I abhor violations of the legislative process, and have called out members of Congress for such acts – such as when they inserted their pork barrel in the National Budget bill after its approval on third and final reading or ratification of the bicameral conference committee report, and before the bill was enrolled.
Why, then, would I make such a stealthy insertion to the Anti-Terrorism Bill as Robles implies?
In an interview on DWIZ, Sen. Lacson answered questions on:
* possible challenge vs Anti-Terror Bill before the Supreme Court [14:31]
* Sen. Drilon voted yes to anti-terror bill [7:04]
* blame game in COVID health workers’ P1M death benefits [29:53]
* Sec. Duque’s other obligations to health workers under Bayanihan Act [35:39]
* ‘removal’ of safeguard vs overpricing in Bayanihan 2 [44:33]
The Senate filed a Petition for Declaratory Relief and Mandamus before the Supreme Court on March 9, 2020, seeking a ruling on the need for Senate concurrence in ending treaties such as the VFA. Sen. Ping Lacson, who was among the petitioners, said the petition will be strengthened by Senate Resolution 337. “We’re not filing this petition in our individual capacity as senators but we’re backed by the whole Senate because of SR 337.”
“The ambiguity on the concurrence of the Senate in the abrogation of treaty involves an issue of transcendental importance that impacts on the country’s constitutional checks and balances. It presents a constitutional issue that seriously affects the country’s legal system as well as the country’s relations with the international community.” (co-author with Senate President Sotto and Senators Drilon, Gordon, Zubiri)
In a phone patch interview on DZBB and GMA News TV, Sen. Lacson notes the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 that was passed in the Senate will lead to a more proactive fight against terrorism, while containing safeguards to prevent possible abuses.
“Be it resolved as it is hereby resolved, to express as it hereby expresses the sense of the Senate to earnestly request the President to reconsider his planned abrogation of the Visiting Forces Agreement in the meantime that the Senate is conducting a review and impact assessment with the end in view of ensuring the continued safety and security of the Philippines and the Asia Pacific and maintain the existing balance of power within the region.” (co-author with Senate President Sotto and Sen. Drilon)
Sen. Lacson is part of the Philippine delegation that participated in the 141st Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union and related meetings in Belgrade, Serbia. Other members of the Philippine delegation include Senate President Tito Sotto, Ralph Recto, Juan Miguel Zubiri, Franklin Drilon, Imee Marcos, Nancy Binay, Sherwin Gatchalian, Bato dela Rosa, Joel Villanueva and Sonny Angara; and Reps. Ferdinand Hernandez and Carlos Zarate.
Sen. Lacson chaired the resumption of the hearing on the 2020 budget of the PDEA and DDB, where the problem of recycling of seized illegal drugs was taken up. Associate Justice Diosdado Peralta and Court Administrator Midas Marquez attended the hearing, upon the Senate’s investigation.
Sen. Lacson cited the problem raised by the PDEA in the previous budget hearing. “Right now, what’s stocked in the warehouse of PDEA is P22B worth of different kinds of drugs. We don’t know because the problem exists as PDEA claims, they have to wait for a court order before they can finally destroy the drugs confiscated. We’d like to find out anong magandang gawin para di ma-recycle ang drugs on account of stocking.”
“… To allow, as it hereby allows, Senator Leila M. de Lima to participate in Senate Plenary Sessions through teleconferencing, video conferencing or other reliable forms of remote or electronic communications through the use of the appropriate electronic equipment and/or devices or medium of information, broadcast or telecommunications facilities or equipment.” (co-author with Sen. Drilon)