Walang Pulitika sa Pagdinig na Ito: Second Senate Hearing on COVID Vaccination

At the second hearing of the Senate Committee of the Whole on the government’s vaccination efforts, Sen. Lacson debunked insinuations of politics in the hearings.

Continue reading “Walang Pulitika sa Pagdinig na Ito: Second Senate Hearing on COVID Vaccination”

On Claims the House Panel is Sitting as a Constituent Assembly

The Constitution says:

Article XVII. AMENDMENTS OR REVISIONS
Section 1. Any amendment to, or revision of, this Constitution may be proposed by:
(1) The Congress…xxxx
(2) xxxx

Last time we heard, the Congress of the Philippines is composed of the Senate and the House of Representatives.

Patawarin natin sila. Hindi nila alam ang ginagawa nila.

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Ping: Gobyerno May “Chosen One” Bakuna Na

Malinaw na malinaw ang mga senyales na may “chosen one” na bakuna laban sa COVID-19 ang gobyerno, sa kabila ng kawalan pa ng Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) sa kahit na anong kumpanyang gumagawa nito.

Ayon kay Senador Panfilo Lacson, ang binabanggit ng gobyerno na Sinovac lamang ang puwedeng magamit hanggang sa Hunyo ay nagpapatunay ng pagkakaroon na ng “chosen one” na bakuna.

“Can somebody explain why preference is given to the second most expensive vaccine, has lower efficacy, a record of suspended clinical trials and has not even applied for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) over other vaccines that cost much less, more efficacious and are about to be granted their EUAs?” banggit ni Lacson sa Twitter.

Mas makatuwiran umano para sa mga Pinoy kung ang pagtrato ng gobyerno sa Sinovac ay gagawin din sa mga bakuna ng ibang bansa na di-hamak na mas epektibo at mas mababa ang presyo, ayon sa mambabatas.

“That said, the national government should expedite the procurement of all qualified and available vaccines. To borrow Secretary Harry Roque Jr.’s words, it should not be choosy in buying vaccines,” diin ni Lacson.

Related: Why Choosy? Lacson Scores Sinovac’s 5-Month Headway
Continue reading “Ping: Gobyerno May “Chosen One” Bakuna Na”

Why Choosy? Lacson Scores Sinovac’s 5-Month Headway

After telling ordinary Filipinos not to be choosy in getting their COVID vaccines, the government should apply the same line in expediting the procurement of all qualified and available vaccines, Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson said Wednesday.

Lacson noted the availability of only Sinovac until June, as well as the replies of officials at Monday’s Senate hearing, indicate China-based Sinovac is the “chosen one.”

“Can somebody explain why preference is given to the second most expensive vaccine, has lower efficacy, a record of suspended clinical trials and has not even applied for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) over other vaccines that cost much less, more efficacious and are about to be granted their EUAs?” Lacson asked on Twitter.

“That said, the national government should expedite the procurement of all qualified and available vaccines. To borrow Secretary Harry Roque Jr.’s words, it should not be choosy in buying vaccines,” he added.

Related: Ping: Gobyerno May “Chosen One” Bakuna Na
Continue reading “Why Choosy? Lacson Scores Sinovac’s 5-Month Headway”

On the NBI’s Filing of Charges vs PhilHealth Officials

This is one good reason why the Senate must keep going in performing our oversight function as our collective responsibility to the People of the Philippines.

Modesty aside, most of the pieces of evidence used by the National Bureau of Investigation were culled from the materials that we submitted to the Department of Justice.

We can only hope that this case reaches its logical conclusion to make all those who, without a shred of conscience in their bones, took advantage of a deadly virus to fleece government of funds intended to respond to an unprecedented health crisis that we continue to grapple with.

That said, there is more reason that we should trust DOJ Secretary Menardo Guevarra and his people at the DOJ and NBI.

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On the (Lack of) Choices for Vaccines

It’s not fair to say that Filipinos cannot choose their vaccines, at least from those made available by the government.

It’s bad enough that the national government virtually controls which brand/s of vaccines to procure. Pati ba naman ang pagpili kung ano ituturok sa braso ng mga Pilipino, hindi pa rin pwede mamili ang Pilipino?

Bakit ko naman pipiliin ang brand na 50% lang ang efficacy at wala man lang application for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA), against other brands with 79% and/or 95% efficacy and have pending EUA approval from the Food and Drug Administration?

Having said that, we can only pray and hope that the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases and the Department of Health properly implement the vaccination plan they laid out during our Senate hearing Monday.

While the plan may sound good, the difference is in the implementation – the reaction and responses to emergencies. Without proper execution, a plan no matter how good it is written and presented, won’t mean anything.

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‘Wala bang Sense of Urgency?’ Senate Hearing on COVID Vaccination

At the first hearing of the Senate Committee of the Whole on the government’s vaccination efforts, Sen. Lacson detailed how incompetence and lack of urgency slowed down the government’s efforts to procure COVID vaccines.

MORE DETAILS:
Continue reading “‘Wala bang Sense of Urgency?’ Senate Hearing on COVID Vaccination”

Ping: Frontliners, Naghihintay Kung Kailan at Paano Mababakunahan

Image Courtesy: Bloomberg

Dapat na alam ng mga frontliner ang detalye ng vaccination plan ng pamahalaan – kung talagang may ganoong plano.

Ipinunto ni Senador Panfilo Lacson na isa ito sa pagtutuunan niya ng pansin sa pagdinig na isasagawa ng Senado sa pamamagitan ng Committee of the Whole sa Lunes.

Ayon sa mambabatas, mga frontliners ang nasa bungad ng panganib sa pagharap ng Pilipinas sa pandemya ng COVID-19 kung kaya’t tama lamang na maimpormahan ang mga ito sa mga galaw ng pamahalaan tungkol sa bakuna.

“The frontliners deserve to know because they are the ones who go to the morgues, they are the ones who attend to COVID patients. They deserve to know if they would be prioritized in the vaccination program. There is no reason for the officials concerned to ask for an executive session on this because there is nothing confidential or classified about it. Wala namang kalaban dito; ang kalaban natin dito, sakit. Hindi naman yan sasagot,” banggit ni Lacson sa panayam sa DZBB.

Related: Lacson: Frontliners Deserve to Know Details of Overall Vaccination Plan
Continue reading “Ping: Frontliners, Naghihintay Kung Kailan at Paano Mababakunahan”

Lacson: Frontliners Deserve to Know Details of Overall Vaccination Plan

Image Courtesy: Bloomberg

Frontliners who have risked their lives amid the ongoing pandemic deserve to know the details of the government’s overall vaccination plan – if there is one, Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson said Sunday.

Lacson said this is one of the points he will pursue when the Senate Committee of the Whole holds its first hearing on the matter on Monday.

“Do we have a clear vaccination plan? Based on our conversations with doctors and frontliners, it appears we don’t. But frontliners are waiting to know when they would be prioritized in the vaccination program,” he said in an interview on DZBB.

“The frontliners deserve to know because they are the ones who go to the morgues, they are the ones who attend to COVID patients. They deserve to know if they would be prioritized in the vaccination program. There is no reason for the officials concerned to ask for an executive session on this because there is nothing confidential or classified about it. Wala namang kalaban dito; ang kalaban natin dito, sakit. Hindi naman yan sasagot,” he added.

Related: Ping: Frontliners, Naghihintay Kung Kailan at Paano Mababakunahan
Continue reading “Lacson: Frontliners Deserve to Know Details of Overall Vaccination Plan”

On Reported New Efforts to Amend the 1987 Constitution

Without the certainty that both chambers of Congress will be voting separately, and there is none due to the vagueness of that particular provision in the 1987 Constitution – and only the Supreme Court can make such interpretation – it’s like taking one big step into a mousetrap, or even quicksand for that matter.

Having said that, I think all of us 24 senators should discuss this matter very carefully before we even consider plenary debates on the said resolution if indeed there is one filed.

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