Tag: Anti-corruption

On the Implication of Former PS-DBM Officials in the Pharmally Procurement Scandal

While somebody whose name was prominently and repeatedly mentioned during the Senate hearings as the alleged financier of the syndicate is apparently missing in the list of those recommended for indictment, it is still good enough to commend the Ombudsman for this latest development.

That being said, I am willing to concede that maybe the evidence is not sufficient to establish probable cause against him.

*****

Undercover Agents, Isa sa Mga Ipapatupad ni Ping Para Mahuli ang mga Tiwali sa Gobyerno

Ang pagkakaroon ng undercover operatives ang isa sa mga gagawin ni Senador Ping Lacson para mahuli ang mga tiwaling empleyado sa gobyerno sakaling mahalal siya bilang Pangulo.

Ani Lacson, sa paraang ito magtitino ang ilan sa takot na mahuli at maparusahan.

“Sa government bureaucracy, pwede tayong mag-field ng operatives na kunwari nag-a-apply… hanggang matanim sa isipan ng government employees and officials na delikado tayo, baka ang kinikikilan natin ay operative,” ani Lacson sa kanyang panayam sa Radyo 5.

Related: Lacson Admin to Adopt Undercover Agents, Other Drastic Measures vs Corruption
Continue reading “Undercover Agents, Isa sa Mga Ipapatupad ni Ping Para Mahuli ang mga Tiwali sa Gobyerno”

Lacson Admin to Adopt Undercover Agents, Other Drastic Measures vs Corruption

Undercover operatives posing as applicants to catch extorting government employees will be among the drastic measures against corruption to be adopted by the administration of Sen. Panfilo “Ping” M. Lacson should he be elected as President.

Lacson said that such drastic measures will keep even hardheaded members of the bureaucracy on their toes, for fear they would be caught and punished.

“Sa government bureaucracy, pwede tayong mag-field ng operatives na kunwari nag-a-apply… hanggang matanim sa isipan ng government employees and officials na delikado tayo, baka ang kinikikilan natin ay operative (In the bureaucracy, we can field operatives who pretend to be applicants, to catch mulcting employees. The corrupt employees will soon be on their toes because they don’t know if the applicant they are extorting from is a secret operative),” Lacson said in an interview on Radyo 5 Friday.

Related: Undercover Agents, Isa sa Mga Ipapatupad ni Ping Para Mahuli ang mga Tiwali sa Gobyerno
Continue reading “Lacson Admin to Adopt Undercover Agents, Other Drastic Measures vs Corruption”

Ping: Duterte Admin, Marami Pang Magagawa sa Susunod na 6 Buwan, Mga Botante sa Susunod na 6 Taon

Marami pang magagawa ang kasalukuyang administrasyon sa natitirang anim na buwan kung may isang pamantayan lang ito sa pagsugpo sa korapsyon.

Binigyang diin ito ni Senador Ping Lacson dahil mataas aniya ang posibilidad na manakaw ang kaban ng bayan sa unang kalahating buwan ng 2022.

“Una, may Odette na dapat pagukulan ng pansin. Pangalawa, sa nalalabing buwan ng administrasyon, maraming kailangang tugunan lalo sa paggastos ng kaban ng bayan, pagbantay na iisa lang ang standard,” ani Lacson sa kanyang panayam sa TeleRadyo.

Related: Lacson: Outgoing Administration Can Make a Difference in Next 6 Months, Filipino Voters in Next 6 Years
Continue reading “Ping: Duterte Admin, Marami Pang Magagawa sa Susunod na 6 Buwan, Mga Botante sa Susunod na 6 Taon”

Lacson: Outgoing Administration Can Make a Difference in Next 6 Months, Filipino Voters in Next 6 Years

The outgoing administration under President Rodrigo Duterte can still make a difference in the first half of 2022, especially if it follows only one standard in fighting corruption.

Sen. Panfilo “Ping” M. Lacson stressed this as he said there is a high risk of public funds being lost to corruption in the first half of 2022.

“Una, may Odette na dapat pagukulan ng pansin. Pangalawa, sa nalalabing buwan ng administrasyon, maraming kailangang tugunan lalo sa paggastos ng kaban ng bayan, pagbantay na iisa lang ang standard (The administration first has to tend to the victims of Odette. But it should also make sure that in its fight against corruption, only one standard is followed),” he said in an interview on TeleRadyo.

Related: Ping: Duterte Admin, Marami Pang Magagawa sa Susunod na 6 Buwan, Mga Botante sa Susunod na 6 Taon
Continue reading “Lacson: Outgoing Administration Can Make a Difference in Next 6 Months, Filipino Voters in Next 6 Years”

Ping: P300-B, Natipid ng Taumbayan sa Loob ng 17 Taong Pagbabantay sa Kaban ng Bayan

CARMONA, Cavite – Sa 17 taon na pagbabantay ni Senador Ping Lacson sa pambansang badyet, umaabot na sa P300 bilyon ang natipid ng mamamayang Pilipino.

Ayon kay Lacson na matiyagang nagbabantay sa paggamit sa kaban ng bayan, malamang ay napunta na sa korapsyon ang perang ito kung hindi niya ito ginawa.

“Hindi sa pagmamayabang, kinwenta namin ang natipid ng bansang Pilipinas. Hindi ko akalain sa loob ng 17 taon na ako senador ng Pilipinas, umabot sa P300 bilyon ang natipid ng mamamayang Pilipino,” sabi ni Lacson na tumatayong standard bearer ng Partido Reporma sa isang pagtitipon na naganap dito.

Related: Lacson: Filipinos Saved P300-B in My 17 Years of Budget Scrutiny
Continue reading “Ping: P300-B, Natipid ng Taumbayan sa Loob ng 17 Taong Pagbabantay sa Kaban ng Bayan”

Lacson: Filipinos Saved P300-B in My 17 Years of Budget Scrutiny

CARMONA, Cavite – Seventeen years of scrutinizing the national budget has saved the Filipino people at least P300 billion, Sen. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson disclosed Friday afternoon.

Lacson, a watchdog of the national budget, said this amount in public funds could have been lost to corruption had he not kept his guard up.

“Hindi sa pagmamayabang, kinwenta namin ang natipid ng bansang Pilipinas. Hindi ko akalain sa loob ng 17 taon na ako senador ng Pilipinas, umabot sa P300 bilyon ang natipid ng mamamayang Pilipino (I am not bragging but the Filipino people saved some P300 billion in the 17 years I had been scrutinizing the budget. Even I did not quite expect the amount to be that big),” the Partido Reporma standard bearer said before a gathering here.

Related: Ping: P300-B, Natipid ng Taumbayan sa Loob ng 17 Taong Pagbabantay sa Kaban ng Bayan
Continue reading “Lacson: Filipinos Saved P300-B in My 17 Years of Budget Scrutiny”

‘Entrapment’ at Matinding Pagdidisplina Para sa Mga Korap, Asahan sa Ilalim ng Lideratong Lacson-Sotto

Kakaibang uri ng pagdidisiplina sa mga korap na miyembro ng Gabinete ang mararanasan sa ilalim ng pamumuno ni Senador Ping Lacson at Senate President Tito Sotto sakaling manalo sila sa pagka-Presidente at pagka-Bise Presidente sa darating na halalan.

“If we become President and Vice President of this country, Filipinos may yet witness the spectacle of a Cabinet member turned rogue being arrested for extortion. This is the kind of discipline that the Lacson-Sotto leadership intends to instill in government officials,” ani Lacson sa kanyang Twitter post nitong Martes.

“It’s about time na ang example ay manggaling sa kataas-taasan. Hindi pwedeng ang sinisibak lamang ay yung maliit at hindi sumusunod kasi nakikita sa taas namamayagpag,” dagdag pa ng senador sa kanyang panayam sa Radyo 5.

Related: Entrapment, Tight Discipline Await Corrupt Cabinet Members Under Lacson-Sotto Leadership
Continue reading “‘Entrapment’ at Matinding Pagdidisplina Para sa Mga Korap, Asahan sa Ilalim ng Lideratong Lacson-Sotto”

Entrapment, Tight Discipline Await Corrupt Cabinet Members Under Lacson-Sotto Leadership

A different brand of discipline awaits rogue Cabinet officials who dare to extort or engage in other illegal activities under the leadership of Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson and Senate President Vicente C. Sotto III as President and Vice President should they win in next year’s polls.

“If we become President and Vice President of this country, Filipinos may yet witness the spectacle of a Cabinet member turned rogue being arrested for extortion. This is the kind of discipline that the Lacson-Sotto leadership intends to instill in government officials,” Lacson said on his Twitter account Tuesday.

“It’s about time na ang example ay manggaling sa kataas-taasan. Hindi pwedeng ang sinisibak lamang ay yung maliit at hindi sumusunod kasi nakikita sa taas namamayagpag (It’s about time we make example of higher-ranking officials. We cannot fire the small fry just to let the big fish continue to extort),” he added in an interview on Radyo 5.

Related: ‘Entrapment’ at Matinding Pagdidisplina Para sa Mga Korap, Asahan sa Ilalim ng Lideratong Lacson-Sotto
Continue reading “Entrapment, Tight Discipline Await Corrupt Cabinet Members Under Lacson-Sotto Leadership”

Paghukay sa Nakatago Pang Detalye ng Overpriced Medical Supplies, Suportado ni Ping

Muling inahayag ni Senador Panfilo Lacson ang kanyang taimtim na suporta sa pagpapatuloy ng imbestigasyon ng Senado sa mga iregularidad sa pagbili ng pamahalaan ng medical supplies para matugunan ang problema ng pandemya ng COVID-19.

Inaasahan din ng mambabatas na hindi sapat ang isang pagdinig na lamang ng Senado sa nabanggit na kontrobersiya, bunga na rin ng mga detalye na kanila pang nabubungkal na may kinalaman sa mga transaksyon.

Nilinaw ni Lacson na hindi ang Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte o ibang personalidad ang puntirya ng imbestigasyon, kundi ang malaman ang buong detalye sa likod ng pagkakalipat ng P42 bilyon ng Department of Health (DOH) patungo sa Department of Budget and Management Procurement Service (PS-DBM).

Related: Lacson Throws Full Support Behind Continued Probe into Overpriced Medical Supplies
Continue reading “Paghukay sa Nakatago Pang Detalye ng Overpriced Medical Supplies, Suportado ni Ping”

Lacson Throws Full Support Behind Continued Probe into Overpriced Medical Supplies

Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson on Saturday reaffirmed his full support behind the Senate continuing its investigation into irregularities in the government’s procurement of medical supplies to address the COVID-19 pandemic – even as he expects one hearing is not enough to complete the probe.

Lacson said the investigation is not targeting President Rodrigo Duterte or any other personality, but aims to get to the bottom of the corruption hounding the P42-billion transfer of funds from the Department of Health to the Department of Budget and Management Procurement Service.

Ang concern namin ay ang issues na lumalabas. Kaya sabi ko basta tungkol sa inquiry, sinusuportahan namin nang lubos ang chairman ng Blue Ribbon Committee (Our concern revolves around the issue of corruption. That is why I said that as far as the inquiry looking into irregularities, we support the chairman of the Blue Ribbon Committee),” he said in an interview on DWIZ radio.

Related: Paghukay sa Nakatago Pang Detalye ng Overpriced Medical Supplies, Suportado ni Ping
Continue reading “Lacson Throws Full Support Behind Continued Probe into Overpriced Medical Supplies”

Ping: Pagtugon ng Pamahalaan sa Delta Variant Pinalubha ng Korapsyon

Hindi na nga sapat ay lalo pang pinalupaypay ng korapsyon ang pagtugon ng gobyerno sa lumalalang pananalasa ng Delta variant ng COVID-19.

Ito ang nagdadalamhating pahayag ni Senador Panfilo Lacson sa kasalukuyang estado ng mga hakbang ng pamahalaan sa paglaban sa pandemya kasabay ng pagsasalarawan na nakakapanlumo, nakakadismaya at nakakagigil ang mga nalalantad sa imbestigasyon ng Senado sa mga iregularidad sa pagbili ng mga gamit sa paglaban sa COVID-19.

Isiniwalat ni Lacson sa panayam sa kanya ng ANC na kabilang sa mga iregularidad na ito ay ang nabigong pagtatangka ni dating Department of Budget and Management Procurement Service head Christopher Lao para i-reclassify bilang “confidential” sa ilang mga empleyado ng ahensya.

“While the Delta variant is to be blamed, ang ma-blame mo rin government response. We’re not responding accordingly sa prevailing situation. To make matters worse, may corruption involved. Naroon ang problema,” ayon kay Lacson.

Continue reading “Ping: Pagtugon ng Pamahalaan sa Delta Variant Pinalubha ng Korapsyon”

Lacson: Corruption Worsening Government Response to Delta Variant

Corruption is weighing down the government’s already insufficient response to the heightened threat from COVID-19 due to the Delta variant of the coronavirus, Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson lamented Thursday.

Lacson described as “disheartening, frustrating and revolting” the signs of corruption that have emerged so far in the Senate’s investigation into irregularities in the procurement of medical supplies to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.

These irregularities range from the failed attempt of former Department of Budget and Management Procurement Service head Christopher Lao to reclassify some employees as “confidential” to the Food and Drug Administration’s changing the rules on procurement, Lacson said in an interview on ANC.

“While the Delta variant is to be blamed, ang ma-blame mo rin government response. We’re not responding accordingly sa prevailing situation. To make matters worse, may corruption involved. Naroon ang problema (While the Delta variant is to be blamed for our situation now, government response is not free from blame because we’re not responding accordingly to the prevailing situation. To make matters worse, there is corruption involved. There lies the problem),” he said.

Continue reading “Lacson: Corruption Worsening Government Response to Delta Variant”

Ping: Pambansang Badyet Papasa sa Takdang Panahon Kahit Naghahanda na Kami sa 2022 Elections

Tiniyak ni Senador Panfilo Lacson sa publiko na ipapasa ng Senado sa takdang panahon ang pambansang gastusin para sa susunod na taon, kahit pa masabay ito sa kanilang paghahanda para sa pangkalahatang halalan sa 2022.

Kasunod ng naunang deklarasyon ng pagsabak sa 2022 presidential elections, inihayag ni Lacson na gagawin niya at maging ng kanyang mga kasamahan sa Senado ang kanilang tungkulin na busisiin ang pambansang badyet at ito ay aprubahan bago mag-break ang sesyon sa Disyembre.

“The passage of the national budget bill will not be delayed if we can help it. While we are aware of the Oct. 1-8 schedule for filing of certificates of candidacy, we can assure our people that the preparations for the 2022 elections will not disrupt our efforts to scrutinize and pass the national budget. Hangga’t nasa loob kami ng Senado at ginagampanan ang aming mga tungkulin bilang senador, we will be legislators first and foremost,” paliwanag ni Lacson.

Sa nakikita ni Lacson, malabong magkaroon ng reenacted budget. “Senate President Vicente C. Sotto III and I are hopeful there will be no reenacted budget, and that the budget bill will be passed before the December break,” dagdag ng mambabatas.

Read in ENGLISH: Lacson Assures Scrutiny, Timely Passage of 2022 Budget Amid Poll Preparations
Continue reading “Ping: Pambansang Badyet Papasa sa Takdang Panahon Kahit Naghahanda na Kami sa 2022 Elections”

Lacson Assures Scrutiny, Timely Passage of 2022 Budget Amid Poll Preparations

Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson assured the public the Senate will pass the proposed P5.024-trillion national budget for 2022 on time, amid preparations for the May 2022 general elections.

Lacson, who will seek the presidency in 2022, said he and his fellow senators will do their duty to scrutinize the proposed budget and pass it before Congress’ December break.

“The passage of the national budget bill will not be delayed if we can help it. While we are aware of the Oct. 1-8 schedule for filing of certificates of candidacy, we can assure our people that the preparations for the 2022 elections will not disrupt our efforts to scrutinize and pass the national budget. Hangga’t nasa loob kami ng Senado at ginagampanan ang aming mga tungkulin bilang senador, we will be legislators first and foremost,” he said.

“Senate President Vicente C. Sotto III and I are hopeful there will be no reenacted budget, and that the budget bill will be passed before the December break,” he added.

Basahin sa TAGALOG: Ping: Pambansang Badyet Papasa sa Takdang Panahon Kahit Naghahanda na Kami sa 2022 Elections
Continue reading “Lacson Assures Scrutiny, Timely Passage of 2022 Budget Amid Poll Preparations”

Ping: Panahon na Para Publiko ay Umayuda sa Pagsugpo ng Korapsiyon

Mas magiging epektibo at matagumpay ang mga hakbang para basagin ang “vicious cycle” ng korapsiyon, kung makikiisa at magiging aktibo ang publiko sa laban na ito.

Isa ito sa mga nakikitang solusyon ni Senador Panfilo Lacson, sa harap ng katotohanan na naging ugali na ng mga nasasangkot na magpalamig at manahimik lamang muna hanggang sa tuluyan nang makalimutan ng tao ang kanilang ginawa.

“Some officials have lost all sense of shame. Even if charges are filed against them, they just lie low because they know that once the issue dies down and the public no longer thinks much of it, they can go back to their old ways,” banggit ni Lacson sa panayam ng Radyo Katribu.

“That said, the vicious cycle of corruption is not limited to those in government. It takes two to tango: those who corrupt – and the public who wittingly or otherwise turns a blind eye,” dagdag ng mambabatas.

Read in ENGLISH: Lacson: Time for Public to Help End Vicious Cycle of Corruption
Continue reading “Ping: Panahon na Para Publiko ay Umayuda sa Pagsugpo ng Korapsiyon”

Lacson: Time for Public to Help End Vicious Cycle of Corruption

It is high time to end the vicious cycle involving corruption cases where those involved lie low until the issue dies down – and the public can play a more active role to achieve this, Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson said Friday.

Lacson, who has actively participated in many Senate investigations involving corruption cases, said those involved have become brazen in pocketing public funds by exploiting such a cycle.

“Some officials have lost all sense of shame. Even if charges are filed against them, they just lie low because they know that once the issue dies down and the public no longer thinks much of it, they can go back to their old ways,” he said in an interview on Radyo Katribu.

“That said, the vicious cycle of corruption is not limited to those in government. It takes two to tango: those who corrupt – and the public who wittingly or otherwise turns a blind eye,” he added.

Basahin sa TAGALOG: Ping: Panahon na Para Publiko ay Umayuda sa Pagsugpo ng Korapsiyon
Continue reading “Lacson: Time for Public to Help End Vicious Cycle of Corruption”

On the Initial Expose on Corruption by Sen. Manny Pacquiao

Screengrab of Sen. Pacquiao’s virtual press conference July 3

Without details backed by documents or at least sworn statements executed by his witnesses, if any, there may not be sufficient basis for the Senate to conduct a hearing although the Blue Ribbon Committee is allowed to conduct investigation in aid of legislation even without referral.

It now behooves the Chairman to make the call on the issue at hand.

Meantime, the onus is on Sen. Pacquiao at the very least to show some specifics in support of his allegations, which by its nature are serious, not to mention sensitive.

It can better serve the purpose of the expose if relevant documents that he said he has would be submitted to the Senate President or the Blue Ribbon Committee, so we can assess what next move to take on the issues that he presented in yesterday’s virtual press conference.

*****

Ping, Tito kay Pacquiao: Siguraduhing ‘Pamatay’ ang Laman ng Anti-Corruption Expose Mo

Para humandusay ang korapsiyon, dapat na tiyakin na kongkreto ang mga ebidensiyang laman ng mga katiwaliang isisiwalat.

Ito ang isiniwalat ni Senador Panfilo Lacson na payo nilang dalawa ni Senate President Vicente Sotto III kay Senador Manny Pacquiao sa hangad nitong magsiwalat ng mga katiwalian sa loob ng sangay ng Ehekutibo.

“Our advice to him was to make sure the evidence he has is substantial, because if just one item in his expose turns out to be lacking or baseless, that is what the public will remember,” banggit ni Lacson sa panayam ng DZRH radio nitong Biyernes.

Read in ENGLISH: Lacson, Sotto Advise Pacquiao: Ensure Exposes vs Corruption are Solid Hits
Continue reading “Ping, Tito kay Pacquiao: Siguraduhing ‘Pamatay’ ang Laman ng Anti-Corruption Expose Mo”

Lacson, Sotto Advise Pacquiao: Ensure Exposes vs Corruption are Solid Hits

To land a knockout against corruption, make sure all your exposes are backed by solid evidence.

Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson said this was his and Senate President Vicente C. Sotto III’s advice to Sen. Emmanuel Pacquiao in exposing instances of corruption in the government.

“Our advice to him was to make sure the evidence he has is substantial, because if just one item in his expose turns out to be lacking or baseless, that is what the public will remember,” Lacson said in an interview on DZRH radio Friday, a day after he and Sotto met with Pacquiao at the Office of the Senate President.

Basahin sa TAGALOG: Ping, Tito kay Pacquiao: Siguraduhing ‘Pamatay’ ang Laman ng Anti-Corruption Expose Mo
Continue reading “Lacson, Sotto Advise Pacquiao: Ensure Exposes vs Corruption are Solid Hits”

Ping sa Pagtakbo bilang Presidente: Paano Manalo? At Paano Kung Manalo?

Ang mabibigat na tanong na ito ang isiniwalat ni Senador Panfilo Lacson sa mga nagbabalak tumakbo sa pampanguluhang halalan sa 2022.

Hindi matatawaran ang bigat ng problema na patuloy na binubuno ng mga Pinoy kabilang na ang kalagayan ng Bulkang Taal, bukod pa sa mga nauna at hanggang ngayon ay mga problema tulad ng mga epekto ng pandemya, ayon kay Lacson.

“On the one hand, you have to make sure you are in the conversation and be in a position to win in the first place. But more importantly, you have to get a firm grasp of the problems besetting the country because what if you win, and you’re unprepared to face the problems? These are two equally important questions you have to ask yourself,” banggit ni Lacson sa panayam ng DZRH radio.

Read in ENGLISH: Lacson Poses 2 Critical Questions for Serious Job of Leading 110M Filipinos
Continue reading “Ping sa Pagtakbo bilang Presidente: Paano Manalo? At Paano Kung Manalo?”

Lacson: Consistency vs Corruption to Restore Int’l Financial institutions’ Trust in PH

Showing consistency in fighting corruption will play a major role not only in restoring the trust of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and other international financial institutions, but can solve many other problems that beset our country even as we grapple with the effects of the pandemic, Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson said Monday.

Lacson said that while legislation against money laundering – especially of ill-gotten wealth – and terrorism financing is important, the key is the consistent implementation of existing laws.

“One of the reasons we were included in the FATF’s gray list in 2012 is that the FATF wanted us to address deficiencies in countering terrorist financing, among others. In response, Congress passed Republic Act 10168 or the Terrorism Financing Prevention and Suppression Act of 2012. This was further enhanced by RA 11479 or the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020. This may, however, call for further measures such as amending our existing Bank Secrecy Act, to address a major source of corruption. What we need is to make it difficult, if not impossible, to hide or launder ill-gotten wealth. This would be a big deal in helping stop corruption,” he said.

Basahin sa TAGALOG: Ping, May Tip para Pilipinas ‘Di Uminit sa Mata ng mga Institusyong Pananalapi
Continue reading “Lacson: Consistency vs Corruption to Restore Int’l Financial institutions’ Trust in PH”

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.

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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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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]”

#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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Lacson: DPWH’s Dubious Appropriations a Key Starting Point for Palace Review of 2021 Budget

Dubious items in the Department of Public Works and Highways’ budget for 2021 – including double and overlapping appropriations – could be a key starting point for Malacañang in reviewing the P4.5-trillion 2021 budget bill, Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson said.

Lacson, who bared and questioned such irregularities in the DPWH’s budget in committee hearings all the way to the plenary, said he is willing to help in the review by pointing out items for potential veto.

“It is clear that questionable items such as double and overlapping appropriations should be vetoed, along with at least 793 line items for multi-purpose buildings with a uniform P1-million appropriation each,” he said in an interview on DZRH radio Thursday evening.

Continue reading “Lacson: DPWH’s Dubious Appropriations a Key Starting Point for Palace Review of 2021 Budget”

Lacson Renews Call for Transparency in Congressional Amendments to the 2021 Budget

Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson renewed his call to fellow lawmakers for transparency, “particularly our amendments in the 2021 budget bill.”

Lacson stressed transparency is crucial to dispel suspicions of “compromises and personal interests in our proposed amendments.”

“If we have nothing to hide, we have to make our amendments public, as I have done in my case, so those amendments can be scrutinized by the media as well as the public. It is the mandate of Congress to make amendments to the budget bill; we cannot just adopt the National Expenditure Program in toto,” he said in an interview on DZRH radio Friday evening.

Continue reading “Lacson Renews Call for Transparency in Congressional Amendments to the 2021 Budget”

#PINGterview: P68B Skeleton Projects, Isantabi Muna sa 2021

In an interview on DZBB, Sen. Lacson addressed questions on:
* realigning P68B in ‘skeleton projects’ for areas hit by recent typhoons
* reports of getting COVID-19 vaccine

MORE DETAILS:
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#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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#PINGterview: Sec. Duque, ‘Di Pa Lusot sa PhilHealth Mess; DPWH Lump Sums, Pondohan ang Universal Health Care?

In an interview on DZBB/GNTV, Sen. Lacson answered questions on:
* options on further actions regarding anomalies at PhilHealth
* possible use of questionable sums in DPWH budget to address budget shortage for health care in 2021

QUOTES and NOTES:
Continue reading “#PINGterview: Sec. Duque, ‘Di Pa Lusot sa PhilHealth Mess; DPWH Lump Sums, Pondohan ang Universal Health Care?”

On the President’s ‘Offers’ to Resign, Appear before Congress

Screen grab from PCOO

Instead of resigning, the President only needs to be consistent in applying the anti-graft and corruption laws to both friends and foes.

Strong words and warnings may work, but only when backed by political will and followed by concrete actions. There is no better way.

As for his offer to appear before a congressional hearing, that may not be necessary. In fact, the Senate is already proposing in a bill to give him Bayanihan-like powers to address red tape in government.

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On the Initial Findings of Task Force PhilHealth

I want to read the full text of the report first so I can make a more intelligent analysis and responsive comments.

That said, let me just say at the outset that obviously, the materials that we provided and shared with Sec. Guevarra and the composite task force were put into good use at the very least. This is good reason enough to feel gratified that we did our share in taking the first big step in making those criminally and administratively liable for the misuse and abuse of public monies accountable.

At least, for a change, we can hope that these “vultures” will suffer for their misdeeds to satisfy their greed at the expense of the sick and the unhealthy among our countrymen.

*****

#PINGterview: ‘Haggling’ in DPWH’s Budget for 2021?

In an interview on ANC, Sen. Lacson answered questions on:
* items in the proposed budget for 2021
* PhilHealth anomalies
* appointment of Cezar Mancao II to DICT

QUOTES and NOTES:
Continue reading “#PINGterview: ‘Haggling’ in DPWH’s Budget for 2021?”

On Full Congressional Support for the Universal Health Care

Image: CTTO

Despite the shameless corruption in PhilHealth, the 2021 Universal Health Care budget deserves full support from Congress. But we can – and must – make our health care program more meaningful by immediately putting in jail all those who stole our money, directly or otherwise.

That said, a PhilHealth under new leadership should make sure that the funds it gets for 2021 to implement the Universal Health Care Act go to the intended beneficiaries instead of its favored few.

In the same way that Congress will contribute to the success of the Universal Health Care Act, PhilHealth and the other agencies tasked with implementing it should not contribute to its failure.

*****

More than Emergency Powers, Strong Political Will Needed to Disinfect PhilHealth

More than “emergency powers” to reorganize PhilHealth, what the President needs is real, honest-to-goodness, strong political will first.

Since PhilHealth is a creation of a law passed by Congress, the President has no statutory power to reorganize the agency, so he actually needs an act of Congress to delegate to him such power or authority.

And if the President’s intention is to cleanse PhilHealth of scalawags and misfits, he may not need that delegated authority anymore as he has the Philippine National Police, National Bureau of Investigation, Department of Justice and other instrumentalities of government at his disposal.

That said, there is no time to lose to exercise such political will: No matter how good our country’s economic managers are, if our health department is below the level of incompetence in the middle of this pandemic, we will all sink before we can even start to swim.

For a start, he can fire its ex-officio chairman and replace him with someone even with little above-average leadership traits, competence, honesty and integrity – and who won’t wash his hands but takes full responsibility for what PhilHealth does or fails to do.

*****

#PINGterview: On Pemberton’s ‘Early’ Release

In an interview on DZAR, Sen. Lacson answered questions on:
* Olongapo court’s order for ‘early’ release of US Marine Scott Pemberton
* DOH Secretary Duque’s ‘disagreement’ with Senate committee report on PhilHealth
* talks on Revolutionary Government

QUOTES and NOTES:
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On the Senate Committee of the Whole’s Recommendations on DOH Sec. Duque

Image: CTTO

If I had my way, as I already said before, based on the three hearings of the Committee of the Whole, there may not be enough evidence to recommend criminal charges against Sec. Duque for the simple reason that like the other members of the PhilHealth Board, he had no hand in the illegal implementation of the IRM; nor was he involved in the procurement of overpriced IT equipment.

However, my colleagues – particularly Senate President Sotto who chaired the COW hearings – would have seen it another way. Since we are a collegial body, we always abide by the rule of the majority.

That said, the Senate Committee of the Whole did include in its recommendation to the President the replacement of Sec. Duque: “To appoint a new Secretary of the Department of Health who has a stronger will to fight corruption within his organization and the agencies under his/her watch.”

*****

QUOTES from DZRH INTERVIEW…
Continue reading “On the Senate Committee of the Whole’s Recommendations on DOH Sec. Duque”

Read: Committee Report No. 107, on the Corruption in PhilHealth Amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic

We must thus exert our utmost authority and vigilance to rid PhilHealth of undesirables and, punish to the fullest extent of the law, criminals… Less than this, we cannot allow.” – Senate Committee Report 107, by the Senate Committee of the Whole. Sen. Lacson is one of the sponsors of the Committee Report.

 

On PhilHealth’s New President and His First Marching Order

Removing all the regional vice presidents of PhilHealth may be easier ordered than implemented, considering that a number of them are protected by the civil service law. This is not to mention that it is unjust and unfair to those who are not involved in shenanigans in PhilHealth.

That said, I’ve known Dante Gierran enough to say that he is a good man. I hope and I mean it – that PhilHealth will not be Dante’s Inferno as he faces the challenges of his new mission.

As a former chief of the National Bureau of Investigation, he should have no trouble coordinating with the powerhouse task force led by Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra, his former boss, to implement much-needed reforms in PhilHealth.

I hope he will not fall victim to manipulation by parties inside and outside of the agency who have caused the state insurer to lose billions of pesos to corruption – not just for his sake, but for all Filipinos covered by PhilHealth.

*****

QUOTES from TELERADYO INTERVIEW…
Continue reading “On PhilHealth’s New President and His First Marching Order”

#PINGterview: PhilHealth Committee Report, 2021 Budget, ‘Designated Survivor’ Legislation

In an interview with Senate media, Sen. Lacson answered questions on:
* PhilHealth committee report
* questionable items in the 2021 budget
* ‘Designated Survivor’ legislation

QUOTES and NOTES:
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#PINGterview: Paano Maibabalik ang Ninakaw na Pondo ng PhilHealth?

In an interview on DZAR, Sen. Lacson answered questions on:
* Speeding up of the IRR for the Anti-Terrorism Law
* How PhilHealth members can get back the money they lost to corruption

QUOTES and NOTES:
Continue reading “#PINGterview: Paano Maibabalik ang Ninakaw na Pondo ng PhilHealth?”

#PINGterview: What’s Next for PhilHealth?

In an interview on DZXL, Sen. Lacson answered questions on:
* How Anti-Terror Law could have prevented Jolo blasts
* National debt
* Suggestions to strengthen PhilHealth

QUOTES and NOTES:
Continue reading “#PINGterview: What’s Next for PhilHealth?”