Tag: Anti-corruption

Ping: Dagdag na P25B Para sa Bakuna, Ilantad sa Publiko

Dapat na ilantad at ilatag nang maayos sa publiko ang karagdagang P25 bilyong pondo na kailangan ng pamahalaan upang ipambili ng bakuna laban sa COVID-19.

Nakikita kasi ni Senador Panfilo Lacson na maaring mauwi sa labis-labis na suplay ng bakuna, o kaya ay mapunta sa katiwalian ang situwasyon batay sa kasalukuyang P82.5 bilyon kung mailalaan ang nabanggit na halagang umano’y kinakailangan bilang pantustos.

“Based on the arithmetic I did, the P107.5 billion is way too much for buying the vaccines needed to achieve herd immunity – unless they know something we don’t. But the bottom line is, it is not their money, it’s the public’s. I can only hope the excess amount will not go to corruption,” banggit ni Lacson.

“More importantly, has the government made a commitment to procure the vaccines at such prices? It is important that the officials concerned explain how they will spend the amount. If they have not committed to buy yet, they should exercise restraint in spending our resources which are severely limited already due to the pandemic,” diin ng mambabatas.

Related: Lacson Demands Transparency on Added P25B for Vaccines
Continue reading “Ping: Dagdag na P25B Para sa Bakuna, Ilantad sa Publiko”

Lacson Demands Transparency on Added P25B for Vaccines

Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson is demanding transparency from the government’s health authorities over the supposed need for an additional P25 billion supposedly to procure COVID-19 vaccines.

Lacson said Tuesday the P25 billion, when added to the existing P82.5-billion appropriations for vaccines this year, could result in an oversupply of vaccines – or worse, be lost to corruption.

“Based on the arithmetic I did, the P107.5 billion is way too much for buying the vaccines needed to achieve herd immunity – unless they know something we don’t. But the bottom line is, it is not their money, it’s the public’s. I can only hope the excess amount will not go to corruption,” he said.

“More importantly, has the government made a commitment to procure the vaccines at such prices? It is important that the officials concerned explain how they will spend the amount. If they have not committed to buy yet, they should exercise restraint in spending our resources which are severely limited already due to the pandemic,” he added.

Related: Ping: Dagdag na P25B Para sa Bakuna, Ilantad sa Publiko
Continue reading “Lacson Demands Transparency on Added P25B for Vaccines”

Ping: Bukod sa Kandidatura, Susunod na Lider Dapat Solusyunan mga Problema ng Bansa

Hindi kandidatura ang pinakaimportanteng dapat na paghandaan ng isang nagnanais na mamuno sa bansa, dahil bago niya ito isipin ay kailangan munang mahanap niya ang solusyon sa mga mabibigat na problema ng responsibilidad na papasukin.

Ayon kay Lacson, ang tunay na mabigat na trabaho ay hindi sa kampanya kundi pagkatapos nito dahil haharapin ng bagong pinuno ang ga-higante na problema tulad ng pambansang utang, kawalan ng hanapbuhay at patuloy na katiwalian.

“It’s not about prestige or being part of history as being the President of the country. The more important thing is to ask yourself if you can solve the country’s problems. Ang importante: Kaya ba, at may solusyon ba?” banggit ng mambabagtas sa panayam ng DWIZ radio.

“There is also a need to seek the advice and ideas of economic experts and other experienced persons to find solutions – short-, middle- and long-term – to confront and address the problems aggravated by the pandemic,” he added.

Related: Lacson: Next Leader Should Prepare Solutions, Not Just Candidacy
Continue reading “Ping: Bukod sa Kandidatura, Susunod na Lider Dapat Solusyunan mga Problema ng Bansa”

Lacson: Next Leader Should Prepare Solutions, Not Just Candidacy

More than just deciding to file his or her candidacy and get elected, the next leader must also be prepared to deal with the humongous problems besetting the country, Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson said.

Lacson said the real hard work comes not in the campaign but after it, with the next President facing “overwhelming” problems that include a ballooning national debt, unemployment and continued corruption.

“It’s not about prestige or being part of history as being the President of the country. The more important thing is to ask yourself if you can solve the country’s problems. Ang importante: Kaya ba, at may solusyon ba?” he said in an interview on DWIZ radio.

“There is also a need to seek the advice and ideas of economic experts and other experienced persons to find solutions – short-, middle- and long-term – to confront and address the problems aggravated by the pandemic,” he added.

Related: Ping: Bukod sa Kandidatura, Susunod na Lider Dapat Solusyunan mga Problema ng Bansa
Continue reading “Lacson: Next Leader Should Prepare Solutions, Not Just Candidacy”

Ping: Sebo ng ‘Tong-Pats’ sa Imported Baboy, Imbestigahan

Isinusulong ni Senador Panfilo Lacson ang malalimang imbestigasyon ng Senado sa isang sindikatong “tong-pats” sa loob ng Department of Agriculture, na makikinabang sa rekomendasyon ng ahensya na ibaba ang taripa at taasan ang minimum access volume (MAV) ng imported na baboy dahil sa African Swine Fever (ASF).

Ito ay makaraang makarating sa kaalaman ng mambabatas ang impormasyong limpak-limpak ang “tong-pats” na nakokolekta ng ilang mapagsamantalang nasa gobyerno, habang malalagay sa alanganin o tuluyan nang pagkamatay ang lokal na industriya ng babuyan sa bansa, bukod pa sa malaking halagang nawawala sa ekonomiya at manganganib ang kalusugan ng publiko.

“We should unmask who is/are behind this scheme no matter how powerful and influential he may be with this administration. I want to see even a whiff of enthusiasm from the President to order the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission and other concerned agencies to investigate, not to mention heed the call of the Senate to disapprove the DA’s recommendation to reduce the tariff and increase the volume of pork importation. Let’s see,” mariing pahayag ni Lacson.

Nakipag-ugnayan na rin ang mambabatas sa pamunuan ng Mataas na Kapulungan kaugnay sa kanyang hangarin.

“I have talked to Senate President Vicente C. Sotto III to have the Senate look into this, so we can get the documents we need. So far, we have received documents from the Bureau of Customs and DA. Still, we need more data to get to the bottom of the anomaly,” paliwanag ni Lacson sa panayam sa TeleRadyo.

Related: Lacson Pushes Senate Probe of ‘Tong-Pats’ Racket in Hog Importation
Continue reading “Ping: Sebo ng ‘Tong-Pats’ sa Imported Baboy, Imbestigahan”

Lacson Pushes Senate Probe of ‘Tong-Pats’ Racket in Hog Importation

Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson pushed Tuesday for a Senate investigation into the activities of a syndicate within the Department of Agriculture that stands to gain billions of pesos in “tong-pats” from the DA’s recommendation to lower tariff rates on – and to increase the minimum access volume (MAV) of – imported pork products due to the severe impact of African Swine Fever (ASF) on the swine industry.

Lacson said the anomalies amount to a triple whammy that threatens to kill our local hog industry while raising health concerns and costing the government forgone revenues.

“We should unmask who is/are behind this scheme no matter how powerful and influential he may be with this administration. I want to see even a whiff of enthusiasm from the President to order the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission and other concerned agencies to investigate, not to mention heed the call of the Senate to disapprove the DA’s recommendation to reduce the tariff and increase the volume of pork importation. Let’s see,” Lacson said.

“I have talked to Senate President Vicente C. Sotto III to have the Senate look into this, so we can get the documents we need. So far, we have received documents from the Bureau of Customs and DA. Still, we need more data to get to the bottom of the anomaly,” he added in an interview on TeleRadyo.

Related: Ping: Sebo ng ‘Tong-Pats’ sa Imported Baboy, Imbestigahan
Continue reading “Lacson Pushes Senate Probe of ‘Tong-Pats’ Racket in Hog Importation”

Sponsorship Speech: Senate Resolution Honoring Mayor Vico Sotto

Last Wednesday, February 24, while waiting in the Senate lounge for our 51st Senate session to start, I asked the Senate President if we can be co-authors in a yet-to-be drafted Senate resolution to honor and recognize Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto for receiving an award given by the US State Department as one of the world’s 12 anti-corruption champions. The Senate President’s reluctant response was: Sige, pero co-author lang ako. Ikaw ang principal author and sponsor kasi, alam mo na… with a chuckle. I knew exactly what he was trying to say, Mr. President. It is that little, big thing called “sense of propriety,” better understood by Filipinos as “delicadeza.” All of us inside this hall as well as those attending online know that Mayor Vico is the Senate President’s nephew, being his equally famous brother Vic’s offspring.

That being said, the young mayor has consistently refused to put his picture and name on billboards and similar materials on publicly funded projects in the City of Pasig. What easily comes to mind is our national hero Dr. Jose Rizal who once said, and I quote: “No good water comes from a muddy spring. No sweet fruit comes from a bitter seed.” Let me put it in a more simple language, distinguished colleagues: “Like uncle, like nephew.”

Continue reading “Sponsorship Speech: Senate Resolution Honoring Mayor Vico Sotto”

On the Claim that 92% of P15B ‘Missing’ PhilHealth Fund Has Been Liquidated

Liquidation is different from audit.

Say, if public funds were spent not for COVID-19 as required under the Interim Reimbursement Mechanism but for dialysis centers and infirmaries and which are clearly not authorized, it can still be declared as liquidated – but it does not mean funds were legally disbursed.

That is why, as we already know, some former and current PhilHealth officials presently face charges from the DOJ-led task force.

*****

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.

*****

The Heroes of 2020 [Manila Standard]

From Rudy Romero’s column in the Manila Standard: Another Hero of the Year 2020 is Senator Panfilo Lacson. After his work on the proposed General Appropriations Act for 2021, he truly deserves to be called Mr. Budget. Over the years, the former police general from Cavite has made it his mission to be conversant with the nefarious operations – overpricing, lump-summing, insertions and concealment – associated with the structuring of the national budget, especially its public-works portion.

Continue reading “The Heroes of 2020 [Manila Standard]”