Tag: President Rodrigo Duterte

#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

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

On the President’s ‘Option’ to Take a Direct Hand in Resolving the Budget Impasse

It is the President’s option to do whatever is necessary, even taking a “direct” hand in resolving the Speakership issue, with the timely passage of the 2021 national budget as his only consideration. After all, anything that has to do with national interest should involve the President.

This is one credit I would give to the President. As the leader of the coalition of political parties in the House of Representatives, I don’t think there is impropriety if he steps in to resolve the impasse between conflicting groups that are both his allies anyway. A few calls to the leaders of those coalitions can simplify matters.

Having said that, how can the Senate accept a printed copy of an unapproved House version of the budget bill, as proposed by Speaker Cayetano? We can only file a committee report once the General Appropriations Bill is transmitted to us after it has been approved on third and final reading. Why do they have to wait for Nov. 16 to approve the budget on third and final reading? I can’t understand any of this.

Our priority in the Senate remains the same – to pass on time a national budget that will allow us to deal with the effects of the pandemic. This includes scrutinizing the budget bill to make sure huge sums are not lost to incompetence or greed.


#PINGterview: Likely Delay in Passage of 2021 Budget; Sec. Duque’s WHO Post

In an interview with Senate media, Sen. Lacson answered questions on:
* likely delay in passage of 2021 budget
* Sec. Duque’s new post at the World Health Organization

Continue reading “#PINGterview: Likely Delay in Passage of 2021 Budget; Sec. Duque’s WHO Post”

On the President’s ‘Offers’ to Resign, Appear before Congress

Screen grab from PCOO

Instead of resigning, the President only needs to be consistent in applying the anti-graft and corruption laws to both friends and foes.

Strong words and warnings may work, but only when backed by political will and followed by concrete actions. There is no better way.

As for his offer to appear before a congressional hearing, that may not be necessary. In fact, the Senate is already proposing in a bill to give him Bayanihan-like powers to address red tape in government.


On the President’s Defense of the Anti-Terrorism Law Before the United Nations General Assembly

I couldn’t agree more with the President.

Stating his strong position on the issue before the community of nations, many of whom are leaders of countries that continue to grapple with the threats of terrorism, made it more significant.

Indeed, terrorism is a threat that knows no timing nor borders as shown in recent bombings in our own turf. This led us to pass the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 that contains the needed legal backbone to let our security forces implement the law with efficacy and confidence, even proactively – as well as the needed safeguards to curb potential abuse and violation of the 1987 Constitution.


On the President’s Affirmation of the Philippines’ Arbitral Victory over China before the United Nations

‘Alipin’ no more! Hearing the President invoke the Award before the UN General Assembly while firmly rejecting any attempt to undermine it should now erase doubts on where he stands regarding the West Philippine Sea issue.

Filipinos from both sides of the political aisle should feel proud hearing the President express his strong and unequivocal position on the WPS issue. His statement should erase all doubts on where he stands.

More importantly, I hope that China heard the President’s message loud and clear.


More than Emergency Powers, Strong Political Will Needed to Disinfect PhilHealth

More than “emergency powers” to reorganize PhilHealth, what the President needs is real, honest-to-goodness, strong political will first.

Since PhilHealth is a creation of a law passed by Congress, the President has no statutory power to reorganize the agency, so he actually needs an act of Congress to delegate to him such power or authority.

And if the President’s intention is to cleanse PhilHealth of scalawags and misfits, he may not need that delegated authority anymore as he has the Philippine National Police, National Bureau of Investigation, Department of Justice and other instrumentalities of government at his disposal.

That said, there is no time to lose to exercise such political will: No matter how good our country’s economic managers are, if our health department is below the level of incompetence in the middle of this pandemic, we will all sink before we can even start to swim.

For a start, he can fire its ex-officio chairman and replace him with someone even with little above-average leadership traits, competence, honesty and integrity – and who won’t wash his hands but takes full responsibility for what PhilHealth does or fails to do.


#PINGterview: What’s Next for PhilHealth?

In an interview on DZXL, Sen. Lacson answered questions on:
* How Anti-Terror Law could have prevented Jolo blasts
* National debt
* Suggestions to strengthen PhilHealth

Continue reading “#PINGterview: What’s Next for PhilHealth?”

#PINGterview: Senate Hearing on PhilHealth Corruption | August 3, 2020

In an interview with Senate media, Sen. Lacson answers questions on:
* Senate Committee of the Whole hearing on corruption at PhilHealth on Aug. 4
* Calls for DOH Secretary Duque’s resignation
* Medical frontliners’ plight

Continue reading “#PINGterview: Senate Hearing on PhilHealth Corruption | August 3, 2020”

On Sec. Duque’s Fitness to Stay as DOH Chief

It is not only me who disagrees with the President for not firing Secretary Duque. There were 14 senators who had earlier asked him to resign. I don’t think that number has changed.

Many others in the DOH and the medical community also want him to resign or be replaced.

Having said that, I couldn’t understand what “amulet” or magic potion Duque has as far as the President is concerned.

His failure to do a simple contact tracing on the co-passengers who took the same flight as the virus-infected couple from Wuhan, China, further aggravated by his refusal to assume responsibility by blaming other agencies of government when it was his duty to coordinate that effort was his first major offense in a series of devastating blunders.

All these being considered, it is not difficult to understand why we are in this mess.