Tag: 18th Congress

AT WORK: At the Inter-Parliamentary Union’s 141st Assembly in Serbia

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Sen. Lacson is part of the Philippine delegation that participated in the 141st Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union and related meetings in Belgrade, Serbia. Other members of the Philippine delegation include Senate President Tito Sotto, Ralph Recto, Juan Miguel Zubiri, Franklin Drilon, Imee Marcos, Nancy Binay, Sherwin Gatchalian, Bato dela Rosa, Joel Villanueva and Sonny Angara; and Reps. Ferdinand Hernandez and Carlos Zarate.

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‘Masyadong Mahalay’: At the Hearing on Corruption and Recycling of Drugs

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[Video Courtesy: Senate PRIB]

At the hearing on corruption and the recycling of drugs, Sen. Lacson moved to have P/Maj Rodney Raymond Louie Baloyo IV, relieved head of Pampanga police intel branch, cited in contempt after catching several inconsistencies in his statements on an anti-drug operation in November 2013.

Earlier during the hearing, Lacson questioned why inmates at Bilibid are still being given only P39 worth of meals a day, when the 2019 budget increased their subsistence allowance to P70 a day. Lacson warned the realignment of the funds would be tantamount to technical malversation.

Lacson also scored the revelation by former BuCor OIC Rafael Ragos that the NBP director would get P1M a month from the subsistence allowance. He also questioned Atty. Fredric Santos why he notarized documents of bidders for catering services , when he is an NBP insider and a member of the Bids and Awards Committee.

Related: ‘Do Not Test Our Patience’: At the Hearing on ‘Ninja Cops’
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At a Glance: The Anti-Terrorism Act of 2019 (18th Congress)

Presentation-ANTI-TERRORISM ACT OF 2019 new_page-0001

“We need a legal framework for anti-terrorism that is clear, concise, balanced, and rational.” – Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson, in his sponsorship speech on Oct. 2, 2019

Related: Sponsorship Speech for the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2019 (18th Congress)
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Sponsorship Speech for the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2019 (18th Congress)

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Thank you, Mr. President. Distinguished colleagues, I have the honor to report on the Senate floor Senate Bill No. 1083 entitled โ€œAn Act Amending Certain Provisions of Republic Act No. 9372,โ€ otherwise Known as โ€œAn Act to Secure the State and Protect Our People from Terrorism,โ€ as embodied in Committee Report No. 9 in substitution of Senate Bill Numbers 6, 21, and 30.

The amendment to the Human Security Act of 2007 is among the unfinished business of the 17th Congress. Almost eight months ago, I stood here to sponsor the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2019. Unfortunately, time was not on our side to deliberate on the said measure. Since then, the Filipino people have already been confronted by a number of terrorist attacks. As we speak, terrorist groups are probably planning their next attacks.

Mr. President, we have seen a mutation in the way terrorist groups perpetrate their evil acts since the passage of the Human Security Act. We have seen the phenomenon of terrorism become more complex and malevolent. We have seen how the ISISโ€™ tactics have changed as the terror group continues to lose ground in Iraq and Syria, how their members and sympathizers are taking the fight here in Southeast Asia.

Related: At a Glance: The Anti-Terrorism Act of 2019 (18th Congress)
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‘Do Not Test Our Patience’: At the Hearing on ‘Ninja Cops’

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[Video Courtesy: Senate PRIB]

At the Senate hearing on ‘ninja cops,’ Sen. Lacson questioned the seeming lack of action against the police personnel involved a controversial anti-drug operation in 2013. He also nearly moved to have a police officer cited in contempt for not being forthright.

Related: ‘Masyadong Mahalay’: At the Hearing on Corruption and Recycling of Drugs
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Sponsorship Speech for 53 Foreign Service Officers at the Commission on Appointments

The CA Committee on Foreign Affairs chaired by Sen. Lacson took up the appointments and nomination of 53 foreign service officers, including:
* 5 senior officials appointed to the rank of Chief of Mission Class 1
* 10 senior officials appointed to the rank of Chief of Mission Class 2
* 17 senior officials appointed to the rank of Career Ministers
* 20 officials appointed to the rank of Foreign Service Officer Class 1
* 1 officer appointed to the rank of Foreign Service Officer Class 4

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Mr. Chairman, this representation as Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, presided over a public hearing to deliberate on the ad interim appointments of 52 Senior Officers of the Department of Foreign Affairs consisting of five Senior Officials who are promoted to the rank of Chief of Mission, Class I; 10 Senior Officials promoted to the rank of Chief of Mission, Class II; 17 Senior Officials promoted to the rank of Career Minister; 20 Officials promoted to the rank of Foreign Service Officer, Class I; and the nomination of one officer to the rank of Foreign Service Officer, Class IV.

Your Committee, after deliberating on their qualifications and fitness during the said public hearing, determined that all of the 52 appointees and one nominee are fit and qualified to the post where they are respectively nominated or promoted, and has therefore ruled to recommend to the plenary their respective nomination and appointments for the consent and confirmation of this august body.

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FINE-TOOTHED COMB: Sen. Lacson Poses Questions at the 2020 Budget Hearing for the DPWH

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At the hearing on the 2020 budget of the Department of Public Works and Highways, Sen. Lacson raised several questions involving the agency’s use of funds for infrastructure projects. “Sabi kasi ni Senate President, we will go through the budget with a fine-toothed comb. So we are going through all this.”

Sen. Lacson questioned the lodging of two-thirds of the DPWH’s budget in the central officeย ; unrecouped advance payments to erring contractorsย ; and the delay and/or non-implementation of projects due to poor planningย . He inquired as well if the issue involving road-right-of-way (RROW) has become a hopeless caseย .

But he also made clear these are not the only questionable cases, adding this is not to find fault. “We are going through all this. This is not to find fault but for (our) future reference.

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#PingSays: On Hazing at PMA; Possible Pork in 2020 Budget | Sept. 23, 2019

In an interview, Sen. Lacson answered questions on:
– hazing at PMA
– possible pork in the 2020 budget
– corruption at BuCor

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‘Maghahanap Ako ng Pork na Makakaltasan’: Sen. Lacson Chairs the 2020 Budget Hearings for OPAPP, SPDA and MinDA

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Sen. Lacson chaired the hearing for the 2020 budgets of the Southern Philippines Development Authority, Mindanao Development Authority, and the Office of the Presidential Adviser for the Peace Process.

Lacson advised the SPDA to find ways to make its revenue-generating projects more competitive, and consider privatizing or offering for saleย the projects that are losing money for government.ย He urged the OPAPP to coordinate with the appropriate agencies on funding and securityย of projects in conflict-affected areas.

Meanwhile, Sen. Lacsonย lauded the MinDA for its fruit festival program bringing Mindanao farmers’ produce to other parts of the country, and vice-versa.ย “That’s very creative and innovative,” he said.

He indicated the additional funding requests that can be justified could be addressed via “pork” funds that may be found in – and excised from – the proposed 2020 budget. “Maghahanap ako ng pork na makakaltasan,” he said.

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‘Body Cams vs Drug Recycling’: Sen. Lacson Chairs the 2020 Budget Hearings for PDEA and DDB

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At the hearings for the budgets of theย Philippine Drug Enforcement Agencyย and theย Dangerous Drugs Boardย for 2020, Sen. Lacson stressed the need for preemptive action against the recycling of seized illegal drugs, after learning the extent of the problem. “We have to find a resolution to this festering issue. Social menace ito, di lang law enforcement problem. If we have P22 billion worth of drugs seized, P20 billion of which is shabu and as far back as 9 years ago we really have a serious problem.”

In an interview with media after the hearing, Sen. Lacson also cited other preventive measures such as joint operations, and closer coordination with the judiciary in destroying illegal drugs seized as evidence.

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