Stupidity or greed? If reports are accurate that the budget appropriated by Congress for the setup of redundancies in the air traffic control system was diverted to some beautification projects at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), those responsible should spend their next holiday season in jail.
First, an appropriation is a provision of law passed by Congress that must be followed by the implementing agency.
That being the premise, while I cannot speak for the present Congress, I used to grill concerned Executive Department officials on how they used the budget not just for the previous year but even as far back as three years before approving their budget proposal – especially during the committee deliberations where we could directly question the heads of agencies concerned.
Prior to the committee hearings and plenary debates, I diligently reviewed and discussed with my staff both the proposed and past appropriations of major agencies even as far back as three budget years, with emphasis on underutilization and misuse of public funds.
Incidentally, the DoTr is one of the departments with the worst underspending records, year in and year out. The P13 billion must have been part of their unspent appropriations declared as savings then realigned. I hope Sen. Grace Poe’s committee can look more deeply into the history of that particular appropriation.
That being said, an impartial investigation must be conducted immediately with the end in view of preventing any similar incident in the future.
More importantly, the intended hostage is safe and unscathed even as we should pray for the injured police officer.
What is not known to many, an offer for transfer was already made by the PNP to Sen de Lima as early as mid-August this year on the occasion of the US Congressional delegation visit led by Sen. Markey, the reason being – the PNP Custodial Center is primarily designed for high-value criminals and high-risk terrorists. Unfortunately, the former senator declined the offer and opted to stay where she is presently detained.
That all being said, and without intending to preempt the authorities, high-risk detainees who are members of an internationally proscribed terrorist organization like the Abu Sayyaf Group should be isolated and not mixed with the other PDLs.
That, I assume, will be part of the recommendations in an investigation now being conducted.
Sa halip, asikasuhin niya ang mga kakulangan ng sangay ng gobyerno na kanyang pinamumunuan na hitik sa incompetence at corruption, hindi lang sa pagtugon sa pandemya kundi sa maraming aspeto ng governance.
Kaya hindi nakakasuhan ang ilang matataas na opisyal na naging subject ng pag-iimbestiga namin ay dahil ipinagtatanggol niya sa halip na makasuhan.
Hindi trabaho ng Senado ang magsampa ng demanda. Trabaho ng Executive Branch iyon. Judiciary naman ang magpapakulong. Mahirap bang i-memorize yan?
Personal na sinaluduhan at hinangaan ni Senador Panfilo Lacson ang mga auditor ng gobyerno sa pagiging listo at maagap ng mga ito sa pagsuri sa kahina-hinalang transaksiyon sa ilang ahensiya na posibleng mauwi sa korapsiyon.
Ayon kay Lacson, kung walang Commission on Audit (COA) na nag-uulat, malayang-malaya ang mga tiwaling opisyal sa pag-abuso at paglustay sa limitado nang pondo mula sa kaban ng bayan.
“Imagine a country without state auditors… kanya kanyang kupit, kanya kanyang kurakot,” banggit ni Lacson sa pamamagitan ng Twitter.
Ito ang naging paglalarawan ni Senador Panfilo Lacson sa pag-amin ni Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Guillermo Eleazar sa nagaganap na data-gathering activities sa ilang mga barangay sa iba’t ibang bahagi ng bansa.
Bagama’t una na ito pinabulaanan ng PNP, tuloy-tuloy pa rin ang nabanggit na aktibidad, batay sa huling impormasyong nakakarating kay Lacson na namuno sa ahensiya mula 1999 hanggang 2001.
“The Chief PNP’s admission that such data-gathering activities are going on (and still going on, as per latest information received) is alarming. Being their former chief, I cannot allow the PNP to engage in partisan politics and be ‘bastardized’, worse – using public funds,” banggit ni Lacson sa kanyang Twitter account.
This was how Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson described on Tuesday the admission by Philippine National Police chief Guillermo Eleazar that there are “data-gathering” activities in several barangays nationwide.
Citing the latest information reaching him, Lacson – who headed the PNP from 1999 to 2001 – also said such activities are still ongoing, amid the PNP’s initial denial.
“The Chief PNP’s admission that such data-gathering activities are going on (and still going on, as per latest information received) is alarming. Being their former chief, I cannot allow the PNP to engage in partisan politics and be ‘bastardized’, worse – using public funds,” Lacson said on his Twitter account.
Dapat matigil na ang pagsasagawa ng “census” sa ilang barangay gamit ang pondo ng National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), kasunod ng pagtanggi ng mismong pamunuan ng Philippine National Police (PNP) na pinapayagan nito ang aktibidad na ito.
Ito ang mensahe ni Senador Panfilo Lacson, kasunod na rin ng mga impormasyon na kanyang natatanggap tungkol sa “census” mula mismo sa mga field commanders ng PNP.
Ayon kay Lacson, bilang pangunahing sponsor sa Senado ng badyet ng NTF-ELCAC, hindi niya puwedeng ipagkibit-balikat na lamang ang ganitong impormasyon.
“The PNP’s denial should put a stop to the illegal data gathering activities on 30% of the country’s local population. As the Senate’s principal sponsor of the NTF-ELCAC budget, I cannot simply disregard a pattern of such reports coming from their own field commanders,” banggit ni Lacson sa Twitter.
The denial by the Philippine National Police (PNP) leadership that it authorized reported “census” activities in some barangays using funds of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) should put an end to such data-gathering, Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson said Saturday.
Lacson said he cannot simply disregard such reports since he is the principal sponsor of the NTF-ELCAC’s budget in the Senate – especially if the reports originate from the PNP’s own field commanders.
“The PNP’s denial should put a stop to the illegal data gathering activities on 30% of the country’s local population. As the Senate’s principal sponsor of the NTF-ELCAC budget, I cannot simply disregard a pattern of such reports coming from their own field commanders,” Lacson, who headed the PNP from 1999 to 2001, said in a post on his Twitter account.
Bakit lalong nagiging lantaran ang pagkasangkot sa ilegal na droga ng ilang Tsino sa ating bansa? Gaano na sila katagal namamayagpag dito? May koneksyon ba sila sa pamahalaan?
Ito ang mga tanong na inilahad ni Senador Panfilo Lacson nitong Lunes kasabay ng pagsasabing dapat ay mahanapan ng solusyon ng Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) at Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB), kasunod ng mga serye ng operasyon ng Philippine National Police (PNP) laban sa ilegal na droga.
“Salute to the PNP! More than these successful police operations, the DDB and PDEA should look deeper into the bold and imprudent behavior of these Chinese nationals to choose the Philippines as their base; how long they had been operating; their possible connections in government, etc.,” saad ni Lacson, na namuno sa PNP noong 1999 hanggang 2001, sa kanyang Twitter account.
Why are some Chinese nationals being bolder in their involvement in drug operations in the Philippines? How long have they been operating here? Do they have connections in government?
These are among the questions that the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency and Dangerous Drugs Board should look into, after a series of anti-drug operations by the Philippine National Police, Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson said Monday.
“Salute to the PNP! More than these successful police operations, the DDB and PDEA should look deeper into the bold and imprudent behavior of these Chinese nationals to choose the Philippines as their base; how long they had been operating; their possible connections in government, etc.,” Lacson, who headed the PNP from 1999 to 2001, said in a post on his Twitter account.
Dalawang malalakas na sampal ang tumama sa mga Pinoy sa panahon ng pandemya dahil sa mahigit na P63 bilyong hindi ginamit na pondo sa Bayanihan 2 – kasama ang P46.397 bilyon na “undisbursed” at P17.23 bilyong “unobligated,” ayon kay Senador Panfilo Lacson nitong Lunes.
Isiniwalat ito ni Lacson matapos ang pagsasaliksik ng mga naturang datos bunga ng unang akusasyon ni Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte na sinabi umano ng mambabatas na mababa ang paggugol ng pamahalaan sa mga pondo nito ngayong pandemya.
“We should keep in mind that underspending is determined not by fund releases but by obligations and disbursements. And based on my research, is there underspending? Yes!” banggit ni Lacson sa panayam ng Radyo 5.
No thanks to a P63 billion-plus underspending by the government under Bayanihan 2 – with some P46.397 billion undisbursed and P17.273 billion unobligated – Filipinos whose lives and livelihoods were affected by the pandemic have been hit with a double whammy as much-needed aid did not reach them, Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson said on Monday.
“We should keep in mind that underspending is determined not by fund releases but by obligations and disbursements. And based on my research, is there underspending? Yes!” Lacson said in an interview on Radyo 5.
The President got his information all mixed up. I am not the Senator who claimed there was underspending under the Bayanihan fund. I’m quite sure because I don’t have the data on the matter, and I don’t speak without basis. Some other legislators did.
My speech before the Rotary Club last Friday dealt with pre-pandemic budget underspending from 2017 to 2019, on the annual average of P331 billion against our yearly gross borrowings of almost P1 trillion during the same period. Nothing to do with Bayanihan.
With that said, I cannot emphasize enough the need for the proper spending of our limited resources, regardless of whether these are from the Bayanihan or not. Our national debt has ballooned to P11.07 trillion as of end-May. Each one of us, even those newly born, is in debt by P100,000. We must make sure taxpayers’ money will be used judiciously.
And at the risk of sounding like a broken record, there is no room to mix business and health, especially during a time of extreme emergency like the pandemic.
Ang mabibigat na tanong na ito ang isiniwalat ni Senador Panfilo Lacson sa mga nagbabalak tumakbo sa pampanguluhang halalan sa 2022.
Hindi matatawaran ang bigat ng problema na patuloy na binubuno ng mga Pinoy kabilang na ang kalagayan ng Bulkang Taal, bukod pa sa mga nauna at hanggang ngayon ay mga problema tulad ng mga epekto ng pandemya, ayon kay Lacson.
“On the one hand, you have to make sure you are in the conversation and be in a position to win in the first place. But more importantly, you have to get a firm grasp of the problems besetting the country because what if you win, and you’re unprepared to face the problems? These are two equally important questions you have to ask yourself,” banggit ni Lacson sa panayam ng DZRH radio.
Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson on Friday posed these two critical questions to those wanting to lead at least 110 million Filipinos in 2022.
Lacson also stressed the seriousness of the problems facing the country, with the situation at Taal Volcano adding to the list.
“On the one hand, you have to make sure you are in the conversation and be in a position to win in the first place. But more importantly, you have to get a firm grasp of the problems besetting the country because what if you win, and you’re unprepared to face the problems? These are two equally important questions you have to ask yourself,” Lacson said in an interview on DZRH radio.
Huwag nang mag-aksaya ng panahon para patulan, i-report, at i-block.
Ito ang pansamantala subali’t epektibong tip na ibinabahagi ni Senador Panfilo Lacson sa mga lehitimong netizens habang naghihintay sa magiging aksiyon ng Facebook at iba pang social media platforms sa patuloy na paglala ng problema sa troll farms.
“We know trolls are financially and emotionally fueled by agitating and getting a response from their targets. Denying them that fuel is a good first step,” mariing pahayag ni Lacson na personal na nakakaranas ng pag-atake ng trolls sa social media.
Resist the urge to engage them, report them, and block them.
Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson said this is the three-point habit that ordinary Filipinos can develop against internet trolls, while waiting for Facebook and other social media platforms to crack down on them.
“We know trolls are financially and emotionally fueled by agitating and getting a response from their targets. Denying them that fuel is a good first step,” said Lacson, who has also encountered and dealt with trolls on social media.
Para sa maluwag na paggalaw ng mga umuuwing overseas Filipino workers (OFW) at pagpanumbalik ng masiglang ekonomiya ng bansa.
Ito ang dalawang mahahalagang puntos na idiniin ni Senador Panfilo Lacson sa pagsuporta at pag-apela sa National Task Force Against COVID-19 na pabilisin ang pagpapatupad ng standard quarantine protocols sa mga Pinoy na nabakunahan na rito sa Pilipinas at sa ibang bansa.
Ayon kay Lacson, hindi na makakapaghintay pa ang ekonomiya kaya’t ito ay dapat nang pabilisin sa pamamagitan ng mas pinagaang na sistema ng paggalaw ng mga ganap nang nabakunahan laban sa COVID-19.
Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson pushed for the fast-tracking of standard quarantine protocols for vaccinated Filipinos, to benefit not just returning overseas Filipino workers but also our economy.
As he threw his full support behind the National Task Force Against COVID-19’s move to draw up standard quarantine protocols for Filipinos vaccinated here and abroad, Lacson said economic recovery cannot afford to wait.
Mapipigilan ang hate crimes na bumiktima sa mga Pinoy sa abroad sa pamamagitan ng mas pinaigting na presensiya ng mga pulis sa mga lugar ng mga ito.
Ito ang nakikitang solusyon at pagsuporta na rin ni Senador Panfilo Lacson, dating Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief, sa panawagan ng opisyal ng pamahalaan sa ibayong dagat upang maawat ang patuloy na pagdami ng mga Pinoy na dinadahas doon.
Una nang hiniling ni Consul General to New York Elmer Cato ang mas pinaigting na presensiya ng pulisya sa mga lugar sa Estados Unidos bunga ng umiinit na anti-Asian hate, kung saan pinakahuling insidente ang naganap sa isang Pinay na consular officer sa New York.
Ayon kay Lacson, malaki ang maitutulong ng presensiya ng mga awtoridad para sa proteksiyon ng mga Pinoy hindi lamang sa US kundi sa iba pang panig ng mundo na kinaroroonan ng mga ito.
Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson on Sunday backed calls for increased police presence to prevent further incidents of anti-Asian hate in the United States, following the latest incident where a Filipina consular officer was verbally assaulted in New York.
Lacson supported Consul General Elmer Cato’s calls for increased police presence especially in the subways; and for Filipinos to report hate crimes to the Consulate or via 911 if they witness or become victims themselves of such crimes.
“Based on accounts initially cited by Consul General to New York Elmer Cato, there have been at least 14 hate incidents involving members of the Filipino community so far this year, counting the latest incident. This is disturbing and has to stop,” said Lacson, who chairs the Committee on Foreign Affairs in the Commission on Appointments.
Our people must get the jab done, but our government must get the job done.
Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson said this is the formula for the Philippines to get out of the COVID-19 pandemic – with the government continuing to find ways to improve the implementation of the vaccination program, and people trusting that vaccines can protect them.
“The best way out of this pandemic is for our people to ‘get the jab done’ and our government to ‘get the job done,’” he said on his Twitter account on Thursday.
Sagradong obligasyon at tungkulin ang pagtakbo bilang Pangulo gaya lamang ng pagpili ng mga botante ng kanilang iboboto, kaya dapat na seryoso muna itong pinag-iisipan at pinaglalaanan ng panahon bago maglabas ng desisyon.
Ayon kay Senador Panfilo Lacson, kasama sa mga unang dapat na ginagawa ng nagbabalak na sumabak sa pampanguluhang halalan ay ang pagkonsulta sa mga dalubhasa para sa responsibilidad na papasukin na kailangang sabayan din ng pagmulat sa mga botante na maging higit na responsable sa pagpili ng iboboto.
“To me, the decision to go for it is as sacred as going to the poll booth to vote. Since the vote is sacred, there is a bigger responsibility on the part of potential leaders to decide – and prepare – to be a leader of this country,” paliwanag ni Lacson.
Ipinaalala ng mambabatas na ang mga lider ang tinitingnan ng mga tao bilang ehemplo.
Deciding to run for the presidency is a sacred duty that should be taken as seriously as going to the poll booth to vote, Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson said Tuesday.
Lacson said those who decide to run for the top post should prepare for the job by consulting experts in various fields, while helping the electorate become more mature.
“To me, the decision to go for it is as sacred as going to the poll booth to vote. Since the vote is sacred, there is a bigger responsibility on the part of potential leaders to decide – and prepare – to be a leader of this country,” he said.
“Our people’s lives depend on it. Tiktok, photo-ops and lip service cannot solve our country’s enormous problems,” he added.
Hindi kandidatura ang pinakaimportanteng dapat na paghandaan ng isang nagnanais na mamuno sa bansa, dahil bago niya ito isipin ay kailangan munang mahanap niya ang solusyon sa mga mabibigat na problema ng responsibilidad na papasukin.
Ayon kay Lacson, ang tunay na mabigat na trabaho ay hindi sa kampanya kundi pagkatapos nito dahil haharapin ng bagong pinuno ang ga-higante na problema tulad ng pambansang utang, kawalan ng hanapbuhay at patuloy na katiwalian.
“It’s not about prestige or being part of history as being the President of the country. The more important thing is to ask yourself if you can solve the country’s problems. Ang importante: Kaya ba, at may solusyon ba?” banggit ng mambabagtas sa panayam ng DWIZ radio.
“There is also a need to seek the advice and ideas of economic experts and other experienced persons to find solutions – short-, middle- and long-term – to confront and address the problems aggravated by the pandemic,” he added.
More than just deciding to file his or her candidacy and get elected, the next leader must also be prepared to deal with the humongous problems besetting the country, Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson said.
Lacson said the real hard work comes not in the campaign but after it, with the next President facing “overwhelming” problems that include a ballooning national debt, unemployment and continued corruption.
“It’s not about prestige or being part of history as being the President of the country. The more important thing is to ask yourself if you can solve the country’s problems. Ang importante: Kaya ba, at may solusyon ba?” he said in an interview on DWIZ radio.
“There is also a need to seek the advice and ideas of economic experts and other experienced persons to find solutions – short-, middle- and long-term – to confront and address the problems aggravated by the pandemic,” he added.
Ipinaabot ni Senador Panfilo Lacson sa Estados Unidos ang kanyang maagang pasasalamat matapos na ibilang ang Pilipinas sa mga uunahing bigyan ng bakuna sa ilalim ng COVID vaccine-sharing strategy nito.
Tinukoy ng mambabatas bilang indikasyon ng pagkakaibigan ang pagkakalahok ng Estados Unidos sa Pilipinas sa mga mauunang pagkalooban ng bahagi ng unang 25 milyon na doses ng bakuna.
“Thank you. We won’t forget this gesture of friendship. Unless World Health Organization protocols are too strict on vaccine donations, it would be better if it’s done bilaterally instead of through COVAX. Our people need the vaccines ASAP,” banggit ni Lacson sa kanyang Twitter account.
Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson thanked the United States government on Friday for making the Philippines one of the first beneficiaries of its COVID vaccine-sharing strategy.
Lacson described as a “gesture of friendship” the inclusion of the Philippines in the US’ list of recipients of the first 25 million doses to be shared.
But he also suggested that this be done bilaterally if possible to make sure Filipinos get the vaccines sooner, even as he pushed for greater efforts by our government to enhance people’s trust in the vaccines.
“Thank you. We won’t forget this gesture of friendship. Unless World Health Organization protocols are too strict on vaccine donations, it would be better if it’s done bilaterally instead of through COVAX. Our people need the vaccines ASAP,” Lacson said on his Twitter account.
“Meanwhile, our government needs to continue enhancing our people’s trust in the vaccines, especially those who remain reluctant to get their jabs done. Our people should be convinced of the truth that getting inoculated can save their lives as well as those of their loved ones – and pay no mind to the disinformation and conspiracy theories,” he added.
* Shortfall in revenue collections, with revenues at P2.84 trillion already including non-tax revenues like dividends, fees, etc., compared to the original target of P3.25 trillion, based on the Development Budget Coordination Committee’s 2019 projections for the 2020 General Appropriations Act.
Then there’s the continued uncertainty of the pandemic situation in the country and the whole world, not to mention a whole lot of other problems that will confront the next administration like the West Philippine Sea, illegal drugs, corruption and even issues surrounding the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, and God knows what else.
While arresting those responsible and filing the appropriate charges against them would be a good start, authorities can take a much bigger step by accelerating the vaccination process by making it more efficient.
Although the 15-minute post-vaccination monitoring of newly vaccinated people should be retained as part of the health protocols, many doctors say that the pre-screening should be done away with because that is the main cause of clogging.
Meanwhile, the forms that vaccine recipients are required to fill up should take care of issues like hypertension and allergies, so why is there still a need to examine their blood pressure? Many whose blood pressures will be taken run a higher risk getting infected. Doon pa nahahawa sa pila dahil papalit-palit ang pawis sa mga braso ng mga magkakasunod na kinukunan.
Similarly, the authorities concerned should further trim the process by making sure recipients who have to fill up numerous forms when registering online are not made to fill up redundant forms onsite. This is aside from making the questions more understandable.
It is not a new and unique practice. One reason why the vaccination program in other countries, particularly the United States, has become highly successful is that recipients of the vaccines are only informed of the brand of the vaccine once they are already on site and ready to get inoculated.
There is no saying that the choice of the brand is totally disregarded, but those who refuse the vaccine immediately available will have to fall out of line and wait for their preferred brand.
Also, some health experts have pointed out the best vaccine is the one available. Besides, clinical trials are a continuing process so no one can really conclude with finality which vaccine brand is better than the other.
Bago manghuli ng mga pasaway, dapat ay masigurado muna ng mga awtoridad na lahat ng mamamayan, lalo ang mga walang pambili, ay mapagkalooban ng libreng face mask.
Ito ang ipinanawagan ni Senador Panfilo Lacson upang matiyak na lahat ay hindi magkakaroon ng dahilan para hindi magsuot ng face mask, maging ang mga mahihirap na ultimo pangkain ay pinoproblema kung saan hahagilapin.
“Before implementing the arrest order issued against Filipinos not wearing masks, it is but fair and just for the government to provide to those who don’t have the money to buy them,” banggit ni Lacson sa pamamagitan ng kanyang Twitter account.
It is only fair that poor Filipinos who cannot afford face masks deserve a chance to obey the rules first before they get arrested.
Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson stressed this Wednesday amid President Rodrigo Duterte’s directive to authorities to arrest those not wearing face masks properly.
“Before implementing the arrest order issued against Filipinos not wearing masks, it is but fair and just for the government to provide to those who don’t have the money to buy them,” Lacson said in a post on his Twitter account.
Senate President Vicente Sotto III and I had a good meeting with the three czars of the government’s COVID response Thursday night to discuss red tape issues and the funding needs hounding the country’s fight against COVID. We met with vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr., testing czar Vivencio Dizon, and contact tracing czar Benjamin Magalong.
Hindi maabuso ng National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) ang bilyun-bilyong pisong pondong inilaan ng gobyerno sa pagpapaunlad sa mga komunidad na nalinis na mula sa impluwensiya ng New People’s Army (NPA).
Ito ang tugon ni Senate Committee on National Defense Chairman Panfilo Lacson sa mga mambabatas na nagnanais na tanggalan ng pondo ang NTF-ELCAC, kasabay ng pagsasabing mga lokal na pamahalaan (LGU) ang mangangasiwa sa paggastos sa mga ito para sa mga proyektong pangkaunlaran.
Nasa P9.699 bilyon na mula sa kabuuang P16.4 bilyon ang nailalabas na pondo para sa pagpapaunlad ng mga barangay na nalinis na sa dating pamamayagpag at impluwensiya ng nabanggit na grupo.
“Being the sponsor of the NTF-ELCAC’s 2021 budget, it is my obligation and responsibility to defend the Department of Budget and Management’s release of funds which will be implemented not by the NTF-ELCAC but by the local government units concerned,” paliwanag ni Lacson na siya ring sponsor ng gastusin ng Department of National Defense (DND) at mga ahensiya nito para sa kasalukuyang taon.
Some P9.699 billion has been released so far for the development of barangays that have been cleared of the influence of the New People’s Army (NPA), but this – or the full P16.4-billion allocation for 2021 – cannot be “abused” by the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson said.
Lacson gave this assurance to fellow lawmakers who are asking to defund NTF-ELCAC, even as he stressed the amount would eventually be released to the local government units that will implement the development projects.
“Being the sponsor of the NTF-ELCAC’s 2021 budget, it is my obligation and responsibility to defend the Department of Budget and Management’s release of funds which will be implemented not by the NTF-ELCAC but by the local government units concerned,” said Lacson, who chairs the Senate’s Committee on National Defense and who sponsored the budget of the Department of National Defense (DND) and its attached agencies for 2021.
Ito ang nagtatakang tanong ni Senador Panfilo Lacson bunga ng patuloy na pangangamkam sa sakop ng teritoryo ng Pilipinas, pang-aagrabyado at pagkibit-balikat ng China sa mga protestang inihahain ng Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) dahil sa mga ginagawa nito sa West Philippine Sea (WPS).
Bunga ng mga naturang pangyayari, iminungkahi ni Lacson, chairman ng Senate Committee on National Defense, na muling pasadahan ang mga nilalaman ng diplomatic ties ng dalawang bansa.
Sa kanyang Twitter post, nanawagan din ang mambabatas sa mga kasamahang senador na suportahan si DFA Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. sa pagpalag nito sa isa sa pinakahuling ginawa ng China sa mga Pinoy na nasa WPS.
“Maybe a review of the country’s diplomatic relations is timely and called for. All the diplomatic protests that the Secretary of Foreign Affairs filed have been ignored as if nothing was filed at all. The continued incursions and bullying finally got his goat. The Senate must support him in this regard,” banggit ni Lacson.
What kind of friend – or benefactor – would take what is ours, bully us, and ignore our protests?
On this note, Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson is seeking a review of the diplomatic ties between the Philippines and China, in the wake of China’s recent incursions and bullying in the West Philippine Sea.
Lacson also said the Senate should throw its support behind Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr., who in a tweet had told China to “get… out” after filing numerous diplomatic protests over China’s conduct.
“Maybe a review of the country’s diplomatic relations is timely and called for. All the diplomatic protests that the Secretary of Foreign Affairs filed have been ignored as if nothing was filed at all. The continued incursions and bullying finally got his goat. The Senate must support him in this regard,” Lacson, who heads the Senate’s national defense committee, said on his Twitter account late Monday.
Hindi dapat malagay sa kompromiso ang pakikipaglaban ng Pilipinas sa mga bahagi ng West Philippine Sea (WPS) na nasa loob ng teritoryo nito, pati na rin ang iba pang mahahalagang usapin dahil lamang sa lumalalang bangayan ng dalawang magkalabang paksiyon sa pulitika sa bansa.
Ayon kay Senate committee on national defense chairman Panfilo Lacson, higit na nakakarami pa rin ang mga may lehitimong layunin para sa ikakaayos ng bansa kaya hindi dapat matabunan ang hangaring ito ng dalawang grupo na gamit ang troll farm.
“We are a deeply divided nation. DDS and Yellows bicker about anything. Worse, they assume that everybody else is their proxy. Right or wrong, either you’re with them or against them. Absolutely false! There are many of us who speak our own minds, not theirs,” banggit ni Lacson sa kanyang Twitter account.
Majority of Filipinos must not let the deep “political divide” keep them from coming up with a united stand on the West Philippine Sea and other issues of national importance, Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson said Sunday.
Lacson lamented that while there are tens of millions of Filipinos who have their own opinions about important issues, only two groups are dominating the conversation, and mostly through the operation of troll farms.
“We are a deeply divided nation. DDS and Yellows bicker about anything. Worse, they assume that everybody else is their proxy. Right or wrong, either you’re with them or against them. Absolutely false! There are many of us who speak our own minds, not theirs,” he said in a post on his Twitter account.
Sa halip na magtalo-talo, dapat nang magkaisa ang mga lider ng bansa sa usapin ng pakikipaglaban ng Pilipinas sa China sa karapatan sa West Philippine Sea (WPS).
Ayon kay Senador Panfilo Lacson, Chairman ng Senate Committee on National Defense, hindi malayong samantalahin ng China ang sitwasyon kapag hindi pa nagkaisa ang mga lider ng Pilipinas dahil nakikita nilang mahina ang isang bansang may nagaganap na bangayan.
“Ang irony nito at nakakalungkot, sa halip na magtulong-tulong tayong mga Pilipino, especially mga leaders, tayo pa nag-aaway-away sa usaping West Philippine Sea. Dapat iisa ang position natin. Yan ang nagpapakita ng weakness natin sa China,” banggit ni Lacson sa panayam ng DZXL.
Ayon pa sa mambabatas, hindi rin dapat idinidikit sa usapin ng agawan sa WPS ang mga bakuna laban sa COVID-19 na donasyon ng China sa bansa dahil papalalain nito ang hidwaan sa pagitan ng mga lider.
“Dapat magsimula tayo na nagkakaisa tayo na dapat ipaglaban natin ang ating sovereignty and territorial integrity. Dapat walang kinalaman ang bakuna sa usaping territorial integrity and national sovereignty,” banggit ni Lacson.
The Philippines’ top leaders must come up with a united stand on the West Philippine Sea issue instead of bickering, lest it exposes a weakness that China can exploit, Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson said over the weekend.
Lacson also stressed China’s donation of COVID-19 vaccines should not be connected to the issue of our sovereignty and territorial integrity in the West Philippine Sea, as doing so may cause division.
“Ang irony nito at nakakalungkot, sa halip na magtulong-tulong tayong mga Pilipino, especially mga leaders, tayo pa nag-aaway-away sa usaping West Philippine Sea. Dapat iisa ang position natin. Yan ang nagpapakita ng weakness natin sa China (The sad irony is that instead of coming up with a united front, we – especially our leaders – are bickering on the issue. What we need is a united position. Otherwise, we are just showing our weakness, one that China could exploit),” Lacson, who chairs the Senate committee on national defense, said in an interview on DZXL radio.
“Dapat magsimula tayo na nagkakaisa tayo na dapat ipaglaban natin ang ating sovereignty and territorial integrity. Dapat walang kinalaman ang bakuna sa usaping territorial integrity and national sovereignty (Our stand must start with upholding our sovereignty and territorial integrity. Vaccines have nothing to do with this issue),” he added.
No thanks to the “loose lips” of its spokesperson, the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) may find its budget for 2022 in deep trouble, Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson said Saturday.
Lacson said that while he believes the NTF-ELCAC is doing well in terms of developing areas cleared of the New People’s Army, Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade Jr.’s recent political statements threaten to take away those gains.
“The Armed Forces of the Philippines must remain apolitical. Otherwise, the constitutional balance among institutions is skewed and democratic governance is disturbed and even threatened. Lt. Gen. Parlade should just focus on ending insurgency and fighting terrorism. When he retires, he can debate all he wants on political issues,” Lacson said.
“Because of his commentaries, the NTF-ELCAC is dragged into controversies. Nauuna ang bibig niya sa kanyang ginagawa. Yan ang danger, kasi nakakagulo na. Instead of helping, his loose lips threaten to drag the NTF-ELCAC into the mess,” he added, in an interview on DWIZ radio.
Well and good if it actually happens. It would mean that the President is not impervious to valid criticisms against an ill-advised course of action that will bring more harm than good on all practical aspects involving the hog industry.
I hope the President considers the plight of the dying industry affecting 80,000 backyard hog raisers along with hundreds of thousands of farmhands and their families – and the foregone revenues the government will deal with, especially at this time of the pandemic.
That being said, Department of Agriculture officials claimed during the Senate hearing to have based their action on their own analysis, which could be self-serving and designed to suit their purpose.
Thus – with an average yearly surplus of 400 million kilos from local hog production for the three-year period 2018-2020, it defies logic why they still allowed the importation of almost 200 million kilos year-on-year for the same period.
The next challenge, however, is compliance to his instructions by the concerned health authorities – including how long it will take to approve the applications to import their vaccines under the existing tripartite agreement. Then there’s the availability of vaccines in the world market, not to mention the time lag between booking and actual deliveries of the vaccines.
Had the order been issued at the time when the private sector was clamoring to be allowed to procure their own vaccines, subject to the usual existing regulations and protocols issued by the World Health Organization, by now the country would likely have been vaccinating en masse and nearing herd immunity, thanks in large part to the private sector.