Press Release
March 11, 2010

Lapid says he fights for his principles regardless of political affiliation

Sen. Lito Lapid said today he fights for his principles and for the poor regardless of his political affiliation, in response to a smear campaign against him by party-list Akbayan.

Lapid disproved Akbayan's allegations that he did nothing in the Senate, citing his work on the "Lapid Law," or the Free Legal Assistance to the Poor Act of 2010, and four other laws that he helped pass in both houses of Congress either as author or co-author.

Lapid said his work on the Lapid Law, which will give poor litigants access to the services of private lawyers, proves that he is his own man and does not act upon the bidding of his political affiliation.

The Lapid Law gives tax incentives to lawyers for rendering free legal services to poor litigants, which could lower the tax collection of the government from these lawyers and law firms. Lapid worked for the passage of the bill despite the Arroyo government's misgivings over loss of tax revenues because it wanted to achieve a balanced budget.

Lapid also worked for the passage of four other laws that benefit the poor, including the Cheaper Medicines Act in which he acted as co-author. Further, he ranked fourth among the Senators as regards the numbers of bills and resolutions filed in Congress. His office in the Senate had also been accessible to the poor for the past six years to give assistance to those who ask for help.

The criticisms against him are expected, Lapid said, because he's running for re-election and consistently ranks in the 10th or 11th spot in the surveys.

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