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.”
At the Senate hearing on decongesting transport facilities including the NAIA, Sen. Lacson stressed that implementation is key to addressing overcrowding woes.
“Obviously, we all know the problem. Apparently, we also know the solution. So no matter how many meetings, how many public hearings, how many presentations we have, ang solusyon lang talaga is implementation, ‘di ba? But ang tanong, why are we not doing it? … Overload na tayong lahat ng statistics (and) information (at) alam nating lahat, pero what are we doing about it?“
At the Senate hearing on Charter change on Jan. 17, former Chief Justice Hilario Davide Jr. congratulated Sen. Lacson for filing Senate Resolution 580: “I would like to commend and congratulate you for filing that resolution, for the Senate now to act on proposing or initiating an amendment to the Constitution as a separate institutional body independent and coordinate with the Lower House. (The) proposal in the Lower House may reach its goal by riding on a bullet train, it could be the second train in the Lower House faster as expected because you have in the Lower House a super majority. And I don’t think with that composition of the Lower House now will be an objective deliberation. You can even say it is a done deal in the Lower House. In the Senate, with that resolution, you can put a brake to any attempt to railroad a proposal to amend the Constitution.“
At the Senate hearing discussing moves to amend the Constitution, Sen. Lacson was congratulated by former Chief Justice Hilario Davide Jr. for Senate Resolution 580, which lets the Senate act on proposing or initiating an amendment to the Constitution “as a separate institutional body independent” of the Lower House.
Mr. President, fellow members of this august chamber, I have the honor to report on the Senate floor the result of the inquiry, in aid of legislation, conducted by the Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs on the Privilege Speech of Sen. Antonio F. Trillanes IV regarding the public confession of retired SPO3 Arturo Lascañas on the existence of the Davao Death Squad (DDS), as embodied in Committee Report No. 97.
Mr. President, one night in September 2015, an ailing man while undergoing dialysis in a hospital in Davao City, dreamt that the devil was inside his room. The dream seemed so real, he even had flashbacks on certain incidents of his life, particularly the times when he killed people. He recalled calling the name of Jesus and made a promise to serve His will from thereon. Thereafter, he found himself saved by a child-like image appearing from a bright light. He then woke up from his dream and became a renewed man. That was the story of the spiritual awakening of Mr. Arturo Lascañas.
More than a year later, or on October 3, 2016, the same man was summoned by the Senate committee on justice and human rights to testify under oath as to the alleged existence of and the President’s participation and involvement in the Davao Death Squad (DDS). Before proceeding, he took an oath before everyone present in this very hall and in front of the entire nation, invoking the name of God to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
I would like to welcome everyone to the joint public hearing of the Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs and the Committee on Justice and Human Rights, with reference to the manifestation and motion made by Sen. Vicente Sotto III last November 7, 2016, tasking your Committee to investigate and inquire, in aid of legislation, into the killing of Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. of Albuera, Leyte.