At a Glance: PhilWealth and Department of Wealth

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“Here’s the paradox: the financial health of PhilHealth is fast deteriorating, and in fact, in a state of coma. The policies in place engender fraud and corruption and the crooks exploit the system.” – Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson, in his privilege speech on July 29, 2019

Related:
Privilege Speech: PhilWealth and Department of Wealth
A Closer Look: Doctors Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
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PhilWealth and Department of Wealth

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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.

Related:
At a Glance: PhilHealth and Department of Wealth
A Closer Look: Doctors Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Continue reading “PhilWealth and Department of Wealth”

On the PCSO’s Problem with Corruption

When the regular jueteng collections of at least PhP200 million a day or PhP73 billion a year in Metro Manila, Cordillera Administrative Region and Regions 1 to 5 alone translate to a mere PhP4 billion income for the PCSO from Small Town Lottery (STL) operations, a big chunk of which is not even in cash remittances but recorded as collectibles, we do not need an Albert Einstein to figure out how much goes to the individual pockets of STL franchise holders, corrupt politicians, policemen and PCSO officials.

No matter how many congressional hearings are conducted, the palms of these people continue to be greased by gambling money.

The fact is, illegal jueteng merely masquerades as legitimate STL operations, 7 days a week, without fail, whose “kubrador” are armed with PCSO IDs to avoid arrest by the police who may be co-opted anyways.

Should Lotto Have Been Excluded from the President’s ‘Suspension’ Order?

It’s like this: if the intention is to stop gambling altogether, then all forms of gambling, including the PAGCOR-regulated games like casinos and online should have been included.

Since it doesn’t appear that way, then lotto outlets should have been spared since there are no reports of revenue cheating as far as lotto operations are concerned because they are computerized and automated and therefore closely monitored – unlike STL where PCSO, for millions of reasons, has consistently resisted to make it more transparent and foolproof.

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Related:
Hearing on the controversies involving PCSO (Jan. 24, 2018)
Interview after hearing on PCSO-related issues (Feb. 12, 2018)

Speech at the Induction and Handover Ceremonies of the Rotaract Club of Manila

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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.”

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📰 Revisions to deposit secrecy law may yet see the light [Inquirer]

From the Inquirer: Two influential government officials — a senator with a strong anticrime advocacy and the country’s top financial regulator — want incoming lawmakers to make it easier for authorities to examine bank deposits for evidence of potential wrongdoing.

Related: Lacson Bill Removes Bank Secrecy Act Protection for Gov’t Officials, Employees
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Interview on DZMM: Death Penalty Bill, National ID Law, Corruption at BOC | July 25, 2019

In an interview on DZMM, Sen. Lacson answered questions on:
– death penalty bill covering lawmen who ‘plant’ evidence
– implementation of the National ID law
– corruption at the Bureau of Customs

Related:
FAQ about the National ID System
Senate Bill 27: An Act Reinstituting the Death Penalty in the Philippines
Quotes from the interview… 

Continue reading “Interview on DZMM: Death Penalty Bill, National ID Law, Corruption at BOC | July 25, 2019”

Sen. Lacson’s Chairmanship and Membership in Senate Committees

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In the 18th Congress, Sen. Lacson is chairman of the Senate Committees on:
1. Defense and National Security
2. Accounts

He is vice chairman of the following Senate committees:
1. Electoral Reforms
2. Constitutional Amendments and Revision of Codes
3. Justice and Human Rights
4. Public Order and Dangerous Drugs
5. Games and Amusement
6. Finance
7. Public Services

He is a member of the Senate committees on:
1. Rules
2. Health and Demography
3. Urban Planning, Housing and Resettlement
4. Local Government
5. Energy
6. Foreign Relations
7. Basic Education, Arts and Culture
8. Higher and Technical Education
9. Labor, Employment and Human Resource Development
10. Agriculture and Food
11. Accountability of Public Officers and Investigations (Blue Ribbon)
12. Public Information and Mass Media
13. Public Works
14. Ethics and Privileges
15. Climate Change
16. Ways and Means

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Congratulations, Sen. Manny Pacquiao! 🇵🇭🥊💪👏

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Sen. Lacson (second from left) joins colleagues in congratulating Sen. Manny Pacquiao for his WBA super welterweight victory over Keith Thurman last July 21 (Manila time). 🇵🇭🥊💪👏

Opening of the Senate’s First Regular Session in the 18th Congress

Sen. Lacson administered the oath to Senate President-elect Vicente “Tito” Sotto III at the opening of the First Regular Session of the 18th Congress.

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PingBills | Senate Resolution 51, Allowing Sen. Leila de Lima to Participate in Plenary Sessions Through Teleconferencing

“… To allow, as it hereby allows, Senator Leila M. de Lima to participate in Senate Plenary Sessions through teleconferencing, video conferencing or other reliable forms of remote or electronic communications through the use of the appropriate electronic equipment and/or devices or medium of information, broadcast or telecommunications facilities or equipment.” (co-author with Sen. Drilon)

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