Then came the instruction of President Rodrigo Duterte to Sec. Galvez to brief Senate President Vicente Sotto III. I suggested to them that SP Sotto and I just go together, along with Sen. Ronald de la Rosa.
Sec. Galvez’s briefing clarified a lot of issues and concerns raised by the senators that have remained unresolved until last night. We advised him to explain in tomorrow’s hearing the same way that he did last night, without violating the terms of the agreement with the vaccine suppliers.
On our part, we committed to honor and respect those terms so as not to put in jeopardy the deliveries of the vaccines that he said will start within the first quarter of this year.
I accepted his apology. He promised to be more careful in issuing statements.
We were shown the documents. And we have no doubt about Sec. Galvez’s integrity and his sincerity to accomplish his task.
That said, we advised Sec. Galvez to mind his back, front, left and right sides. He may have the best of intentions but there may be people pushing him out front to do the talking and explaining to take advantage of his credibility while pursuing their own interests. He assured us that he will make it very hard for those people to even have an opening for that opportunity.
We share the same goal – to ensure our people are vaccinated against COVID-19, with no room for overpricing and other irregularities. The executive and legislative departments must work together in this regard.
In the absence of a Philippine Supreme Court ruling on the President’s power to unilaterally break a treaty or bilateral agreement like the VFA without the consent of a 2/3 supermajority vote of the members of the Senate, the President can do that without the Senate’s approval or consent.
Having said that, the Supreme Court should act soonest on whether the Senate’s consent is needed before the executive department can terminate a treaty or bilateral agreement – an issue raised in a petition filed before it by members of the Senate.
At the hearing of the Senate Committee on National Defense, Sen. Lacson stressed the need to pass a stronger anti-terrorism law soonest, citing signs of radicalism and extremism making their way to Philippine shores.
Lacson also strongly suggested that the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), headed by former Sen. Gringo Honasan, play a more active role against terrorism as it deals with telcos and ISPs.
Several aspects of the proposed anti-terrorism measure were tackled, including the removal of predicate crimes, making terrorism a continuing crime, and extending the reglamentary period in the detention of suspected terrorists to 14 days, extendible further to another 15 days. [Video Courtesy News5]
At the hearing of the Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs, Sen. Lacson stressed the need for proactive measures to prevent the recruitment of students, especially minors, to the New People’s Army by its legal fronts.
“Yung point ko lang, magkaroon tayo ng proactive move para matigilan ang ultimate objective ng nagre-recruit na isali sa NPA. Pag naroon at armado na, nasa point of no return kasi pwede makasagupa ng sundalo at pulis.”
“This is (an) internal security and law enforcement problem. Balik tayo sa battle for hearts and minds.”
In an interview, Sen. Lacson answered questions on:
– possible effects of a ‘shared’ House Speakership
– possible ‘pork’ in the budget, amending the 1987 Constitution
– Senate’s continued independence even with ‘the President’s men’
– passage of death penalty bill
– Sen dela Rosa’s ‘S*** happens’ statement
In an interview on DZBB, Sen. Lacson answered questions on:
– ‘one-standard’ leadership needed to stamp out corruption
– raising taxes amid ‘continued’ corruption at the Bureau of Customs
– passing on Senate committee to Senator-elect dela Rosa
In both formal and informal occasions, I often stress that this is the point in my life where I certainly have more yesterdays than tomorrows. I tell you, as I gaze into my ‘yesterdays,’ I cannot help but realize how much has really changed in every aspect of our lives.
Let me share with you — in the late 1950s, when I was a young elementary student in a sleepy town of Imus, Cavite, I had a vivid memory of a lone policeman we simply referred to as “Kabo.”
He was a highly esteemed and respected man assigned to keep peace and order in our almost obscure barangay called Barrio Bayanluma then.