Lacson tells critics: I’m not posturing for 2022 polls

Robie de Guzman   •   June 24, 2019   •   1463

Senator Panfilo Lacson

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Panfilo Lacson on Monday denied he is already posturing for the elections in the year 2022 amid his being active in Twitter.

“To those accusing me of posturing for 2022, I am not. I am just myself – mostly serious, sometimes funny, naughty, controversial, dull, boring,” he said in a post.

Lacson made the remark after his critics accused him of already preparing to run in the next polls with his recent statements against the actions of the Duterte administration.

The former Philippine National Police chief turned lawmaker first sought the presidency in 2004 but lost to President Gloria Arroyo. He attempted to run again in 2016 but he backed out and ran for a Senate seat instead.

Lacson explained to his followers why he enjoys using Twitter.

“I love Twitter. It makes me think, fact-check, google and learn. As of this hour, I have 22,218 followers; following 374; blocked 448,” he said.

As of posting, Lacson’s followers have increased to over 23,500. Since joining Twitter in February 2015, Lacson has so far made 821 tweets, followed 374 accounts and blocked 448.

On Saturday, the senator also gave a “sound advice” on how to deal with a basher that you can’t ignore.

“Insult him back hard enough. Give him what he deserves,” he said.

“Kill him by natural cause, or make his blood boil to suffer a stroke,” he added.

“Never mind if you’re dealing with a troll. For all you know, you’re hitting a real person,” he concluded.

Lacson has been using Twitter to share his thoughts and issue a statement on various issues. (with details from Nel Maribojoc)

Senate probe on alleged ‘tongpats’ scheme in pork importation pushed

Robie de Guzman   •   March 16, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Panfilo Lacson is pushing for a Senate investigation into the activities of an alleged syndicate within the Department of Agriculture (DA) that stands to gain billions of pesos in ‘tongpats’ or kickback scheme from the agency’s proposal to lower tariff rates on and to increase the volume of imported pork products due to the impact of the African swine fever (ASF) outbreak.

In a statement on Tuesday, Lacson said the alleged anomalies amount to a “triple whammy” as they not only threaten the local hog industry but raise health concerns and cost the government forgone revenues, as well.

“We should unmask who is/are behind this scheme no matter how powerful and influential he may be with this administration,” Lacson said in a radio interview.

“I want to see even a whiff of enthusiasm from the President to order the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) and other concerned agencies to investigate, not to mention heed the call of the Senate to disapprove the DA’s recommendation to reduce the tariff and increase the volume of pork importation. Let’s see,” he added.

The senator said he already talked to Senate President Vicente Sotto III for the conduct of a Senate inquiry into the alleged anomaly and to get the documents related to the issue.

“So far, we have received documents from the Bureau of Customs and DA. Still, we need more data to get to the bottom of the anomaly,” he added.

Lacson, during Monday’s Senate session, revealed that there have been reports of certain individuals within the DA imposing a kickback scheme amounting to P5 to P7 for every kilo of imported pork.

With DA’s proposal to increase the maximum volume of imported meat from 54,000 to 400,000, the syndicate could easily earn as much as P6 billion a year, he said.

The senator said this practice has been going on for several years now. Citing as an example, he said that between June and October 2018, imported pork from banned countries due to the ASF like Belgium, Hungary, Germany, and China flooded the local market which prompted the issuance of a memorandum order by then DA Secretary Emmanuel Piñol.

Lacson said DA Secretary William Dar should know or at least have heard of this supposed issue within his department, particularly in the MAV Management Committee, headed by Acting Undersecretary William Medrano and composed of the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) and the National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS) – along with the “SOPs” in the allocation of quota to favored importers and the issuance of the Phyto-Sanitary Import Clearance (PSIC).

The Senate on Monday adopted a resolution urging President Rodrigo Duterte to declare a state of calamity in the country due to the threat of ASF.

The same resolution also expressed the sense of the upper chamber to persuade Duterte to disapprove the DA recommendation.

Lacson called on the PACC to look into the alleged ‘tongpats’ scheme in the DA.

“Gusto kong manawagan sa PACC to conduct a motu proprio investigation to find out kung totoo ba na at current tariff rates ang sa volume 54,000 metric tons, kung may P5-7 tong-pats per kilo, dapat alamin natin ito. Kaya siguro nagpipilit na ibaba ang tariff at itaas ang volume. Kasi katakot-takot ang balak kitain ng mga sangkot,” he said.

Lacson, Pangilinan slam Parlade over comment against reporter

Aileen Cerrudo   •   February 5, 2021

Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade Jr.

MANILA, Philippines—Senators Panfilo Lacson and Francis ‘Kiko’ Pangilinan criticized Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Southern Luzon Command Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade Jr. for his comment against a journalist.

Parlade claimed that the journalist is aiding terrorist groups which drew ire from various groups, lawmakers, and netizens.

Lacson, in a statement, called Parlade’s remarks as ‘careless and insensitive.’

“Accusing a journalist of ‘aiding the terrorists by spreading lies,’ assuming that such comment was accurately attributed to him, surely does not help the government to convince the magistrates of the Supreme Court to rule in its favor,” he said.

Meanwhile, Pangilinan believes Parlade should be removed from office because of his unprofessionalism.

“Enough of this unprofessionalism and lack of discipline with such baseless, erroneous public statements. Like AFP Intel Chief Luna, Lorenzana should show Parlade the door,” Pangilinan said in a statement.

In a post on social media Parlade accused reporter Tetch Torres-Tupas of “aiding terrorists by spreading lies” after Tupas published an article on jailed Aetas. AAC (with reports from Harlene Delgado)

Lacson seeks simplified process for entry of donated COVID-19 vaccines

Robie de Guzman   •   January 22, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Panfilo Lacson on Friday sought simplified procedures for the entry of donated COVID-19 vaccines, especially those with emergency use authorization (EUA) from countries or territories with stringent regulatory agencies.

Lacson made the call during the third hearing of the Senate, convening as a Committee of the Whole, on the government’s COVID-19 vaccination program.

“This is critical because there are many associations abroad that may donate vaccines to their sister cities in the Philippines. Would it not be more practical to ensure the goods reach the intended recipients directly under strict supervision and guidance by health authorities, instead of coursing the goods through the Department of Health and having the DOH distribute them?” he said.

“Besides, many local government units like Baguio City already have their own cold storage facilities for the vaccines, as their local leaders had the foresight to act accordingly. Allowing such donated vaccines to go directly to the LGUs instead of having to go through the logistical requirements of the DOH and Inter-Agency Task Force on COVID-19 would also avoid the prospect of double handling and additional costs,” he added.

Lacson pointed out that the pandemic involves an emergency where authorities cannot afford to have vaccines go through the bureaucratic processes that could delay its distribution.

In response to Lacson’s recommendation, Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. said they will make the necessary simplification of processes. They may also conduct a time and motion rehearsal in the logistical process.

“Tama kayo, Sir. Yan din ang gagawin namin. Kaya magkakaroon ng time and motion rehearsal para in case capable ang LGU, pwede idiretso para wala nang double handling,” Galvez told Lacson.

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