Tag: terrorism

On a Post-VFA Philippines

The Filipino people are resilient and our soldiers are no different. We will survive, no doubt. We know how to improvise and we can adapt to crises the way we did many times before.

But in the meantime, we remain exposed to terrorist threats, both domestic and foreign, not to mention the continuing security threat in the West Philippine Sea posed by China, and even the need for timely humanitarian response and assistance that the US is capable of deploying during disasters, natural or man-made. Also affected by the VFA’s abrogation is the maintenance and repairs of military hardware, mostly air assets provided by the US under the AFP modernization program.

Exploring other options like inking similar defense treaties with other nations as posited by the AFP Chief of Staff is fine but the reality is, it doesn’t happen overnight. It will take a series of back-and-forth negotiations in pursuit of the concerned parties’ self and national interests before going through lengthy deliberations for ratification by the Senate.

While admittedly, the VFA is not perfect for the Philippines as far as equitability is concerned, the timing and reasons for its abrogation are way off the mark.

The thing is, it is not the smartest move of the President to expose ourselves naked first before looking for other options for cover.

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On the Signing of the Notice of Termination for the VFA

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Like it or not, bad or good, nothing much can be done now but do a 180-day countdown upon receipt of the notice by Washington. What is certain is that the 1951 PH-US Mutual Defense Treaty will now be reduced to a mere paper treaty as far as the US is concerned.

Having said that, there’s no more intelligence information sharing in our fight against domestic and foreign terrorist acts, no more US military aid and financing that accounts for a good 52% of what they extend to the whole Asia-Pacific region.

That may not include other intangible economic benefits and security from external threats in the West Philippine Sea, as well as humanitarian aid in times of disasters, epidemics and other crises.

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#PINGterview: Possible National Security Implications of Scrapping VFA | Jan. 27, 2020

In an interview with Senate media, Sen. Lacson answered questions on the possible implications on national security of scrapping the PH-US Visiting Forces Agreement.

QUOTES and NOTES:
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PingBills | ‘Designated Survivor’ ang Peg: Dapat May Reserbang Presidente ang ‘Pinas – Ping

Ipinanukala ni Senador Panfilo Lacson ang pagkakaroon ng “reserba” pang lider ng bansa sakaling mapahamak ang Bise Presidente, Senate President at House Speaker na batay sa Saligang Batas ay kahalili ng Pangulo kung hindi na nito kayang mamuno.

Isinampa ni Lacson ang Senate Bill 982, na tinaguriang “Designated Survivor” Bill na naglalayong hindi mabakante ang liderato ng pamahalaan at magtuloy-tuloy pa rin ang operasyon ng gobyerno sakali mang mapahamak ang mga nabanggit na opisyal.

“This bill … seeks to provide an exhaustive line/order of presidential succession in the event of death, permanent disability, removal from office or resignation of the Acting President to ensure that the office of the President is never vacated even in exceptional circumstances,” paliwanag ni Lacson.

Related: PingBills | Lacson Files ‘Designated Survivor’ Bill to Ensure Gov’t Stability
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PingBills | Lacson Files ‘Designated Survivor’ Bill to Ensure Gov’t Stability

Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson has filed a “designated survivor” bill to guarantee the continuity and stability of operations in government in case of a terrorist attack, major disaster or other “exceptional circumstances” where the President and those specified by the Constitution to succeed him or her are killed or permanently disabled.

Lacson said Senate Bill 982 ensures the office of the President will not be vacated even in the event of death, permanent disability, removal from office, or resignation of the Acting President.

“This bill … seeks to provide an exhaustive line/order of presidential succession in the event of death, permanent disability, removal from office or resignation of the Acting President to ensure that the office of the President is never vacated even in exceptional circumstances,” Lacson said.

Related: PingBills | ‘Designated Survivor’ ang Peg: Dapat May Reserbang Presidente ang ‘Pinas – Ping
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#PingSays: On Proposals to Restore the Anti-Subversion Law | Aug. 13, 2019

In an interview, Sen. Lacson answered questions on reported proposals to revive the Anti-Subversion Law; as well as on the proposed Anti-Terror Law.

Quotes from the interview…
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📰 Threat groups use social media to spread extremism – Lacson [Manila Times]

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From The Manila Times: “The first line of defense against violent extremism, I believe, is education; creating awareness and cultivating our young people’s critical thinking and resilience will equip them with skills they need to detect and reject violent extremism and make informed decisions and contest extremist ideologies,” (Lacson) said.

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Speech at the General Consultative Assemblies for Muslim Youth

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Thank you very much, the Hon. Sec. Saidamen Pangarungan. It is indeed a distinct honor and privilege to be introduced by an innovative, progressive-minded leader. And with him at the helm, I’m sure the NCMF would be in good hands.

Our guests from the Japanese Embassy, Second Secretary Yoji Konno; our guests from the United Nations Development Programme; the other commissioners and other dignitaries present here; members of the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos; to all the participants of today’s assembly, a pleasant morning. As-salaam aleikum.

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Senate Bill 2204: Let Us Toughen the Fight Against Terrorism

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“Why condemn if we could act? Let us toughen the fight against terrorism.” – Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson, in his sponsorship speech for Senate Bill 2204 (Anti-Terrorism Act of 2019), Feb. 6, 2019.

Related: Sponsorship Speech for the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2019
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Sponsorship Speech for the Anti-Terrorism Act (17th Congress)

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At the outset, let me state here and now with certainty that a vote for the immediate passage of this measure is a vote for the immediate lifting of Martial Law in Mindanao.

Mr. President, fellow members of this august chamber, I have the honor to report on the Senate floor Senate Bill No. 2204 entitled, “An Act Amending Certain Provisions of Republic Act No. 9372, Otherwise Known As “An Act To Secure the State and Protect our People from Terrorism,” as embodied in Committee Report No. 638 in substitution of Senate Bill Numbers 1134, 1396, 1715 and 1956.

Related: Senate Bill 2204: Let Us Toughen the Fight vs Terrorism
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