Exempting gov’t officials from Bank Secrecy Law, a challenge—Lacson

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 5, 2019   •   868

Senator Panfilo Lacson

Senator Panfilo Lacson believes exempting government officials and employees from the Bank Secrecy Law would be a challenge in Congress.

Lacson seeks to amend Republic Act No. 1405 or the Bank Secrecy Law. It states that bank account information of any individuals, including government officials, cannot be disclosed to the public unless there is a written permission from the account owner or there is a subpoena from the court.

According to Lacson, the said law hinders or stalls investigation of government officials. Lacson has been seeking to amend the Bank Secrecy Law since 2001.

In the 18th Congress, Lacson will file a request to the Chairman of Banks Committee to become the subcommittee chairman.

“I don’t know if it will see the light in the 18th Congress. Having said that, I may request the Chair of the Banks Committee to designate me as subcommittee chairman and sponsor the bill myself, the same way I sponsored the national ID system as the subcommittee chairman under the Committee on Justice,” he said.—AAC (with reports from Nel Maribojoc)

Lacson to discuss anti-drug campaign with Robredo

Aileen Cerrudo   •   November 7, 2019

Senator Panfilo Lacson (R) and Vice President Leni Robredo (L)

Senator Panfilo Lacson said he will meet with Vice President Leni Robredo to discuss about the anti-illegal drug campaign.

Lacson previously said he is willing to share whatever modest law enforcement experience he gained in his previous life.

He announced they are currently fixing the schedule of the meeting.

READ: Pangilinan asks public to support Robredo as she takes on drug war challenge

“We are fixing our schedule to sit down. I am grateful and humbled by her gesture. More than that, it shows her sincerity and seriousness in tackling her new task,” he said.

Robredo accepted the offer to become the drug czar on Wednesday (November 6) after President Rodrigo Duterte designated her as co-chairperson of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD) in a memorandum signed on October 31, days after Robredo stated in an interview that the administration’s drug war has been ineffective.—AAC (with reports from Nel Maribojoc)

Lacson releases copy of Castro’s lobby letter seeking P258 million

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 27, 2019

Senator Panfilo Lacson has released a copy of Capiz Rep. Fredenil Castro’s alleged lobby letter seeking financial assistance worth P258 million.

In a statement published on Thursday (September 26), Lacson belied Castro’s statement that the said letter was ‘fictional.’

“In a letter dated Sept. 19, 2019, Capiz Rep. Fredenil Castro lobbied with Sen. Lacson for financial assistance to construct a municipal building for Dumalag town, costing P258 million,” the statement reads.

Lacson also posted on Twitter that Castro and his co-conspirators in the House had allegedly illegally inserted P95B in the 2019 national budget which was vetoed by President Rodrigo Duterte.

On Thursday Castro said the letter was not related to pork barrel.

“It was not a lobby letter. It’s a letter-request just like any other letters I sent to other senators,” he said in a statement. “Lobbying is different. My letter-request shows my resolve to help my constituents. It’s not pork barrel.”—AAC

Lawmaker demands apology from Lacson over pork barrel accusations

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 26, 2019

Senator Panfilo Lacson

Capiz Rep. Fredenil Castro has demanded an apology from Senator Panfilo Lacson for accusing him and other Congressmen of inserting ‘pork barrel’ funds in the 2020 national budget.

During his privilege speech on Wednesday (September 25), Castro said Lacson’s accusations has tainted the reputation of the institution.

“Because of this irresponsible and reckless act that has damaged not only the reputation of this institution but more importantly the reputation and integrity of each and every member of this house especially the newcomers who have come with their idealism in these halls intact,” he said.

The lawmakers added, Lacson has no right to make such accusations since he has not seen the General Appropriation Bill approved by the House of Representatives.

“That makes him more irresponsible. He has not seen a single line of the General Appropriation Bill, he has not studied yet as he claimed the GAB approved by the House,” Castro said.

However, Lacson maintained his stance on the issue and said Castro, along with other Congressmen allegedly involved in the pork barrel insertion, should apologize.

“As for those House members who abused the hard-earned money of taxpayers for the longest time that they availed of ‘pork,’ they are the ones who should apologize to the Filipino people,” Lacson said in a statement.

“The whining and howling of Congressman Castro and his like-minded colleagues will not distract me from performing my mandate of scrutinizing the budget measure,” he added.

On Monday (September 23), Lacson said several House members reported that House Deputy speakers will be getting additional P1.5 billion allocation in the proposed P4.1 trillion 2020 National Budget.

Lacson added that the House will also be getting another P700 million to allot for their pet bills.—AAC

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