Tag: AFP

Batas na Tutuldukan ang ‘Revolving-Door Policy’ ng AFP, Isa sa Mga Legacy ni Ping sa AFP, DND

Sen. Ping Lacson upholds professionalism in the AFP.

Ang bagong batas na nagtatakda ng “fixed terms” para sa Chief of Staff at ibang matataas na opisyal ng Armed Forces of the Philippines ay isa sa mga legacy ni Sen. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson sa ating military at defense establishment.

Isninulong ni Lacson noong Setyembre bilang chairman ng Senate Committee on National Defense and Security ang Senate Bill 2376, na kasama ang House Bill 10521 ay naging basehan ng Republic Act 11709 na pinirmahan ni Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte.

“Finally, we will see an end to the revolving-door policy in the AFP. The leaders of our AFP will have the opportunity to implement their legacy programs instead of staying in office too briefly,” ani Lacson, na nagsilbi sa Philippine Constabulary ng 20 taon matapos mag-graduate sa Philippine Military Academy noong 1971.

Related: Law Ending ‘Revolving-Door Policy’ Caps Lacson Legacies to AFP, DND
Continue reading “Batas na Tutuldukan ang ‘Revolving-Door Policy’ ng AFP, Isa sa Mga Legacy ni Ping sa AFP, DND”

Law Ending ‘Revolving-Door Policy’ Caps Lacson Legacies to AFP, DND

Sen. Ping Lacson upholds professionalism in the AFP.

A new law prescribing fixed terms for the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ Chief of Staff and senior officers will cap the key legacies of Sen. Panfilo “Ping” M. Lacson to the military and defense establishment.

Lacson, who chairs the Senate Committee on National Defense and Security, pushed last September Senate Bill 2376, which with House Bill 10521 forms the basis of what President Rodrigo Duterte signed into law as Republic Act 11709.

“Finally, we will see an end to the revolving-door policy in the AFP. The leaders of our AFP will have the opportunity to implement their legacy programs instead of staying in office too briefly,” said Lacson, who upon graduating from the Philippine Military Academy in 1971 served in the Philippine Constabulary until 1991.

Related: Batas na Tutuldukan ang ‘Revolving-Door Policy’ ng AFP, Isa sa Mga Legacy ni Ping sa AFP, DND
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Sponsorship Speech: Committee Report 297 for Senate Bill 2376 (Strengthening AFP Professionalism and Continuity)

Mr. President and distinguished colleagues, it is my honor to report on the floor Senate Bill No. 2376 entitled, “An Act Strengthening Professionalism and Continuity of the Policies and Modernization Initiatives of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Providing Funds Therefor, and for Other Purposes” as embodied in Committee Report No. 297 in substitution of Senate Bill Nos. 1785, 1045, and 1370 filed by Senators Richard Gordon, Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III and Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao, respectively.

The clamor for this measure has echoed from the grounds of Camp Aguinaldo to the halls of the Senate repeatedly over the years. Generations after generations of military men have clamored for this piece of legislation, most of them had long retired from the service without this measure seeing the light of day.

Mr. President, in the three-and-a-half decades of six (6) past and incumbent presidents, we have had 37 Senior Officers appointed to the position of the Chief of Staff.

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Ping: Hidilyn Diaz, Dapat Nang Maging Commissioned Officer ng AFP

Image: CTTO

Dapat maging ganap na commissioned officer ng Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) si Tokyo Olympics Gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz dahil sa pambihirang karangalan na inialay ng atleta sa bansa.

Ito ang mungkahi ni Senador Panfilo Lacson sa liderato ng Philippine Air Force (PAF), kung papayagan ng batas at regulasyon ng AFP.

“As chairman of the Senate Committee on National Defense and Security, I would strongly recommend to the AFP leadership that she be given a rank as a commissioned officer of the PAF. It’s the least the service can give her,” banggit ni Lacson sa panayam sa CNN Philippines.

“Such a commission – either as a reserve or regular officer – is not just in recognition of her extraordinary feat, but also in recognition of her great potential to provide a good example to her fellow soldiers both as an athlete and as a leader,” dagdag ng mambabatas.

Related: Lacson: Hidilyn Diaz Deserves to be Commissioned as AFP Officer for Olympic Feat
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Lacson: Hidilyn Diaz Deserves to be Commissioned as AFP Officer for Olympic Feat

Image: CTTO

For bringing honor and inspiration to her country and people, Philippine Olympic gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz deserves to be commissioned as an officer of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

On this note, Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson suggested Tuesday to the Philippine Air Force (PAF) leadership that Diaz, a sergeant, be given such a commission, subject to existing laws and AFP regulations.

“As chairman of the Senate Committee on National Defense and Security, I would strongly recommend to the AFP leadership that she be given a rank as a commissioned officer of the PAF. It’s the least the service can give her,” Lacson said in an interview on CNN Philippines.

“Such a commission – either as a reserve or regular officer – is not just in recognition of her extraordinary feat, but also in recognition of her great potential to provide a good example to her fellow soldiers both as an athlete and as a leader,” he added.

Related: Ping: Hidilyn Diaz, Dapat Nang Maging Commissioned Officer ng AFP
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On the C-130 Crash in Sulu

Bago ang anupamang pagdinig sa Senado tungkol sa pagbagsak ng C-130 sa Sulu, alayan muna natin ng panalangin at pakikiramay ang mga yumao sa trahedyang ito. Salute!

Co-Sponsorship Speech at the Commission on Appointments

Mr. Chairman, it is my honor and privilege to second the motion of the distinguished committee chairman from the great province of Cavite for the confirmation of AFP Brigadier General Henry Doyaoen’s promotion to the rank of Major General – but likewise to raise a significant point which is relevant to the nominee’s confirmation today.

Exactly one year from today or on 17 May 2022, Brig. Gen. Doyaoen is due for compulsory retirement in accordance with Presidential Decrees 1638 and 1650. Any delay in the confirmation of his nomination later than today would disqualify him from being promoted to the next high rank of Major General, in so far as the provision of Section 4, Republic Act 8186 is concerned, which states that – let me quote for the record, “except for the Chief of Staff of the AFP, no officer shall be assigned/designated to the aforementioned position – the word aforementioned hereby refers to the positions of Vice Chief of Staff, Deputy Chief of Staff, and major service commanders – or promoted to the rank of Brigadier General/Commodore or higher if he has less than one (1) year of active service remaining prior to compulsory retirement.”

There is no doubt in my mind that Brig. Gen. Doyaoen, a decorated and battle-seasoned military officer for 33 long years, has exemplified competence and commitment to duty worthy of the AFP’s higher echelon of command. Our committee meeting earlier today merely affirmed his good credentials. Thus we decide to recommend to the plenary his confirmation in accordance with what the law and the Constitution so provide.

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Ping: Nasunod ang Batas sa Pagpili ng Bagong Army Chief

Nagpagpahayag ng paghanga at papuri si Senador Panfilo Lacson sa pagsunod ng Malacañang at Department of National Defense (DND) sa pagtalaga ng bagong commanding general ng Philippine Army.

Ayon kay Lacson, chairman ng Senate Committee on National Defense and Security, Peace, Unification and Reconciliation at vice chairman ng Committee on National Defense ng Commission on Appointments (CA), nasunod ng Palasyo at DND ang Republic Act 8186 sa pagkakatalaga kay Maj. Gen. Andres Centino at pagpalit kay Lt. Gen. Jose Faustino Jr.

Sa Commission on Appointments nitong Marso, kinwestyon ni Lacson ang pagtalaga kay Faustino bilang Army commanding general noong Pebrero. Nakatakdang magretiro si Faustino sa Nobyembre sa edad na 56.

Related: Lacson Hails Upholding of Rule of Law in Army Leadership Change
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Lacson Hails Upholding of Rule of Law in Army Leadership Change

Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson on Sunday hailed Malacañang and the defense establishment for upholding the rule of law in naming a new commanding general for the Philippine Army.

Lacson, who chairs the Senate Committee on National Defense and Security, Peace, Unification and Reconciliation, and is Vice Chairman of the Committee on National Defense of the Commission on Appointments, said the appointment of Maj. Gen. Andres Centino to replace Lt. Gen. Jose Faustino Jr. complies with Section 4 of Republic Act 8186.

Lacson first raised the issue last March at the Commission on Appointments, when he noted Faustino was designated Army chief in February. Faustino is to retire upon reaching the retirement age of 56 in November.

“I thank and commend Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, the Department of National Defense and the Armed Forces of the Philippines for rectifying an oversight in appointing Lt. Gen. Faustino, and for their adherence to Section 4 of RA 8186. Under the said law, Lt. Gen. Faustino is not eligible to head a major service command of the AFP as he has less than one year of active service remaining prior to reaching the age of compulsory retirement,” he said.

Related: Ping: Nasunod ang Batas sa Pagpili ng Bagong Army Chief
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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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Lacson: Parlade’s ‘Loose Lips’ Dragging NTF-ELCAC into Trouble

No thanks to the “loose lips” of its spokesperson, the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) may find its budget for 2022 in deep trouble, Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson said Saturday.

Lacson said that while he believes the NTF-ELCAC is doing well in terms of developing areas cleared of the New People’s Army, Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade Jr.’s recent political statements threaten to take away those gains.

“The Armed Forces of the Philippines must remain apolitical. Otherwise, the constitutional balance among institutions is skewed and democratic governance is disturbed and even threatened. Lt. Gen. Parlade should just focus on ending insurgency and fighting terrorism. When he retires, he can debate all he wants on political issues,” Lacson said.

“Because of his commentaries, the NTF-ELCAC is dragged into controversies. Nauuna ang bibig niya sa kanyang ginagawa. Yan ang danger, kasi nakakagulo na. Instead of helping, his loose lips threaten to drag the NTF-ELCAC into the mess,” he added, in an interview on DWIZ radio.

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On Defunding the NTF-ELCAC

Since 2016, I have been defending the budget of the Department of National Defense (DND) and all its attached agencies. Last year, I stubbornly fought to retain the P16.5-billion anti-insurgency fund of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) for 2021, arguing that it was intended for development programs, activities and projects in areas that had been cleared of the presence of the New People’s Army (NPA), and not for armed anti-insurgency operations.

Early this year, the Senate approved in plenary my Committee’s recommendations on the red-tagging issue – including the immediate relief of Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade Jr. as spokesperson of NTF-ELCAC, not only because his civilian position is violative of the Constitution. He has in fact, on many occasions, become a “liability” to the overall efforts of the government, as well as the government’s position on the pending 37 petitions against the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 before the Supreme Court, mainly due to his careless remarks and flawed interpretation of certain provisions of the law.

Unfortunately, the DND has openly ignored the Senate in that regard. Thus, I am not sure if I will still defend their budget this year with the same tenacity as I did the previous years – especially if the NTF-ELCAC spokesperson continues to threaten to affect its mission with uncalled-for statements.

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Sponsorship Speech: Committee Report on ‘Red-Tagging’

How the government sets a balance between promoting civil liberties and protecting the security of the state defines the foundations of our democracy.

Mr. President, distinguished colleagues of this venerable chamber, I have the honor to report the result of the public hearings, in aid of legislation, conducted by the Committee on National Defense and Security, Peace, Unification and Reconciliation, on the issue on “red-tagging or red-baiting” as embodied in Committee Report No. 186.

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Lacson: AFP to Do Better vs Terrorism, Insurgency with New Chief’s Policies

Image courtesy: AFP Facebook page

With its new chief’s instructions to exercise due diligence, the Armed Forces of the Philippines should do better against the threats of terrorism and insurgency, Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson said Saturday.

Lacson said he is hopeful that with new AFP chief of staff Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana’s emphasis on tact and sensitivity, there will be no repeat of the recent gaffes especially in anti-insurgency efforts.

“I just hope Lt. Gen. Sobejana’s initial pronouncements will serve as the policy guideline for the AFP,” he said in an interview on DWIZ radio.

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Hearing of the Senate Defense Committee on MUP Concerns

Sen. Lacson’s Opening Statement at the Hearing:

This is a continuation of our previous public hearing held last October 5, 2020, on the MUP pension bills referred to this committee, which was suspended with the commitment that an actuarial study would be conducted by the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) together with our key stakeholders, such as the Bureau of Treasury and the MUPs, among others.

Just to refresh our memory, last year and this year’s appropriations reflect the veracity of this serious financial concern, given the steep increase in the MUPs’ pension funding from P80 billion in 2020 to P120 billion under the 2021 General Appropriations Act.

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Ping: Pagpapawalambisa sa UP-DND Accord, Puwede Ipagpaliban

May mga pangyayari na puwedeng pagbatayan para ipagpaliban muna ang pagpapawalambisa sa 1989 UP-DND Accord.

Ayon kay Senador Panfilo Lacson, ang listahan ng mga estudyante ng University of the Philippines na diumano’y naging miyembro ng New People’s Army (NPA) at napatay sa pakikipagsagupaan sa militar ay isa sa mga pangyayaring dapat na tingnan.

“I think it is prudent now for Secretary Delfin Lorenzana to at least suspend the termination of the UP-DND accord and hold a dialogue as he already mentioned he would do,” paliwanag ni Lacson, chairman ng Senate Committee on National Defense and Security, sa panayam ng CNN Philippines.

Ayon sa mambabatas, lumalabas na base sa maling impormasyon ang naging basehan ng DND para i-terminate ang kasunduan, dahil ang mga nasa listahan nila na diumano’y nahuli o napatay ay buhay at malaya pa pala.

“They based their decision to terminate the UP-DND accord, signed way back, on what appears now to be false information. They included personalities that they said were captured or killed in action by the military, but turned out to be alive and not captured at all,” banggit ni Lacson.

Related: Lacson: Prudent to Suspend UP-DND Accord Termination
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Lacson: Prudent to Suspend UP-DND Accord Termination

Recent developments involving decisions based on “false” information may merit at least a suspension of the Department of National Defense’s decision to end its agreement with the University of the Philippines, Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson said Monday.

Lacson said this after DND Secretary Delfin Lorenzana apologized for an “unpardonable gaffe” involving the military’s list of UP students supposedly recruited by the New People’s Army and killed or captured in clashes.

“I think it is prudent now for Secretary Delfin Lorenzana to at least suspend the termination of the UP-DND accord and hold a dialogue as he already mentioned he would do,” Lacson, who chairs the Senate Committee on National Defense and Security, said in an interview on CNN Philippines.

“They based their decision to terminate the UP-DND accord, signed way back, on what appears now to be false information. They included personalities that they said were captured or killed in action by the military, but turned out to be alive and not captured at all,” he added.

Related: Ping: Pagpapawalambisa sa UP-DND Accord, Puwede Ipagpaliban
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On the Passing of Two Great Warriors

#PINGterview: The Mangahas Interviews

In an interview with Malou Mangahas, Sen. Lacson answered questions on:
* Tarlac shooting incident
* Need for proactive stance vs terrorism
* Pork barrel system
* Fight vs corruption

MORE DETAILS:
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Ping: Babatayan ang Saligang Batas Kung Maging Asuntong Kriminal Man ang Red-Tagging

Sasandalan ang Saligang Batas.

Ito ang tiniyak ni Senador Panfilo Lacson, chairman ng Senate Committee on National Defense, sa usapin ng posibleng pagtukoy sa red-tagging bilang isang asuntong kriminal.

Ang komite ni Lacson ang nanguna sa pagdinig ng Mataas na Kapulungan sa naturang usapin.

Isiniwalat din ng mambabatas na matapos ang pagdinig ng pinamumunuang komite sa nabanggit na usapin, puspusan na ang ginagawang pag-aaral ng kanyang tanggapan sa lahat ng argumento at position papers na isinumite ng dalawang panig sa naganap na tatlong pagdinig.

Related: Lacson: Constitution to be Ultimate Guide on Potential Criminalizing of Red-Tagging
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Lacson: Constitution to be Ultimate Guide on Potential Criminalizing of Red-Tagging

The 1987 Constitution will be the ultimate guide on whether there is basis to criminalize “red-tagging,” Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson said Thursday.

Lacson said he and his legislative staff are poring over position papers and other materials gathered from all sides during the last three hearings on the issue.

“We will study and consider the matter, but the bottom line is that such a move will not violate our Constitution,” he said in an interview on DZAR radio.

“One major issue to be addressed if we are to criminalize red-tagging or red-baiting is if it will infringe on our Constitution’s provision ensuring freedom of expression and freedom of speech. This is a basic right that cannot be violated. That said, there are opposing views that such freedom is not absolute – that is why we have laws penalizing libel and cyber-libel,” he added.

Related: Ping: Babatayan ang Saligang Batas Kung Maging Asuntong Kriminal Man ang Red-Tagging
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Sponsoring the 2021 Budget of the Department of National Defense

Sen. Lacson sponsored the budget of the Department of National Defense for 2021, amounting to P215.705 billion. This includes P1.3B for the Government Arsenal, P139.7M for the National Defense College of the Philippines, P1.25B for the Office of Civil Defense, P842.4M for the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office, and P2.177B for the Veterans Memorial Medical Center; and P209B for the AFP.

#PINGterview: Senate Probe on Red-Tagging; ‘FLR’ in 2021 Budget

In an interview with Senate media, Sen. Lacson answered questions on:
* Probing alleged red-tagging, red-baiting
* ‘FLR’ practice in the budget
* ‘Exemptions’ in the mega-task force vs corruption?

QUOTES and NOTES:
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PingBills | Senate Resolution 559, Exercising Oversight Authority over the Defense Sector on the Issue of Red-Tagging/Red-Baiting of Certain Personalities/Groups

“Be it resolved… to direct the Senate Committee on National Defense and Security, Peace, Unification and Reconciliation to exercise its oversight authority over the defense sector on the issue of red-tagging/red-baiting of certain celebrities, personalities, institutions, and organizations, with the end in view of crafting proper guidelines that will prevent misunderstanding between the public and the military and ensuring the protection of the constitutional rights of the people, thereby strengthening the confidence and trust of our people on the professionalism of our military in consonance with the constitutional edict that the AFP is the protector of the people and the state, and that civilian authority is at all times supreme over the military.”

Related: On Recent Statements by Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade Jr.

On Recent Statements by Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade Jr.

Image: CTTO

Lt. Gen. Parlade strikes me as one AFP officer who is dedicated to the accomplishment of his mission to end the half-century-old insurgency problem.

That being said, his only fault is that he over-analyzes and over-talks, with some of his public statements threatening to affect his mission.

Under the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020, only the court can proscribe a group like the CPP-NPA as a terrorist organization. On the other hand, the purpose of surveillance work is defeated when the subject becomes aware that he is being tailed.

Maybe a little prudence and self-discipline on Lt. Gen. Parlade’s part will help.

*****

Speech at the Philippine Army Multi-Sector Advisory Board Summit 2020

My distinguished colleague and chairperson of the Philippine Army MSAB Governance Committee, Sen. Manny Pacquiao; Philippine Army Commanding General Lt. Gen Cirilito Sobejana; Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Assistant Secretary Alexander Macario; Davao de Oro Governor Tyron Uy; Vice Commander of the Philippine Army Reynaldo Aquino; members of the Philippine Army Multi-Sector Advisory Board; men and women of the Hukbong Katihan ng Pilipinas, a pleasant morning to all.

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Sponsorship Speech for Gen. Gilbert Gapay and other Senior AFP Officers at the Commission on Appointments

Mr. Chairman, this representation as one of the Vice-Chairpersons of the Committee on National Defense, presided over a public hearing this morning to deliberate on the ad interim appointments of 29 Senior Officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the nomination of one (1) officer to the rank of General.

Your Committee, after deliberating on their qualifications and fitness during the said public hearing, determined that all of the 29 appointees and one nominee are fit and qualified to the ranks which they are respectively promoted or nominated, and has therefore ruled to recommend to the plenary their respective appointments and nomination for the confirmation and consent of this august body.

It is my honor and privilege to recommend that this body give its consent to the nomination of LT. GEN. GILBERT I. GAPAY to the rank of GENERAL.

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On the Recommendation for Martial Law following the Sulu Twin Bombings

We have passed a strong Anti-Terrorism Law for our security forces to better address terrorism in Mindanao and the rest of the country. Unfortunately, amidst the numerous petitions against the measure, the agencies tasked to craft the implementing rules and regulations of the law have not yet issued the same which could have given our law enforcement agencies and the AFP the impetus to fully implement the law with efficacy and confidence, even proactively as we have included even “inchoate offenses” punishable for even at the stage of planning and preparation.

With all that said, another declaration of martial law in Mindanao or Sulu may not be necessary.

*****

Sponsorship Speech for Senior AFP Officers at the Commission on Appointments

Mr. Chairman, this representation as one of the Vice-Chairpersons of the Committee on National Defense, presided over a public hearing to deliberate on the ad interim appointments of 14 Senior Officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the nomination of one officer to the rank of Lieutenant General.

Your Committee, after deliberating on their qualifications and fitness during the said public hearing, has determined that all of the 14 appointees and one nominee are fit and qualified to the ranks which they are respectively nominated or appointed, 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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#PINGterview: Anti-Terror Law sa Korte Suprema; Pagtungo ni PRRD sa Zamboanga dahil sa Jolo Incident; Bayanihan 2

In an interview on DWIZ, Sen. Lacson answered questions on:
* Anti-Terror Bill to be questioned before the Supreme Court [10:01]
* goals of Senate inquiry into Jolo incident [34:24]
* PH warning vs China over military exercises [40:34]
* special session for Bayanihan 2 [42:39]

QUOTES and NOTES:
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Decisiveness, Not Divisiveness: On the Need to Temper Emotions

While I can easily relate to Philippine Army Commanding General Lt. Gen. Gilbert Gapay and understand how he feels about the Army officers slain in Sulu, emotions running high at this point is the last thing they need.

For all they know, their common enemies such as the terrorists and armed insurgents are already celebrating the Sulu incident – and even making plans to exploit it.

These enemies of the State and our people, through their legal fronts, are very capable of fanning the flames of animosity between the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police by creating intrigues to further divide the country’s two major security forces.

Such fronts have demonstrated their capabilities in sowing disinformation about the proposed Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 and the National ID system, among other measures designed to improve the lives of the people.

Ultimately, decisiveness, not divisiveness, is needed in dealing with the enemies of the State and the Filipino people.

*****

On the Fatal Police Shooting of Army Officers in Sulu: Speedy but Thorough Probe is Critical

Image: CTTO

A speedy but thorough determination of the facts that led to the tragic shooting of four Army officers by police in Sulu is critical and cannot be emphasized enough.

It is wise and proper that both Philippine National Police Chief P/Gen. Archie Gamboa and Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff Gen. Felimon Santos Jr. have agreed that the National Bureau of Investigation take full control of the criminal investigation, and allow the evidence to dictate the findings.

But the NBI’s investigation results notwithstanding, and more than making fully accountable all those responsible for the incident, the ground commanders of both sides must be in full control of the situation to avoid an escalation of the situation.

Our security forces already have their hands full in their fight against their common adversaries such as terrorism and insurgency in Mindanao. Allowing disunity in any form would give the enemy an unwanted advantage that could prove fatal for our nation.

*****

On a Post-VFA Philippines

The Filipino people are resilient and our soldiers are no different. We will survive, no doubt. We know how to improvise and we can adapt to crises the way we did many times before.

But in the meantime, we remain exposed to terrorist threats, both domestic and foreign, not to mention the continuing security threat in the West Philippine Sea posed by China, and even the need for timely humanitarian response and assistance that the US is capable of deploying during disasters, natural or man-made. Also affected by the VFA’s abrogation is the maintenance and repairs of military hardware, mostly air assets provided by the US under the AFP modernization program.

Exploring other options like inking similar defense treaties with other nations as posited by the AFP Chief of Staff is fine but the reality is, it doesn’t happen overnight. It will take a series of back-and-forth negotiations in pursuit of the concerned parties’ self and national interests before going through lengthy deliberations for ratification by the Senate.

While admittedly, the VFA is not perfect for the Philippines as far as equitability is concerned, the timing and reasons for its abrogation are way off the mark.

The thing is, it is not the smartest move of the President to expose ourselves naked first before looking for other options for cover.

*****

Gamboa Does a Ping [People’s Journal]

From Alfred Dalizon’s column in People’s Journal: During his tenure, Gen. Lacson ordered the relief of a police general who was caught playing golf in Baguio City despite his directive. That directive from Gen. Lacson made the headlines then.

Continue reading “Gamboa Does a Ping [People’s Journal]”

Sponsoring the 2020 Budget of the Department of National Defense

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Sen. Lacson sponsored the proposed PhP191,340,253,000 budget of the Department of National Defense for 2020. The amount is about 4% of the 2020 budget. The key security strategy for 2018 indicated a minimum of 2% of the budget for the DND.

QUOTES and NOTES:
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AFP Modernization, West Philippine Sea Updates, and National Security: Sen. Lacson Chairs the 2020 Budget Hearing for the DND

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[Video Courtesy: Senate PRIB]

At the hearing on the 2020 budget of the Department of National Defense (DND), Sen. Lacson cited the need to revisit the AFP Modernization Program for the country to achieve its goal of a minimum credible defense posture, and asked if the DND should get compensation from telcos that set up facilities inside military camps.

Lacson also pushed for a sustainable long-term program that would provide for the pension requirements of uniformed personnel. He inquired about the status of a new infantry battalion that would fight terrorism and similar threats in the Mindanao area.

The DND is seeking a budget of P258.35 billion for 2020, including P119.118B for personnel services; P69.704B for pension; P40.701B for MOOE; and P28.831B for capital outlay.

QUOTES and NOTES:
Continue reading “AFP Modernization, West Philippine Sea Updates, and National Security: Sen. Lacson Chairs the 2020 Budget Hearing for the DND”

Ping, Nagpasalamat: Umento sa Pensiyon ng MUP Retirees, Tuloy Na!

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Image courtesy: ph.vltrends.com

Sa wakas, tuloy na tuloy na ang umento sa pensiyon ng mga retiradong Military and Uniformed Personnel (MUP), matapos ito bigyan ng sapat na pondo ng Department of Budget and Management.

Nagpasalamat si Lacson, na miyembro ng Philippine Military Academy Class 1971, kay Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte para sa dagdag na benipisyo sa ilalim ng Joint Resolution No. 1.

“On behalf of the 220,000 MUP retirees, let me say a lifetime ‘THANK YOU’ to PRRD for Joint Resolution No 1. No other President has shown such concern for those who served and offered their lives for country and people. All we have to do is continue breathing for as long as we can,” pahayag ni Lacson sa kanyang Twitter account.

Related: Lacson Thankful as DBM Clears Way for MUP Retirees’ Pension Hike
Continue reading “Ping, Nagpasalamat: Umento sa Pensiyon ng MUP Retirees, Tuloy Na!”

Lacson Thankful as DBM Clears Way for MUP Retirees’ Pension Hike

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Image courtesy: ph.vltrends.com

Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson on Thursday expressed thanks on behalf of 220,000 military and uniformed personnel (MUP) retirees, after the Department of Budget and Management finally cleared the way for the hike in their pension.

Lacson, a member of Philippine Military Academy Class 1971, cited President Rodrigo Duterte for signing Joint Resolution No. 1, which provides for the increase.

“On behalf of the 220,000 MUP retirees, let me say a lifetime ‘THANK YOU’ to PRRD for Joint Resolution No 1. No other President has shown such concern for those who served and offered their lives for country and people. All we have to do is continue breathing for as long as we can,” he said on his Twitter account.

Related: Ping, Nagpasalamat: Umento sa Pensiyon ng MUP Retirees, Tuloy Na!
Continue reading “Lacson Thankful as DBM Clears Way for MUP Retirees’ Pension Hike”

CA Confirms 50 General/Flag and Senior Officers of the AFP

The Commission on Appointments confirmed the ad interim appointments of 50 General/Flag and Senior Officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines on Tuesday, June 4.

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On the Negros Oriental Incident

Without prejudice to findings of a formal investigation that may be contrary to the Philippine National Police’s version of the Negros Oriental operations, all peace-loving Filipinos should support our police and Armed Forces of the Philippines personnel for risking their lives to keep our communities safe and secure from bad elements, instead of condemning them only because highly partisan and organized leftist groups are busy with their usual propaganda efforts to harass our troops from sustaining their anti-insurgency and anti-criminality campaign.

When farmers possess rifle grenades, fragmentation grenades, handguns, shotguns, ammunition, phones and subversive documents, it says a lot about their tactics in their insurgency campaign aimed at a protracted guerrilla warfare aimed at overthrowing the duly constituted authority.

I urge the Department of Interior and Local Government and Department of National Defense to provide all the necessary legal and other forms of assistance to our troops and not make them feel abandoned. Now, more than anytime, they should be assisted by their superior officers until and unless it is proven that they violated the established rules of engagement and the existing laws of the land.

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Patas Dapat! Ping, Isinapubliko ang Institutional Amendments sa 2019 Budget

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Dapat walang itinatago sa publiko at klaro ang mga detalye ng paglalaanan ng pambansang gastusin ng pamahalaan.

Ito ang matapang na panuntunan ni Senador Panfilo Lacson sa pagsapubliko ng kanyang institutional amendments sa 2019 national budget, na kasalukuyang tinatalakay ng bicameral conference committee.

“In the spirit of transparency, I instructed my staff to make public all my amendments in the 2019 national budget,” paglalahad ni Lacson sa kanyang Twitter account.

“I hope all proponents will do the same to remove all suspicions that the bicameral conference is a venue for sneaky horse trading among legislators,” dagdag ng mambabatas.

Related:
In the Spirit of Transparency: Lacson Details Institutional Amendments to 2019 Budget
List: Institutional Amendments Proposed by Sen. Lacson in the 2019 Budget
Continue reading “Patas Dapat! Ping, Isinapubliko ang Institutional Amendments sa 2019 Budget”

In the Spirit of Transparency: Lacson Details Institutional Amendments to 2019 Budget

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Citing the need for transparency, Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson has made public the details of the institutional amendments he proposed in the P3.7-trillion national budget for 2019.

Lacson expressed hope other proponents of amendments to the budget will do the same, to remove speculations that the bicameral conference committee is a venue for “horse trading” and compromises among legislators.

“In the spirit of transparency, I instructed my staff to make public all my amendments in the 2019 national budget. I hope all proponents will do the same to remove all suspicions that the bicameral conference is a venue for sneaky horse trading among legislators,” he said in a post on his Twitter account.

Related:
Patas Dapat! Ping, Isinapubliko ang Institutional Amendments sa 2019 Budget
List: Institutional Amendments Proposed by Sen. Lacson in the 2019 Budget
Continue reading “In the Spirit of Transparency: Lacson Details Institutional Amendments to 2019 Budget”

Kontra-Terorismo: AFP Binuhusan ni Ping ng P4.7 Bilyon

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Sen. Lacson stresses a point during bicameral conference committee discussions on the 2019 national budget on Jan. 28, 2019.

Isinulong ni Senador Panfilo Lacson ang pag-ayuda sa Sandatahang Lakas ng Pilipinas kontra sa lumalalang terorismo sa pamamagitan ng paglaan ng halos P5 bilyon sa badyet nito sa kasalukuyang taon.

Sa kanyang pagdalo sa bicameral panel meeting para sa 2019 national budget, isiniwalat ni Lacson na ang P4.78 bilyon ay kanyang iminumungkahing ilaan para sa karagdagang Infantry Division ng Philippine Army.

“It is an institutional amendment that I introduced, for the activation of an infantry division as requested by the Department of National Defense (DND),” paliwanag ni Lacson sa harap ng mga kasamahang bumubuo sa bicameral panel ng budget.

Related: Lacson Pushes P4.78-B Institutional Amendment for Mindanao Infantry Unit
Continue reading “Kontra-Terorismo: AFP Binuhusan ni Ping ng P4.7 Bilyon”

Lacson Pushes P4.78-B Institutional Amendment for Mindanao Infantry Unit

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Sen. Lacson stresses a point during bicameral conference committee discussions on the 2019 national budget, on Jan. 28, 2019.

Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson is pushing for a P4.78-billion institutional amendment in the P3.7-trillion national budget for 2019 for an infantry division that will counter threats from armed groups like the Abu Sayyaf.

Lacson, who disclosed this at the bicameral conference committee meeting on the 2019 budget on Monday, said the funding to mobilize the 11th Infantry Division was requested by the Department of National Defense (DND).

“It is an institutional amendment that I introduced, for the activation of an infantry division as requested by the DND,” he said.

Related: Kontra-Terorismo: AFP Binuhusan ni Ping ng P4.7 Bilyon
Continue reading “Lacson Pushes P4.78-B Institutional Amendment for Mindanao Infantry Unit”

Ping sa PNP: Mga Nasibak na Pulis at Sundalo ang I-Profile, ‘Wag na Sina Ma’am at Sir

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Huwag na ang mga guro. Mga nasibak na pulis at sundalo na naging masamang elemento ng lipunan gaya ng gun for hire na lang.

Ito ang naging payo ni Senador at dating Philippine National Police Chief Panfilo Lacson sa ahensiya, matapos lumutang ang balitang isinailalim nito sa “profiling” ang guro na miyembro ng isang organisasyon.

“The PNP should instead conduct profiling and surveillance on dishonorably discharged PNP and AFP personnel to keep track of their post-discharge activities including their lifestyle,” mariing pahayag ni Lacson.

Kung mamo-monitor umano ng PNP ang aktibidad ng mga ito, maraming krimen sa bansa ang mabibigyan ng solusyon, at marami ring krimen ang mapipigilan katulad ng kaliwa’t kanang pagpatay.

“In that way, they may be able to solve a lot of crimes, even preempt them,” dagdag pa ng mambabatas.

Related: Lacson to PNP: Train Profiling, Surveillance on ‘Expelled’ Cops and Soldiers, Not Teachers
Continue reading “Ping sa PNP: Mga Nasibak na Pulis at Sundalo ang I-Profile, ‘Wag na Sina Ma’am at Sir”

Lacson to PNP: Train Profiling, Surveillance on ‘Expelled’ Cops and Soldiers, Not Teachers

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Instead of teachers’ groups, the Philippine National Police should train profiling and surveillance efforts on dishonorably discharged police and military personnel who have become guns for hire, Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson said Tuesday.

Lacson, who headed the PNP from 1999 to 2001, cited many cases of such expelled law enforcers being tagged as suspects in recent heinous crimes.

Focusing on these “rejects” – who are likely skilled with firearms and other weapons – can even help solve or even preempt crimes, he stressed.

“The PNP should instead conduct profiling and surveillance on dishonorably discharged PNP and AFP personnel to keep track of their post-discharge activities including their lifestyle,” he said.

“In that way, they may be able to solve a lot of crimes, even preempt them,” he added.

Related: Ping sa PNP: Mga Nasibak na Pulis at Sundalo ang I-Profile, ‘Wag na Sina Ma’am at Sir
Continue reading “Lacson to PNP: Train Profiling, Surveillance on ‘Expelled’ Cops and Soldiers, Not Teachers”

Lacson: Wasteful projects worth P583 billion [Inquirer]

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From the Inquirer: “We’re either overtaxed or underserved, or both,” said Lacson, who opened a can of worms this month when he discussed last-minute insertions of multibillion-peso allocations for the districts of favored lawmakers in the proposed P3.8-trillion budget for 2019. Continue reading “Lacson: Wasteful projects worth P583 billion [Inquirer]”

Editorial: Exemplary leadership [People’s Journal]

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From People’s Journal: Lacson practiced leadership by example when he headed the PNP from 1999 to 2001. Under his watch, the PNP became disciplined and efficient. This in turn earned Lacson and the PNP high approval marks from the public. “It is second to none. There is no substitute to it that I know of,” Lacson said of the principle of leadership by example.  Continue reading “Editorial: Exemplary leadership [People’s Journal]”

Ping: Mga Militar sa BOC, Huwag na Sana Matukso

Huwag lang lapitan ng mga mapanukso.

Ito ang naging pahayag ni Senador at dating Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Panfilo Lacson kaugnay sa mistulang pagtatalaga ng mga nasa hanay ng militar sa Bureau of Customs (BOC), makaraan ang eskandalo sa naipuslit na shabu.

Sa kanyang Twitter post, binanggit ni Lacson na noong dekada 1960, dati nang napangasiwaan ng militar ang BOC at naging maayos umano ang operasyon nito dahil hindi umubra ang mga tangkang panunuhol ng mga smugglers.

Nagkaaberya lamang umano ang operasyon ng ahensiya sa naturang dekada matapos na gumamit ng mga naggagandahang mga kababaihan ang mga nakikipagtransaksiyon sa mga ahensiya.

“In the early 60’s, some young, idealistic AFP officers were put in charge of the BOC operations. They learned fast, they couldn’t be bribed or intimidated. The smugglers used equally young, beautiful women to influence them.  The rest is history we don’t want to remember,” pagsisiwalat ni Lacson.

Related: Lacson Cites Three-Pronged Solution vs Corruption at Customs
Continue reading “Ping: Mga Militar sa BOC, Huwag na Sana Matukso”