Press Release
August 2, 2018

Sen. Lacson's opening statement at the Kapihan sa Senado

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Recent and current events, both on the national scene as well as local, bear watching and monitoring.

1. The GMA Speakership and Mayor Sara Duterte's alleged participation and influence in the change of the House leadership
2. The Lamitan suicide bombing
3. Scalawags in the PNP
4. Charter change and federalism, among others.

Only because of what the Filipinos have experienced in the past administrations involving presidential relatives, we should reject any interference and influence-peddling by somebody outside the official chain of the government bureaucracy, but who projects closeness to the president due to kinship.

It doesn't matter if it's an Imelda Marcos, or a Peping Cojuangco, or a Mike Arroyo, or any presidential relative. It is not about them. It is about undue intrusion in some major state affairs in which they have no business interfering.

Speaking of Mayor Sara Duterte, make no mistake: if the next leader of our country will emerge from the young, fresh and new faces in national politics, my top choice right now is Sara Duterte. She is strong-willed, stern, vibrant, progressive-minded, and has obviously good leadership qualities.

There is no saying that there are no other emerging young leaders. Right here in the Senate for example, a number of our young hardworking colleagues are showing good leadership potentials but at this time and this is my personal opinion, based on whatever political sense I have accumulated after my long years in government service, Mayor Sara stands out and is right in front of the pack.

Second, on the Lamitan suicide bombing. While it was tragic and unfortunate, it is frightening and worrisome, to say the least. First, it is the first suicide bombing pulled off by an apparent terrorist. It is worrisome in that it could inspire or motivate other homegrown local extremists and set a trend of a series of suicide bombings in thickly populated urban centers in Mindanao, Visayas and even here in Metro Manila. That is why it is imperative that our security officials must remain on their toes to abate and more importantly preempt any future incidents of its kind.

Like a broken record I dare say for the nth time, it is intelligence for breakfast, intelligence for lunch, intelligence for dinner and all the time in between.

Third, on the perceived proliferation of scalawags in the police ranks. On the surface, based on recurring news reports, it may appear that police corruption has become ubiquitous and discipline has sorely deteriorated among the police. My take is, commendations are in order to the present PNP leadership in general and the NCRPO in particular, for stepping up their drive against the rogues and criminals within their own ranks. Internal cleansing should be the highlight of our message to our people, not a supposed wave of police hooliganism. Let's give credit to where it's due. I give special mention to CPNP Albyalde, PCS Eleazar and his district commanders here in the NCR.

Fourth, on the proposed charter change and federalism. Right now, as far as the Senate is concerned, the proposed Charter change is just waiting to be cremated.

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