakuha sa kanila ang mga nabanggit na gamit ng pampasabog na nakaipit sa vest.

Related: ‘Potential Test Case’ | Lacson: Suspected Indonesian Suicide Bomber Faces Charges for Violating Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020
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‘Potential Test Case’ | Lacson: Suspected Indonesian Suicide Bomber Faces Charges for Violating Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020

Rezky Fantasya Rullie a.k.a. Cici

A suspected Indonesian suicide bomber who was arrested in Sulu over the weekend looms as a potential test case for the newly signed Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 – particularly its provision penalizing “inchoate offenses.”

Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson noted Tuesday that the bombs and other items seized from Nana Isirani (a.k.a. Rezky Fantasya Rullie or Cici) indicated she was preparing to take part in a terrorist attack.

Rullie was arrested with two other women believed to be wives of Abu Sayyaf members in Jolo, Sulu last Oct. 10. Authorities confiscated items including an improvised explosive device disguised as a vest, container pipes, and a nine-volt battery.

“This is one example of an inchoate offense made punishable under the new Anti-Terrorism Law. By including inchoate offenses as punishable acts under the new measure, we are criminalizing the foregoing acts of the arrested suspects which include planning, preparation and facilitation of terrorism and possession of objects with knowledge or intent that these are to be used in the preparation for the commission of terrorism,” Lacson, who sponsored the anti-terrorism measure in the Senate, said in his speech before the Philippine Army Multi-Sector Advisory Board Summit.

Related: Ping: Suspected Indonesian Suicide Bomber, Sampol sa Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020
Continue reading “‘Potential Test Case’ | Lacson: Suspected Indonesian Suicide Bomber Faces Charges for Violating Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020”

#PINGterview: Walang Pondo para sa COVID-19 Vaccine/Response sa 2021 kung Reenacted ang Budget

In an interview on DZBB/GMA News TV, Sen. Lacson answered questions on:
* effect of reenacted budget on COVID-19 response in 2021
* connection between DPWH lump sums and delay of budget bill in the House of Representatives

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