Speaker Cayetano may have a point since the Constitution provides that bills of local application like franchise measures must originate from the House of Representatives.
He is wrong in equating it to the Charter change issue, though, since as practiced and for expediency, we conduct committee hearings on tax and budget measures even before the House transmits its approved version of the bill to the Senate.
What can be considered blatantly violative of the Constitution is if the Senate committee chairperson reports out on the floor for plenary debates the committee report. This is something we have not done and will never do.
Having said that, what I understand to be tackled by the Public Services Committee are not the bills in connection with the ABS-CBN franchise but a filed resolution to conduct an inquiry in aid of legislation on the alleged violations of ABS-CBN that is being questioned by the Office of the Solicitor General before the Supreme Court via a quo warranto petition in which I have earlier expressed reservation out of courtesy to a co-equal branch that has already given due course to the said petition.
To the Inquirer: Please allow us to set the record straight regarding Solita Monsod’s Sept. 14 column, “Three against Leila,” where she insinuated that Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson had an “axe to grind” against Sen. Leila M. de Lima as his motive in inviting former Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) OIC Rafael Ragos and Jovencio Ablen Jr. of the National Bureau of Investigation as resource persons to the Senate hearing on corruption at the BuCor last Sept. 12.
At the organizational meeting of the Senate Committee on Urban Planning, Housing and Resettlement, Sen. Lacson asked housing officials about the “lessons learned” in the occupation of housing units by Kadamay. NHA General Manager Marcelino Escalada assured they are addressing these issues.
In interviews on DZBB, Sen. Lacson answers questions on ‘Bikoy,’ including:
– the decision to cancel the May 10 Senate hearing for ‘Bikoy’
– need to legislate tougher penalties vs fake testimonies
– Bikoy claim he wants to face Senate after and not before May 13 elections
– claims that senators have already prejudged Bikoy
Posibleng imbitahan ng Mataas na Kapulungan ng Kongreso anumang araw ngayong linggo ang lumutang na “Bikoy” upang isalang ito sa imbestigasyon, kung makakapagpakita ito ng dalawang katibayan.
Ayon kay Senador Panfilo Lacson, Chairman ng Senate Committee on Public Order and Illegal Drugs na siyang mangunguna sa imbestigasyon, kailangan lamang ni “Bikoy” na magdala ng sinumpaang salaysay at karagdagang mabibigat na dokumento kaugnay sa kanyang mga naunang paratang.
Kasama sa layunin ng magiging imbestigasyon ni Lacson na bumuo ng batas na magpapataw ng mas mabibigat na parusa sa pagsisinungaling, partikular na sa mga pagdinig na ginagawa ng lehislatura.
“I filed Senate Bill 253 to protect innocent people from being wrongly jailed or having their reputations suffer because of lying witnesses,” pagbabalik-tanaw ni Lacson na kung ilang beses na ring nabiktima ng mga imbentong akusasyon.
The Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs may hold a hearing on the claims made by “Bikoy” as early as within this week, but only if he personally presents his sworn statement and evidence to support his accusations.
Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson, who chairs the panel, said this in a post on his Twitter account Tuesday, as he noted “Bikoy” has become a political – if not an election – issue.
Lacson indicated one of the goals of the hearing would be to bolster proposed legislation providing heavier penalties against perjury, especially before congressional investigations.
“Like it or not, Bikoy has become a political, if not an election issue. The Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs can schedule a hearing this week on one condition: Bikoy must personally present a sworn statement and his evidence to support his accusations,” he said.
Dahil posibleng nagagamit na rin ang mga social media platforms sa paghahasik ng terorismo, pinag-aaralan ng Senado kung mapapabilang na ang mga ito sa mga babantayan ng pamahalaan.
Sa pagdinig ng Senate Committee on Public Order and Illegal Drugs sa panukalang mas pinatapang na Anti-Terror Law, isiniwalat ni Senador Panfilo Lacson, chairman ng naturang komite, na inaaral nila kung tututukan ang “socmed” accounts na ginagamit para palaganapin ang terorismo.
“We must be clear. The state must take immediate action in the exercise of its police powers to address the threat of terrorism,” paliwanag ni Lacson.
Nguni’t tiniyak ng mambabatas na kung matutuloy ito, hindi nito babanggain ang kalayaan ng pamamahayag sa ilalim ng ating Saligang Batas.
“This is in the context of the state dealing with terrorism, and as such it needs immediate action in the exercise of its police powers to abate terrorism,” ani Lacson.
At the Senate’s regional consultative hearing on Charter change in Baguio City, Sen. Lacson stressed the need for empowering LGUs. Even without amending the Charter, he noted this can be done.
In 2016, Lacson filed Senate Bill 40, the Budget Reform for Village Empowerment Act of 2016. The bill seeks to “end the culture of mendicancy and political patronage” while helping Filipinos realize the “elusive inclusive growth.”