Tag: anti-drug war

Sponsoring the 2021 Budget of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency

Sen. Lacson sponsored the budget of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency for 2021, amounting to P3.088 billion.

Bakit Malaki ang Tapyas sa 2021 Badyet ng PDEA at DDB?

Kung hindi pa isinasantabi ng administrasyong Duterte ang gyera sa ilegal na droga, bakit binawasan ang mga kahilingan o proposal ng DDB mula P520.4 milyon to P344.5 milyon; at ng PDEA mula proposal na P4.911 bilyon to P2.731 bilyon sa NEP?

Habang nag-issue ang Pangulo ng EO 66 noong 2018 para magkaroon ng multi-agency approach ang gobyerno sa pamamagitan ng PADS (Philippine Anti-Illegal Drugs Strategy) kaya pinasumite ang 61 ahensya ng budget para suportahan itong strategy, apat lamang ang pinabibigyan ng pondo ng DBM ng P2.053 bilyon sa ilalim ng NEP.

Pati ang mga augmentation na ginawa ng Senado para sa kanilang 2020 budget ay isinama sa “FLR (For Later Release)” at hindi ni-release: P81.9 milyon sa DDB at P106.1 milyon sa PDEA, ayon sa DBM Circular 580. Dahil dito, nadiskaril ang kanilang mga nakalinya na at umiiral na mga PAPs tulad ng ICT training at pambili ng ICT equipment.

Tuloy dapat ang laban sa illegal drugs, may COVID man o wala. Kaya naiintindihan ko ang hinaing at pakiusap ng DDB at PDEA sa pagdinig kahapon tungkol sa 2021 budget nila kung pwedeng madagdagan ng Senado ang kanilang tinapyas na budget.

May kasabihan tayo: Tulak ng bibig, kabig ng dibdib. Iyan ba ang nangyayari ngayon sa laban sa ilegal na droga sa kabila ng libu-libong napatay na mula noong 2016 pa?

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On the Reported Deaths of Jaybee Sebastian, Other High-Profile Bilibid Inmates Due to COVID-19

Certain details of one who has been convicted of a crime after going through a court trial may be generally accessible to the public except for some very isolated cases, mostly due to security considerations.

However, dying of a contagion as dreaded as the coronavirus could subject the victim’s immediate family to undue discrimination, not to mention the stigma that they may suffer from the public.

The Data Privacy Act may actually be applicable in the case of Jaybee Sebastian and other high value PDLs who reportedly succumbed to COVID-19 – although in an inquiry in aid of legislation, we as legislators can ask relevant questions, especially in an executive session.

Unless there is very compelling reason to suspect any foul play – and as of now, there is none – personally, I’d rather focus on more pressing matters than be distracted by the death/s of drug convict/s who had shown no remorse at all by continuing their drug operations even in the confines of the high-security facility of the New Bilibid Prison, right under the noses of prison officials, corrupting those who have no moral fortitude to resist even drug money.

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On the Appointment of Wilkins Villanueva as PDEA Director General

Director General-designate Wilkins Villanueva is such one good and professional officer who is fit for the job, having a long career in drug enforcement.

The President couldn’t have appointed a more qualified head of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, having served our country for nearly 20 years with the Philippine National Police Narcotics Group and with the PDEA.

With the challenge of going after drug personalities amid the new normal posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, he indeed has his work cut out for him.

I look forward to working with him, being the Senate Finance Subcommittee Chair and Sponsor of the PDEA and Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) budgets, among others.

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On Jovie Espenido: What Happened?

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Image courtesy: Jovie Espenido Facebook page

I have always believed that the real test of character of public officials like P/Lt. Col. Jovie Espenido is power or money. Give them the opportunity to lay their hands on either one or both, and they will reveal who they really are.

I remember then PO1 Espenido during our PAOCTF days as someone who consistently performed his duty with integrity and dedication. At least that was how I knew him in the many instances that he faced those challenges. But that time, he was just a non-commissioned officer at the bottom of the salary grade of police personnel. Rising from the ranks, he held several positions of higher authority until his relief recently.

This morning, I sent him a text message with a simple question: β€œWhat happened?” He has not replied, unlike before when he would even text me with early morning Bible quotes.

It is a pity because no less than President Duterte took notice of his performance by publicly acknowledging his contribution to the government’s war on illegal drugs, easily making him the poster boy of the campaign.

Espenido’s case, if true, could be one big reason why the war against illegal drugs is failing.

Being his former superior, I hope he can acquit himself and convincingly disprove this very serious allegation against him. Otherwise, he is just one of the many others I personally knew to have succumbed to the pressure.

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#PINGterview: ‘Early’ Judgment of Anti-Drug War; ‘Veto’ vs Pork in 2020 Budget | Jan. 8, 2020

In an interview with media in Lingayen, Pangasinan, Sen. Lacson answered questions on:
– VP Robredo’s claim that the war vs drugs is a ‘massive failure’
– Filipinos affected by tension in the Middle East
– pork in the 2020 budget
– PNP physical fitness policy

QUOTES and NOTES:
Continue reading “#PINGterview: ‘Early’ Judgment of Anti-Drug War; ‘Veto’ vs Pork in 2020 Budget | Jan. 8, 2020”

Interview on ANC: SEA Games Early Hosting Woes; Voting in Tandem; ‘Pork’ in 2020 Budget | Nov. 27, 2019

In an interview on ANC, Sen. Lacson answered questions on:
– House leaders’ claims that Senate to blame for early hosting woes for SEA Games
– pork in the 2020 budget
– reported proposal to vote for President and VP in tandem
– advice to VP Robredo after her removal as ICAD co-chair

QUOTES and NOTES:
Continue reading “Interview on ANC: SEA Games Early Hosting Woes; Voting in Tandem; ‘Pork’ in 2020 Budget | Nov. 27, 2019”

#PINGterview: On VP Robredo’s Removal as ICAD Co-Chair; SEA Games Early Hosting Woes | Nov. 25, 2019

In an interview, Sen. Lacson answered questions on:
– removal of VP Robredo as ICAD co-chairperson
– claims the Senate is partly to blame for early SEA Games hosting woes

QUOTES and NOTES:
Continue reading “#PINGterview: On VP Robredo’s Removal as ICAD Co-Chair; SEA Games Early Hosting Woes | Nov. 25, 2019”

Kapihan sa Senado forum | Nov. 21, 2019

At the Kapihan sa Senado forum, Sen. Lacson answered questions on:
– Hide and Seek: Pork spotted in the 2020 budget
– Situation of VP Robredo in the anti-drug war
– President Duterte’s ‘ban’ on vaping

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QUOTES and NOTES:
Continue reading “Kapihan sa Senado forum | Nov. 21, 2019”

Interview on CNN Philippines: Thwarting Pork in the 2020 Budget | Nov. 19, 2019

In an interview on CNN Philippines, Sen. Lacson answered questions on:
– thwarting ‘pork’ in the proposed 2020 budget
– role of VP Robredo in anti-drug war

QUOTES and NOTES:
Continue reading “Interview on CNN Philippines: Thwarting Pork in the 2020 Budget | Nov. 19, 2019”