Tag: DND

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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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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Ping: Panibagong ‘Pact’ sa UP at Security Sector, Dapat Buuin

Kailangan na magkaroon ng panibagong kasunduan ang University of The Philippines (UP) at security sector bunga ng pagkakapawalambisa sa kasunduan noong 1989 na nagbabawal sa pagpasok ng pulis at militar sa unibersidad nang walang coordination.

Ayon kay Senador Panfilo Lacson, chairman ng Senate Committee on National Defense, kailangang mapapanatili ang academic freedom sa loob ng “State U.”

“Once the pact is terminated, what will the security sector do? We don’t know that yet. Probably they could come to an agreement that there are boundaries to be observed,” banggit ni Lacson sa panayam ng ANC.

Related: Lacson: Boundaries Should be Observed after Ending of 1989 UP Pact
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Lacson: Boundaries Should be Observed after Ending of 1989 UP Pact

With the termination of a 1989 pact banning the entry of police and military forces without prior coordination, the security sector should come up with an agreement with the University of the Philippines on boundaries to be observed, Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson said Tuesday.

Lacson, who chairs the Senate Committee on National Defense, said this is to prevent the move from negatively affecting the culture of academic freedom in the state university.

“Once the pact is terminated, what will the security sector do? We don’t know that yet. Probably they could come to an agreement that there are boundaries to be observed,” Lacson said in an interview on ANC.

Related: Ping: Panibagong ‘Pact’ sa UP at Security Sector, Dapat Buuin
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#PINGterview: Enough Funds for COVID Vaccines in 2021 Budget

In an interview on CNN Philippines, Sen. Lacson answered questions on:
* funds for COVID-19 vaccines in the 2021 budget
* more agencies with cuts in the 2021 budget

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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.

Senate Committee Hearing on ‘Red-Tagging’

Sen. Lacson chaired the Senate hearing on red-tagging and red-baiting, as chairman of the Senate Committee on National Defense and Security, Peace, Unification, and Reconciliation.

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#PINGterview: Walang Pondo para sa COVID-19 Vaccine/Response sa 2021 kung Reenacted ang Budget

In an interview on DZBB/GMA News TV, Sen. Lacson answered questions on:
* effect of reenacted budget on COVID-19 response in 2021
* connection between DPWH lump sums and delay of budget bill in the House of Representatives

QUOTES and NOTES:
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Senate Hearing on Disaster Management and Resilience

At the Senate hearing on disaster resilience and management, Sen. Lacson cited issues that should be addressed before the Senate can even consider coming up with a committee report creating an entirely new department to address disaster management. Lacson, who chaired the hearing, also stressed the need to shift disaster response and management from reactive to proactive.

During the hearing, Sen. Lacson also questioned where the unspent disaster funds in past years went, even as he stressed the need to allocate more government resources to research and development.

QUOTES and NOTES:
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