Category: Statements

Lacson: Eleazar Starting Off on the Right Foot as new PNP Chief

With his intensified internal cleansing policy, P/Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar is starting off on the right foot as the new chief of the Philippine National Police, Senator and former PNP Chief Panfilo M. Lacson said Saturday.

Lacson, who pursued a similar program when headed the PNP from 1999 to 2001, particularly lauded Eleazar for including the recruitment system in his “intensified” internal cleansing system.

“The internal cleansing should be continuous. And P/Lt. Gen. Eleazar is right: it is good to start at the recruitment stage, to get rid of corruption and the ‘palakasan’ system,” Lacson said in an interview on DWIZ radio.

“He is starting off on the right foot. Before you can go after criminals, you have to make sure the ones running after the criminals aren’t criminals themselves,” he added.

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On the Meeting with the ‘3 Czars’ of COVID Response

Senate President Vicente Sotto III and I had a good meeting with the three czars of the government’s COVID response Thursday night to discuss red tape issues and the funding needs hounding the country’s fight against COVID. We met with vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr., testing czar Vivencio Dizon, and contact tracing czar Benjamin Magalong.

Among the topics we discussed were:

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On the Prospective WPS Debate between the President and former Justice Carpio

First, a public debate is always healthy in a democratic environment – as long as it is limited to the issue at hand, and does not go down to the gutter level.

On one hand, a question comes to mind: What do we gain from the debate, assuming that it pushes through? One other dire outcome is further divisiveness that only China will benefit from.

I could almost imagine the anticipated excitement on the part of the Chinese while watching all these developments as they continue to be busy surveying more shoals within our exclusive economic zone that they can build more garrisons to pursue their expansionist agenda in the West Philippines Sea.

That said, the hype surrounding the debate should not distract us into allowing the Chinese to sneak into our territory while we argue among ourselves. That would be the last thing we need for our sovereignty and territorial integrity.

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Ping: Pondo ng NTF-ELCAC sa NPA-Cleared Barangays, LGUs ang Mangangasiwa

Hindi maabuso ng National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) ang bilyun-bilyong pisong pondong inilaan ng gobyerno sa pagpapaunlad sa mga komunidad na nalinis na mula sa impluwensiya ng New People’s Army (NPA).

Ito ang tugon ni Senate Committee on National Defense Chairman Panfilo Lacson sa mga mambabatas na nagnanais na tanggalan ng pondo ang NTF-ELCAC, kasabay ng pagsasabing mga lokal na pamahalaan (LGU) ang mangangasiwa sa paggastos sa mga ito para sa mga proyektong pangkaunlaran.

Nasa P9.699 bilyon na mula sa kabuuang P16.4 bilyon ang nailalabas na pondo para sa pagpapaunlad ng mga barangay na nalinis na sa dating pamamayagpag at impluwensiya ng nabanggit na grupo.

“Being the sponsor of the NTF-ELCAC’s 2021 budget, it is my obligation and responsibility to defend the Department of Budget and Management’s release of funds which will be implemented not by the NTF-ELCAC but by the local government units concerned,” paliwanag ni Lacson na siya ring sponsor ng gastusin ng Department of National Defense (DND) at mga ahensiya nito para sa kasalukuyang taon.

Related: Lacson: No Way Can NTF-ELCAC Abuse Funds for NPA-Cleared Barangays
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Lacson: No Way Can NTF-ELCAC Abuse Funds for NPA-Cleared Barangays

Some P9.699 billion has been released so far for the development of barangays that have been cleared of the influence of the New People’s Army (NPA), but this – or the full P16.4-billion allocation for 2021 – cannot be “abused” by the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson said.

Lacson gave this assurance to fellow lawmakers who are asking to defund NTF-ELCAC, even as he stressed the amount would eventually be released to the local government units that will implement the development projects.

“Being the sponsor of the NTF-ELCAC’s 2021 budget, it is my obligation and responsibility to defend the Department of Budget and Management’s release of funds which will be implemented not by the NTF-ELCAC but by the local government units concerned,” said Lacson, who chairs the Senate’s Committee on National Defense and who sponsored the budget of the Department of National Defense (DND) and its attached agencies for 2021.

Related: Ping: Pondo ng NTF-ELCAC sa NPA-Cleared Barangays, LGUs ang Mangangasiwa
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Ping, Sumaludo sa Pagbabantay ng AFP, PCG sa WPS

Image: CTTO

Matapos matagumpay na maitaboy palayo sa Sabina Shoal sa West Philippine Sea (WPS) ang ilang barko ng Chinese militia, ipinaabot ni Senate Committee on National Defense Chairman Panfilo Lacson ang pagsaludo sa Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) at Philippine Coast Guard (PCG).

Kasabay ng pagsaludo at paghanga, umaasa si Lacson na itutuloy-tuloy ng dalawang puwersa ng pamahalaan ang masigasig na pagbabantay sa mga bahagi ng WPS na lehitimong pag-aari ng Pilipinas.

Ayon sa senador, kailangang dapat na palaging alerto at listo ang puwersa ng PCG at AFP na nakatalagang magbantay sa mga bahaging pag-aari ng Pilipinas upang hindi sila masalisihan dahil hindi malayong pumasok ang mga dayuhan kapag sila ay nakalingat.

“We must not let our guard down. Since the 1990s, China has already made three incursions into our exclusive economic zone (EEZ): Mischief Reef, Scarborough Shoal, and now, Julian Felipe Reef. They are likely to do so again if we relax,” pahayag ni Lacson.

Related: Lacson to AFP, Coast Guard: Keep Up the Good Work at WPS
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Lacson to AFP, Coast Guard: Keep Up the Good Work at WPS

Image: CTTO

After driving away Chinese ships off Sabina Shoal in the West Philippine Sea, the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine Coast Guard should keep up the good work of watching over the area, Sen. Panfilo Lacson said Thursday.

But Lacson stressed our forces must keep alert over our territory and maintain such an approach to intruders, lest they sneak in when our guard is down.

“We must not let our guard down. Since the 1990s, China has already made three incursions into our exclusive economic zone (EEZ): Mischief Reef, Scarborough Shoal, and now, Julian Felipe Reef. They are likely to do so again if we relax,” said Lacson, who chairs the Senate committee on national defense.

Related: Ping, Sumaludo sa Pagbabantay ng AFP, PCG sa WPS
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On ‘Privacy Issues’ Involving Body Cameras for PNP Personnel

If the Philippine National Police leadership has privacy concerns over the use of body cameras for police personnel, I would suggest that it direct the PNP Legal Service to read the Supreme Court ruling on Ople vs Torres (GR No 127685), regarding “reasonable expectation of privacy test.” According to the High Court, the test determines whether a person has a reasonable expectation of privacy and whether the expectation has been violated.

I happen to know this from institutional memory when I was being interpellated by Sen. Leila de Lima on the bill amending Republic Act 4200, otherwise known as the Anti-Wiretapping Act, involving the issue of an individual’s right to privacy.

For example, a CCTV camera installed in a public place may be a good source of evidence since a malefactor captured by the camera while committing a crime will fail the “reasonable expectation of privacy test.” The same is true with the body camera.

Either way, the policeman committing an abuse in the exercise of his duties as well as the crime offender cannot use the “right to privacy” as their defense since either of them will fail the test.

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Ping: Anong Klaseng Kaibigan ang China?

Image: CTTO

Ito ang nagtatakang tanong ni Senador Panfilo Lacson bunga ng patuloy na pangangamkam sa sakop ng teritoryo ng Pilipinas, pang-aagrabyado at pagkibit-balikat ng China sa mga protestang inihahain ng Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) dahil sa mga ginagawa nito sa West Philippine Sea (WPS).

Bunga ng mga naturang pangyayari, iminungkahi ni Lacson, chairman ng Senate Committee on National Defense, na muling pasadahan ang mga nilalaman ng diplomatic ties ng dalawang bansa.

Sa kanyang Twitter post, nanawagan din ang mambabatas sa mga kasamahang senador na suportahan si DFA Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. sa pagpalag nito sa isa sa pinakahuling ginawa ng China sa mga Pinoy na nasa WPS.

“Maybe a review of the country’s diplomatic relations is timely and called for. All the diplomatic protests that the Secretary of Foreign Affairs filed have been ignored as if nothing was filed at all. The continued incursions and bullying finally got his goat. The Senate must support him in this regard,” banggit ni Lacson.

Related: Lacson Pushes Review of PH-China Diplomatic Ties
Continue reading “Ping: Anong Klaseng Kaibigan ang China?”

Lacson Pushes Review of PH-China Diplomatic Ties

Image: CTTO

What kind of friend – or benefactor – would take what is ours, bully us, and ignore our protests?

On this note, Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson is seeking a review of the diplomatic ties between the Philippines and China, in the wake of China’s recent incursions and bullying in the West Philippine Sea.

Lacson also said the Senate should throw its support behind Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr., who in a tweet had told China to “get… out” after filing numerous diplomatic protests over China’s conduct.

“Maybe a review of the country’s diplomatic relations is timely and called for. All the diplomatic protests that the Secretary of Foreign Affairs filed have been ignored as if nothing was filed at all. The continued incursions and bullying finally got his goat. The Senate must support him in this regard,” Lacson, who heads the Senate’s national defense committee, said on his Twitter account late Monday.

Related: Ping: Anong Klaseng Kaibigan ang China?
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