Tag: PingBills

To Protect, Not Destroy: Countering the Massive Disinformation Campaign Against the Anti-Terrorism Bill

Terrorism knows no timing nor borders. Some of our country’s policy-makers, especially our people, should know better than just criticizing and believing the massive disinformation campaign against a measure that can secure and protect us as well as our families and loved ones from terrorist acts perpetrated in a manner so sudden, least expected and indiscriminate – as in anytime, probably even today, tomorrow or next week.

When I conducted the public hearings and sponsored the bill on the Senate floor last year up to February, when it was approved on third and final reading, I was always mindful of the Bill of Rights enshrined in the 1987 Constitution.

That said, I incorporated most of the provisions of the Anti-Terrorism laws of other strong democracies like Australia and the United States, further guided by the standards set by the United Nations, save for the reglementary period of detention in which we adopted the shortest time of 14 days – compared to Thailand with up to 30 days; Malaysia, up to two years; Singapore at 720 days extendible to an indefinite period of detention without formal charges; and Indonesia, up to 120 additional days. Also, safeguards have been put in place to ensure the rights of those detained.

With the help of many of my colleagues who interpellated and proposed their individual amendments, including all the members of the minority bloc, I was more than accommodating to accept their amendments as long as we would not end up with another dead-letter law such as the Human Security Act of 2007, which has so far resulted in just one conviction after more than a decade of its implementation and just one proscribed terrorist organization such as the Abu Sayyaf Group.

To the critics, I dare say: I hope the day will not come when you or any of your loved ones will be at the receiving end of a terrorist attack, so much so that it will be too late for you to regret convincing the Filipino people to junk this landmark legislation.

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On the Concerns Raised About the Anti-Terrorism Bill

As a responsible member of the community of nations, we are duty-bound to improve upon our laws towards ensuring we are able to implement United Nations Security Council Resolutions, meet international standards, and fulfill state obligations with the UN – while putting in place safeguards against possible abuse.

The concerns being raised by the progressive and leftist groups as well as human rights advocates have been adequately addressed during the Committee on National Defense and Security public hearings, as well as the debates and interpellations in plenary.

Enough safeguards are in place. The critics – some of whom had been extended the opportunity to help craft the bill – should read first the bill itself to see for themselves what I am saying.

That said, once the House of Representatives approves the adopted Senate version of the Anti-Terror bill on third and final reading, they will then transmit it to us for enrollment and subsequent submission to the President.

Since it is a certified urgent measure, the three-day rule restriction as required under the Constitution is lifted. That gives the bill a chance to be enacted into law within 30 days unless vetoed by the President, which is very unlikely considering the certification that he issued.

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‘VIP Bill’ vs COVID-19 at Ibang Virus Threats, Isinampa ni Ping

Dahil siyensiya at teknolohiya lamang ang tamang gabay para malutas ang mga problemang dulot ng pandemya gaya ng COVID-19, isinulong ni Senador Panfilo Lacson ang pagtatag ng isang institusyong tutuklas sa mga solusyon para sa sakit na ito.

Sa ilalim ng Senate Bill 1543, layon ni Lacson na itatag ang Virology Science and Technology Institute of the Philippines (VIP).

Ayon kay Lacson, kada araw ay patuloy sa pagtaas ang bilang ng mga nahahawaan ng COVID-19. Sa Pilipinas lamang ay hindi bababa sa 873 na ang kumpirmadong namatay. Dahil din dito, nagkaroon ng malawakang suliraning panlipunan at pang-ekonomiya ng bansa.

“These problems can only be addressed using science and technology, specifically through research and development (R&D). It is therefore imperative that we establish a Research Institute that delves into the study of viruses of the field of virology. The country needs diagnostics to detect and limit the spread of the existing viruses; vaccines to provide long-term protection; treatments to save lives in the shorter term, and social science to understand their behavioral and societal implications,” paliwanag ni Lacson sa panukala.

Related:Β Lacson Bill Establishes Philippine Virology Science and Technology Institute to Fight Novel Virus Threats
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Lacson Bill Establishes Philippine Virology Science and Technology Institute to Fight Novel Virus Threats

Stressing the importance of science and technology in addressing the problems caused by novel viruses such as the coronavirus, Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson has filed a bill establishing the Virology Science and Technology Institute of the Philippines (VIP).

Lacson, in Senate Bill 1543, noted the current COVID-19 pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus has infected more than five million and killed more than 340,000 worldwide, including 14,319 infected and 873 dead in the Philippines alone.

Worse, he said the health crisis from COVID-19 has resulted in widespread social and economic crises, “the impacts of which are devastating, especially to the poor.”

“These problems can only be addressed using science and technology, specifically through research and development (R&D). It is therefore imperative that we establish a Research Institute that delves into the study of viruses of the field of virology. The country needs diagnostics to detect and limit the spread of the existing viruses; vaccines to provide long-term protection; treatments to save lives in the shorter term, and social science to understand their behavioral and societal implications,” Lacson said in his bill.

Related: ‘VIP Bill’ vs COVID-19 at Ibang Virus Threats, Isinampa ni Ping
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Sen. Lacson’s Explanation of His Vote on Senate Bill 1354 (Anti-Perjury Bill)

I voted in favor of the measure with very strong reservations, because of the following reasons:

1. A solemn oath – to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth – is exactly what it is – SOLEMN. To desecrate the solemnity of that oath, and worse, with the deliberate and evil purpose of destroying other people’s lives whom they could have succeeded in putting away for the rest of their lives by their lies, thus denying them the basic and sacred right to freedom, is most detestable.

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Parusang Malupit vs Mapanlinlang na Testigo, Mabubuo na sa Senado

Matatapos na ang pamamayagpag ng mga testigong nagbibigay ng mapanlinlang at pagsisinungaling na testimonya sa mga pagdinig para manira ng reputasyon at magpahamak ng ibang tao, matapos umusad na sa Senado ang panukalang nagbibigay ng pinabigat na parusa sa mga ito.

Sumalang na sa sponsorship sa plenaryo ang Senate Bill 1354 na natutungkol sa pagpapataw ng parusa sa mga nabanggit na klase ng testigo na ang pakay ay manira at manghiya sa publiko ng mga target nila.

Sinegundahan ni Senador Panfilo M. Lacson si Senador Richard Gordon sa pagsalang sa plenaryo ng panukala sa pamamagitan ng co-sponsorship, para matiyak na hindi na mangyayari sa iba ang masamang karanasan niya sa mga sumira sa kanyang pagkatao sa pamamagitan ng imbentong kuwento bilang testigo.

“It goes without saying that this measure will deter the commission of the crimes of false testimony and perjury in solemn affirmation and uphold the sacredness of oath in testimonies and sworn statements by increasing the penalty for their commission. It is for these reasons that I fully support the passage of this measure,” banggit ng mambabatas sa kanyang co-sponsorship speech sa hybrid session ng Senado noong Miyerkules.

Related: To Finally End False Testimonies: Lacson Bats for Swift Passage of Harsh Anti-Perjury Bill
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To Finally End False Testimonies: Lacson Bats for Swift Passage of Harsh Anti-Perjury Bill

To finally put an end to the practice of fake news and false testimonies meant to destroy people’s reputations, Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson batted for the swift passage of a Senate bill providing heavier penalties against perjury.

Lacson – himself a victim of such false testimonies in the past – noted that while he had filed such a measure as early as 2011, it was left languishing in the legislative mill.

“It goes without saying that this measure will deter the commission of the crimes of false testimony and perjury in solemn affirmation and uphold the sacredness of oath in testimonies and sworn statements by increasing the penalty for their commission. It is for these reasons that I fully support the passage of this measure,” he said in his co-sponsorship speech for Senate Bill 1354, which he co-authored with Senate President Vicente Sotto III and Senators Richard Gordon and Leila de Lima, at the Senate hybrid session Wednesday.

Related: Parusang Malupit vs Mapanlinlang na Testigo, Mabubuo na sa Senado
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Co-Sponsorship Speech for Senate Bill 1354 (Anti-Perjury Bill)

Mr. President, fellow members of this august chamber, it is my honor to co-sponsor Senate Bill No. 1354 entitled β€˜An Act Amending Articles 183 and 184 of Act No. 3815, As Amended, Otherwise Known as the Revised Penal Code,’ as embodied under Committee Report No. 49.

Somebody once said: β€œHe who tells a lie, is not sensible how great a task he undertakes; for he must be forced to invent twenty more to maintain that one.” Nonetheless Mr. President, in my decades of experience as a public servant, I have come face to face with countless instances where a witness went the extra mile to invent hundreds of other lies just to maintain the first lie that he/she made under the sacred oath of truth.

I need not go far, Mr. President. I myself had been a victim of untruthful testimonies fabricated with the end goal of destroying my person. Never would I forget the unadorable persons answering the names of Ador Mawanay and Cezar Mancao, and a host of other characters who weaved unthinkable lies and narratives of the crimes that I supposedly committed.

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PingBills | Senate Resolution 352, Seeking an Inquiry on the Status of the Implementation of RA 11055 (National ID)

“Amidst the COVID-19 outbreak, several elective officials are calling for a ‘full-blown’ and immediate implementation of the National ID System as this would not only aid in the efficient distribution of the social amelioration program currently being implemented by different government agencies, but would also help our law enforcement agencies in fighting crimes and facilitate key government services and transactions, among others.” (co-author with Senate President Sotto)

An Appeal for Public Disclosure: How the Average ‘Juan’ Can Help Flatten the COVID-19 Curve

With Republic Act 11055 or the Philippine Identification System Act still not ready for implementation, it is not easy for the government to trace ordinary citizens who tested positive for COVID-19, as well as those who were directly exposed and symptomatic. Making the job harder is the Data Privacy Act of 2012 (R.A. 10173), which protects the right to privacy and non-disclosure of medical records of patients.

As an admitted oversight of Congress, the recently enacted Bayanihan to Heal As One Act (R.A. 11469) does not authorize the President to direct the disclosure of COVID-19 patients.

But if public figures like Prince Charles, Boris Johnson, Tom Hanks, Christopher de Leon and several of our own legislators had voluntarily and publicly declared they are or were infected, maybe it is time for the “man on the street” – the ordinary Filipinos – to do the same in order to alert those who they had interacted with to take the necessary measures, so that the infection does not spread further.

If their identities are made public voluntarily, even through their barangay bulletins, homeowners’ associations or any social media platforms available, then people who they directly got in contact with can come forward to be tested and treated if needed.

As an elected Senator of the Republic, I appeal to our citizens to practice that selfless act of responsibility to society and do our part in hastening to flatten the curve by thwarting the spread of the virus even in our own little way.

COVID-19 may not be like the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), where there is social stigma attached to the afflicted because it is sexually transmitted in most cases. Nevertheless, it does not diminish the threat that COVID-19 poses not only to those vulnerable but those around them.

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