At the Aug. 11, 2020 hearing of the Senate Committee of the Whole regarding corruption at PhilHealth, Sen. Lacson bared more irregularities involving issues such as the Interim Reimbursement Mechanism and procurement of IT equipment. He also called for a “special special audit” of PhilHealth – and called out a PhilHealth executive for alluding to investigators as “kampon ni Satanas.”
The World Economic Forum conducted in Geneva, Switzerland in 2017 identified both natural and man-made disasters as among the top global risks that can cause significant negative impact for several countries and industries within the next 10 years. But long before this risk has been widely talked about in international fora, disasters have unfortunately become a frequent life experience in the Philippines, and our recent history attests to this untoward reality.
Just last Friday, Nov. 8, we commemorated the sixth anniversary when category-five Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) cut a swath of unprecedented destruction across 171 cities and municipalities in Central Philippines. In the same breath, we are one with our brothers and sisters in Mindanao as they continue to heal from the scars caused by the Zamboanga siege in 2013 and the Marawi crisis in 2017. In between, various parts of the country are being shaken, quite literally, by earthquakes and numerous aftershocks; most recent of which were the three strong quakes that hit the island of Mindanao in the past weeks, affecting 146,000 Filipinos, most of whom are still living in tents as we speak.
A pleasant morning to everyone present in this hearing of the Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs… This hearing is called in reference to the following Senate Resolutions:
P.S. Resolution No. 901 entitled “Resolution Directing the Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs to Conduct an Inquiry, In Aid of Legislation, Into the Assassination of and Attacks Against Local Government Officials, with the End View of Conducting an Assessment of the Peace and Order Situation in the Country and Amending Republic Act No. 6975, as Amended,” by Senator Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV;
P.S. Resolution No. 979 entitled “Resolution Urging the Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs to Conduct an Inquiry, In Aid of Legislation, Into the Political Killings that Claimed the Lives of Incumbent Public Officials, with the End Goal of Formulating More Effective Measures of Law Enforcement and Investigation in Relation to said Cases which are Relatively More Sensitive Due to Possible Involvement of Incumbent Public Officials Who Wield Substantial Power and Influence,” by Senator Grace Poe; and
P.S. Resolution No. 1008 entitled “Resolution Directing the Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs and Other Appropriate Senate Committees to Conduct an Investigation, In Aid of Legislation, on the Brutal Killing of Richard Santillan, Security Aide of Atty. Glenn Chong, a Former Lawmaker and Known Election Reform Advocate; and into the Recent Cases of Election-Related Violence, with the End Goal of Crafting Measures that will be More Effective in Ensuring Public Order and Safety During Election Period,” authored by Senate President Vicente C. Sotto III and this representation.
In an interview, Sen. Lacson answers questions on:
– President Duterte’s reported statement he will let Cabinet members walk out of congressional hearings if they feel disrespected
– President Duterte’s reported joke of making Philippines a province of China
Sen. Lacson chairs the Senate Accounts Committee hearing on Senate Resolution 287, establishing the Senate Institute on Legislative Studies and Training Center.
Sen. Lacson’s preliminary statement at the hearing:
My mother used to tell me during my younger years to value education like no other. In order to remain competitive in this modern world, there is definitely a need to think new and do new. An economist, Ben Bernanke, once stated: “Research itself provides an important long-run perspective of the issues that we face on a day-to-day basis.”
It is for this reason that we are all gathered this morning to deliberate Senate Resolution 287, which seeks to establish the Senate Institute on Legislative Studies and Training Center (SILSTC) – probably pwede natin tawagin for brevity, Senate Institute – filed by no less than our Senate President, Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III.
Sen. Ping Lacson: “We intend to pass this bill maybe first quarter of next year because we consider this as a landmark legislation.”
(Video courtesy: Senate’s YouTube feed)
Excerpts from Sen. Lacson’s Opening Statement:
This is a hearing on several bills pending in the Senate (and) this is the first public hearing. The House of Representatives has approved on third reading the same legislation. So we intend to pass this bill maybe first quarter of next year because we consider this as a landmark legislation.
The hearing on the fatal hazing of law student Horacio ‘Atio’ Castillo III has been moved to Wednesday, Oct. 18. This is due to the suspension of work at the Senate on Monday, Oct. 16 because of a scheduled transport strike. Thank you.
Following is the advisory from the Senate regarding the suspension of work on Monday:
[ADVISORY] According to the Senate OIC, Senator Gregorio Honasan, please be advised that work in the Senate on… https://t.co/GwOtHVJRA2
Once a resolution or bill is referred to more than one committee, there is no such thing as separate committee hearings. The committees always conduct the hearings together, no matter how diverse and opposing the views of the chairs and members of the committees concerned.
Having said that, I don’t know what Sen de Lima is talking about in this regard. The referral says her committee is the lead or primary committee so she will call the shots in this case. I will attend the hearings as called and I hope the members of both the Justice and Human Rights and Public Order and Dangerous Drugs committees will also attend and contribute to whatever logical output as will be contained in the committee report.