On this note, Sen. Panfilo “Ping” M. Lacson welcomed Thursday the ruling of the Supreme Court on the petitions lodged against the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020.
“Peace wins over terror. Yan ang maliwanag diyan (Peace wins over terror. That much is clear),” Lacson, who is running for President under Partido Reporma, said at the weekly LACSON-SOTTO “Meet the Press” forum.
Sa harap ng umiinit na kontrobersiya sa isang anti-drug operation sa Laguna, ipinanawagan ni Senador Panfilo Lacson ang pagpapabilis sa proseso para makumpleto na at ganap nang magamit ang mga body cameras na inilaan para sa mga operatiba ng Philippine National Police (PNP).
Nadamay at napatay sa nabanggit na operasyon ang isang 16-taong gulang na tinedyer na ayon sa mga kaanak ay sadyang pinatay at ikinatuwiran naman ng mga pulis na ito ay nanlaban.
“The killing of a minor in a recent PNP drug bust operation and the subsequent ‘he says, she says’ conflicting versions of the story should prod the PNP to fast-track the procurement of more body cameras and require all their personnel deployed in field operations,” banggit ni Lacson.
Bukod sa naturang panawagan, umaasa rin si Lacson – na namuno sa PNP noong 1999 hanggang 2001 – na sa pinakamaagang panahon ay maglalabas ng patakaran ang Korte Suprema sa paggamit ng body cameras na magpapatigil sa pagbabatuhan ng kamalian at pangangatuwiran para palabasin na sila ang tama, sa pagitan ng mga operatiba at grupo o indibiduwal na target ng operasyon.
Amid the controversy involving the killing of a minor in an anti-drug operation in Laguna, Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson on Monday pushed for the fast-tracking of the procurement and deployment of body cameras for Philippine National Police operatives in the field.
Lacson, who headed the PNP from 1999 to 2001, also hopes the Supreme Court would issue soonest the guidelines for the use of the body cameras, which he said will lessen the “he said, she said” situation where various parties insist on conflicting versions of what happened.
“The killing of a minor in a recent PNP drug bust operation and the subsequent ‘he says, she says’ conflicting versions of the story should prod the PNP to fast-track the procurement of more body cameras and require all their personnel deployed in field operations,” he said.
“We hope the Supreme Court would issue soonest the guidelines and protocols for the use of the body cameras based on established jurisprudence that defines ‘reasonable expectation of privacy test’ – which will be a major asset to our law enforcers as well as improved protection of civilians against police abuses,” he added.
If the Philippine National Police leadership has privacy concerns over the use of body cameras for police personnel, I would suggest that it direct the PNP Legal Service to read the Supreme Court ruling on Ople vs Torres (GR No 127685), regarding “reasonable expectation of privacy test.” According to the High Court, the test determines whether a person has a reasonable expectation of privacy and whether the expectation has been violated.
I happen to know this from institutional memory when I was being interpellated by Sen. Leila de Lima on the bill amending Republic Act 4200, otherwise known as the Anti-Wiretapping Act, involving the issue of an individual’s right to privacy.
For example, a CCTV camera installed in a public place may be a good source of evidence since a malefactor captured by the camera while committing a crime will fail the “reasonable expectation of privacy test.” The same is true with the body camera.
Either way, the policeman committing an abuse in the exercise of his duties as well as the crime offender cannot use the “right to privacy” as their defense since either of them will fail the test.
Malinaw na nakasaad sa Saligang Batas ang karapatan ng Senado sa pagpasok ng ating pamahalaan sa mga pandaigdigang tratado lalo na kung nakasalalay ang pangmatagalang kapakanan at interes ng bansa, katulad ng Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA).
“I may not be a lawyer like the President. But last time I read the Constitution, a senator has something to do with international agreements. The President should refresh his memory by reading Article VII, Sec. 21 of the 1987 Constitution. It says: No treaty or international agreement shall be valid and effective unless concurred in by at least two-thirds of all the Members of the Senate,” banggit ni Lacson.
No less than the 1987 Constitution gives senators a say in the Philippines’ international agreements like the PH-US Visiting Forces Agreement, especially if they affect the country’s long-term national interest and security.
“I may not be a lawyer like the President. But last time I read the Constitution, a senator has something to do with international agreements. The President should refresh his memory by reading Article VII, Sec. 21 of the 1987 Constitution. It says: No treaty or international agreement shall be valid and effective unless concurred in by at least two-thirds of all the Members of the Senate,” said Lacson, who chairs the Senate Committee on National Defense.
Something is very wrong with Lt. Gen. Parlade’s mindset. On its face, his statement clearly implying that a journalist “was aiding the terrorists” is careless and insensitive. I do not know how else any literate person can interpret that.
That said, I couldn’t care less what else comes out of his mouth, nor do I have anything to do with his quarrel with Ms. Tetch Torres-Tupas. My primary concern is the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 which I and my staff, as well as my fellow senators worked extra hard to afford the state an effective legal tool against terrorism while ensuring that the Bill of Rights is protected, especially that the law is now facing some serious challenges before the Supreme Court.
If Lt. Gen. Parlade wants to help enlighten the magistrates as he claims, he can do it better by not talking about terrorism.
Without the certainty of punishment, the conviction of “pork barrel scam queen” Janet Lim-Napoles will not be enough to stop the menace of pork barrel and its iterations, Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson said Saturday.
Lacson, who had battled the pork barrel system since 2001, lamented that not even the Supreme Court’s ruling outlawing pork in 2013 managed to stop the practice since those involved would merely find a way to circumvent it.
“Have we solved the problem of ensuring public funds are used properly instead of going to the pockets of corrupt people? Can we be sure projects are free of bribery and other forms of corruption? These are questions that we must ask ourselves, and we can easily verify the answers – it takes two to tango,” he said in an interview on DWIZ radio.
Coming at a time when the Solicitor General is defending the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 against 37 petitions, particularly on the issue involving “overbreadth doctrine” among others, such remarks from a high-ranking military official is uncalled for and totally unnecessary.
The DPWH Secretary has full authority to assign personnel under his department, including the district engineers, unless he delegates it to his regional directors or if Malacañang overrides the assignments on very few occasions.
We also know that district representatives almost always use their influence in having their “favorite” district engineers assigned to their districts for a very obvious purpose: to have full control in the implementation of their “pet projects” funded by their insertions in the annual General Appropriations Act (GAA).
The question is, can the DPWH Secretary stand up to the pressure exerted on him by the congressmen? As we already know, the answer is obviously no. And no matter how the secretary denies it, nobody is ready to believe him. We also know that it is the root cause of corruption.
Almost anything that has to do with politics in this country breeds corruption. Politics becomes evil when self-aggrandizement and greed come into play – whether it is in aid of reelection or enrichment of an elected official while in power, the result is the same. Worse, these people do not know when to stop once they have started.
We only need to drive around the country to see and experience it everyday, in the form of dilapidated and substandard roads and bridges and other infrastructure projects. Potholes and clogged drainage are commonplace during and after the rains; worn-out infra projects even only after a few years of construction and inaugurations, and many more evidence in plain sight.
In an interview on DZBB/GMA News TV, Sen. Lacson answered questions on the Anti-Terrorism Law: * active role of the Commission on Human Rights in the Anti-Terror Law [10:31] * encouraging the filing of petitions on the Anti-Terrorism Law to boost public discussion [14:48]
In an interview on DWIZ, Sen. Lacson answered questions on:
* Anti-Terror Bill to be questioned before the Supreme Court [10:01]
* goals of Senate inquiry into Jolo incident [34:24]
* PH warning vs China over military exercises [40:34]
* special session for Bayanihan 2 [42:39]
In an interview on DZBB/GMA News TV, Sen. Lacson answered questions on:
* sufficiency of funds for 2nd tranche of social amelioration [0:16]
* 18M beneficiary families should get 2 months’ amelioration [1:07]
* possible supplemental budget [13:02]
* delay of funds due to ‘incompetence’ of some mayors, barangay heads [18:11]
* alleged ‘doble presyo’ of PPEs purchased by DOH, and related issues [20:18]
The Senate filed a Petition for Declaratory Relief and Mandamus before the Supreme Court on March 9, 2020, seeking a ruling on the need for Senate concurrence in ending treaties such as the VFA. Sen. Ping Lacson, who was among the petitioners, said the petition will be strengthened by Senate Resolution 337. “We’re not filing this petition in our individual capacity as senators but we’re backed by the whole Senate because of SR 337.”
At the Kapihan sa Senado forum, Sen. Lacson answered questions on:
– Passage of the proposed Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020
– Senate’s planned petition before the Supreme Court regarding VFA abrogation
– Congress’ possible actions regarding ABS-CBN’s franchise
I hope the Supreme Court will not include the Senate or any of its committees in the gag order, if issued as petitioned by the Solicitor General, in deference to the settled jurisprudence that tackled similar issues in the past.
What may be covered, though, are the resource persons who will be invited to shed light on this instant case involving the franchise of ABS-CBN as they are not exempt from the sub judice rule, which covers litigants and witnesses, members of the bar and the public in general.
Thus, they may run the risk of being cited for contempt once they express their opinions that might pose a clear and present danger in the administration of justice by directly influencing the members of the Court in rendering their votes to resolve the pending petition for quo warranto.
In an interview on DWIZ, Sen. Lacson answered questions on:
– lifting of travel ban on Taiwan
– issues involving P/Lt. Col. Jovie Espenido
– possible actions after VFA abrogation
– franchise of ABS-CBN
As I have earlier mentioned, there is no jurisdiction issue here. Rather, it is about merits in the SolGen’s allegations regarding an existing 25-year franchise that is expiring and over which the Supreme Court has original jurisdiction under the 1987 Constitution; and the merits of ABS-CBN’s application for a legislative franchise that Congress has the sole power to grant or deny under the same Constitution.
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.
In interviews on DZRH and DWIZ, Sen. Lacson answered questions on:
– need for strong political will by PRRD to veto pork
– continued blatant violations of the SC ruling vs pork in 2020 budget
– moves to counter pork and other ‘insertions’
– investigation of issues on the 2019 SEA Games organizers
Alinsunod sa panawagan ng namumuno sa hudikatura, naghain ng panukalang batas si Senador Panfilo Lacson para bumuo ng Philippine Judicial Marshal Service na magbigigay ng proteksiyon sa hukom, opisyales at maging mga kawani ng sektor na ito.
Isinulong ni Lacson ang Senate Bill 1209 matapos nagpahayag si Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta na kailangan ng judicial marshals na maging law enforcement arm ng hudikatura, na parang Supreme Court of the United States Police at United States Marshal.
“This legislative measure seeks to create a Philippine Judicial Marshal Service under the control and jurisdiction of the Supreme Court whose primary function is to protect, safeguard, watch over, provide security, and ensure the safety of justices, judges, court officials and personnel, and the various halls of justice, courthouses and other court buildings and properties all over the country,” paliwwanag ni Lacson sa pagsasampa ng Senate Bill 1209.
Ani Lacson, hindi bababa sa 31 ang napapatay na miyembro ng hudikatura sa nakalipas na dalawang dekada, lima sa mga ito ay naganap sa Duterte administration.
Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson has filed a bill creating the Philippine Judicial Marshal Service to safeguard the judiciary, by securing its officers and personnel so they can do their jobs independently and without fear of retaliation.
Lacson noted no less than Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta emphasized the need for judicial marshals to serve as the law enforcement arm of the Court, similar to the Supreme Court of the United States Police and United States Marshal.
“This legislative measure seeks to create a Philippine Judicial Marshal Service under the control and jurisdiction of the Supreme Court whose primary function is to protect, safeguard, watch over, provide security, and ensure the safety of justices, judges, court officials and personnel, and the various halls of justice, courthouses and other court buildings and properties all over the country,” he said in Senate Bill 1209.
He noted at least 31 reported killings of members of the judiciary in the last two decades, including five during the Duterte administration.
Huwag lang matabunan sa bicameral conference committee, mailalabas na sa darating na taon ang umento sa mga government nurses.
Ito ay makaraang naipasok sa Senate version ng P4.1-trilyong 2020 national budget ang ipinaglaban ni Senador Panfilo Lacson na alokasyon para rito.
Sa ilalim ng probisyon sa Senate version ng pambansang badyet na “Increasing the Salary Grade of Government Nurses,” magiging Salary Grade 15 (P30,531) ang buwanang base pay ng government nurses, sang-ayon sa utos ng Korte Suprema.
“The implementation of the salary adjustment shall take effect when the decision of the Supreme Court had become final and executory, but not earlier than the start of Fiscal Year 2020,” saad sa probisyon.
Government nurses’ hope for a much-needed wage increase is one step closer to reality, after the Senate adopted one of Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson’s proposed amendments to the P4.1-trillion national budget bill.
The Senate version of the national budget bill now includes a special provision proposed by Lacson – one of the vice chairpersons of the Senate contingent to the bicameral conference committee tackling the budget bill – to increase the salary grade of government nurses.
Under the new special provision, “Increasing the Salary Grade of Government Nurses,” the base pay of government nurses shall be Salary Grade 15 (P30,531 a month), in compliance with the Supreme Court’s decision (G.R. 215746).
Sa halip na itago, dapat isapubliko ng mga mambabatas ang kanilang isinusulong na amendments sa pambansang badyet para sa susunod na taon, sa pamamagitan ng pag-post nito sa kani-kanilang website.
Ito ang naging hamon ni Senador Panfilo Lacson sa mga kasamahan sa lehislatura upang siguraduhing walang pork ang mga pondong nakapaloob sa 2020 national budget.
“We should make everything public. That includes all amendments we submit, whether institutional or individual. We have our own websites, we should use them for this purpose, as I did for the 2019 budget,” paliwanag ni Lacson.
Instead of whispering proposed “amendments” to the 2020 national budget or scrawl them on napkins, why not post them online?
Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson issued this challenge to fellow lawmakers Tuesday, adding no less than such a show of transparency would dispel suspicions that the amendments are stained with pork.
“We should make everything public. That includes all amendments we submit, whether institutional or individual. We have our own websites, we should use them for this purpose, as I did for the 2019 budget,” Lacson, an avowed enemy of the pork barrel system, said in an interview on DZBB radio.
The President couldn’t have chosen a better qualified Chief Justice. Chief Justice Peralta is backed by a wealth of judicial experience, having started his career as a prosecutor, then as RTC judge, Sandiganbayan presiding justice and a Senior Associate Justice of the Court for more than a decade.
He is known for his integrity and competence, and one who enjoys the respect of his peers and others inside and outside the legal circle. I have known him all the way back when he was QC RTC judge who convicted almost if not all the KFR (kidnapping-for-ransom) suspects I apprehended when I was still in the law-enforcement service.
Many of the legal opinions that I – being a non-lawyer – have expressed during our committee hearings and plenary debates are in consultation with Justice Peralta. That is why I feel extremely confident when I manifest such opinions.
Makakatulog na nang mahimbing sa gabi si Senador Panfilo Lacson kung ang pag-uusapan ay ang pagbabantay niya sa kaban ng bayan laban sa mga wala sa lugar na paggastos at paghahangad ng mga kasamahan na kumupit sa pondong ito.
Nararamdaman na kasi ng mambabatas na nagiging epektibo na ang naumpisahang krusada laban sa pag-abuso ng mga kasamahan sa pambansang gastusin ng pamahalaan dahil sa katakawan sa pork barrel.
Ayon kay Lacson, bilang isang mambabatas ay kabilang sa kanyang sinumpaang obligasyon sa publiko ay ang mahigpit na bantayan laban sa pang-aabuso ang taunang gastusin ng pamahalaan.
“If by exposing all attempts by some lawmakers to go around the Supreme Court ruling declaring pork as unconstitutional, thus stymieing the selfish interests of those elected to perform their legislative duty, I’ll be able to sleep soundly at night knowing that I’ve done my share in guarding against unnecessary wastage of public funds that has prevented our country from taking off and become competitive,” pahayag ni Lacson.
“If by exposing all attempts by some lawmakers to go around the Supreme Court ruling declaring pork as unconstitutional, thus stymieing the selfish interests of those elected to perform their legislative duty, I’ll be able to sleep soundly at night knowing that I’ve done my share in guarding against unnecessary wastage of public funds that has prevented our country from taking off and become competitive,” he said.
“My critics would claim I am just making a lot of noise but I do not let such negative comments affect, much less stop me. This is my biggest advocacy because the budget is the lifeblood of the nation. If this blood is taken away, the nation may suffer from anemia, or even a stroke,” he added.
As early as 2013, the Supreme Court already ruled that ‘pork’ includes not just post-legislation acts but also “all informal practices of similar import and effect, which the Court similarly deems to be acts of grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction.”
In an interview on CNN Philippines, Sen. Lacson answered questions on:
– ‘pork’ in the P3.7-trillion proposed budget for 2019
– need to adhere to the budgeting process
– accusations against DBM Sec. Diokno
– the House’s draft federal constitution