Press Release
September 9, 2021

Quotes from Sen. Lacson's interview on ANC

On 'enabler' yarn:

"First let me rectify. Ang salitang enabler, galing sa dati naming kasamahan sa Senado at nag-evolve."

"We are not enablers. I am not an enabler I criticize when I need to criticize. I praise when I need to praise. What's wrong with that? Ever since I started my career as a senator, personal credo ko, 'ang tama ipaglaban, ang mali labanan. What is right must be kept right, what is wrong must be set right.' What's wrong with that?"

"I think that's a wrong sense of righteousness, mali man o tama kasi kasama ka sa partidong yan, doon ka nakasuporta. I'm not like that."

On Anti-Terror Law hitting boundaries of civil liberties:

"Ang perception, ang good law tied up mo sa bad govt perceived to be committing abuses, there you go. Ang perception nag-persist yan. But if you examine the provisons of the ATA maraming magandang madulot para maiwasan."

On claims that the present administration is abusing intention of Anti-Terror Law:

"It's too early to say that."

"The implementation of laws passed by Congress is another thing whether it is this or past or future admin, there will be LEAs who will abuse the implementation of any law, not necessarily ATA."

On corruption:

"Pag double standard ang pinatutupad ng leader, you will not succeed."

"It's not fair to judge them (PRRD admin) this early or at this time dahil sa pandemic. Pero ang dami na nating nakikitang lapses. At lumalabas ang issue ng corruption sa pag-procure ng medical supplies. These are very disheartening to say the least, frustrating, revolting. Amid the pandemic makikita natin bilyon bilyon ang pinagsasamantalahan, talagang nakakagalit."

On DBM-PS row:

"As far as we're concerned because we're exposed to documents and testimonies, pwede pagsuspetsahan na may attempt mag-cover up. Hindi pa tapos ang investigation after 1st hearing. Anong statement sa Malacanang? Itigil ng Senado ang investigation. Veiled message yan especially sa allies ng Palasyo na ang pagiimbestiga di dapat ituloy."

"24 republics kami, nobody can impose on anyone among us senators. Walang isang senador pwedeng sabihan. Not even the President can tell the Senate what to do. We will exercise our mandate of oversight."

"I suggested to the chairman of BRC to summon some documents. For example Minutes ng BAC sa PS DBM, di pa nakikita. Records like ITR, other documents necessary to qualify to participate in a bidding. And hindi ko lang naipresent sa last hearing, sa susunod na hearing, establish ko timelines. The moment Lao was appointed as OIC and Exe Dir of PS DBM Jan 2, Feb 4 he wrote CSC requesting for a reclassification of employees as confi employees. Fortunately denied ito ng CSC."

"Ang question, bakit kailangan ang confidential employees sa isang ahensya ng govt na nagprocure? Doon pa lang kita mo na premeditated plunder. There's no such thing in or statutes. It's a phrase coined by FMD. Parang pinlano. Then by March or May pati FDA naglabas ng circular loosening requirements. Instead of requiring mag-submit ng certificate of notification, application, and so forth, naging license to operate na lang Nang makapag-deliver ang PHarmally hinigpitan na naman. Kailangan cert of product registration, etc."

"In the absence of evidence we can only speculate. But if we get someone to testify or get sufficient docs to show sino ang kanyang backer, we have gone beyond the realm of speculation. But in the absence of solid evidence... we can only speculate and we can only suspect."

"Inamin ni RRD yan (friendship with Yang). Anong masama sa pananaw ng utang na loob. Pero pag binigyan mo na ng favor you've given back the favor ibang usapan na yan. Pareho na dapat treatment. Pag nagkamali di mo na dapat suportahan."

On possibility of syndicate behind PS-DBM row:

"Apparently may sindikato na involved. We're working on something that would further open up itong kaso ng Pharmally."

"We hope so. We haven't talked to the person yet. He already manifested his intention to fully cooperate."

"I hope pagka nag-testify ang sinasabi ko, mag-open up lahat. Maraming mabubuksan dito. I hope chairman of BRC and my colleagues will still continue this investigation. That's all I can say now. We're waiting for developments and I hope this can open up a whole lot of info."

On level of corruption in DOH/DBM:

"Mind-boggling. Kasi dati nagkakaroon tayo hundreds of millions of pesos. Ngayon hindi na, tens of billions ang nawawala sa pera ng bayan. At a time may pandemic, at a time ayuda di inakakarating tapos makaakita ka ng ganito."

On overpriced ambulances:

"Right away the DOH officials, instead of promising an investigation to be conducted right away, justify agad nila. When I exposed that, I was trying to, di ba may adage saan nahuhuli ang isda kundi sa bibig."

"Float ko ang AED, ang explanation agad, marami pang listahan ng equipment, ang contents ng ambulance. Di alam kasama sa list ng P1.5M na procured ng local govt."

"We went beyond that. We got docs from PCSO na nag-procure din ng ganoong ambulance, P1.6M isang unit. Kuha kami private sector P1.6M. Sa DOH P2.5M per unit, replica of what DOH delivered in Sept 2020. LGU bumili Nov 2020. So P1M per ambulance. You can just imagine."

"I'll just quote what lawyers are fond of quoting. The thing speaks for itself. Kita natin ang level ng corruption. Right now I am not ready to compare this admin with past admins, particularly before Pnoy's admin. But the level of corruption ang lumalabas isa-isa, hayaan natin na nakikita ng tao yan, kung ano level ng corruption. It runs to tens of billions of pesos ang attendant ng corruption."

On RRD running for VP:

"Kami ni SP Sotto, we run on our own merits. We won't delve or discuss the qualifications or disqualifications or weaknesses the other candidates have. We want to raise the level of the campaign."

"Iba ang method of campaign ngayon ... Present natin what we can do. Let's not put down the other candidates."

On possible Smartmatic irregularities:

"There are reports we keep receiving, di lang 2019 or 2016, nagsimula ito 2010. Worrisome, bothersome ang reports na dumarating sa amin, Smartmatic may have been compromised we're looking into this."

"Sino ang nasa admin? Even during the hearings in the Senate this was exposed by SP Tito. Transmission nauuna sa election. He presented documents to that effect. It is a cause not only for worry but it's a cause for alarm. If the mandate will not be respected by the govt or ang mandate ng tao di masusunod malaki problema natin. We're continuing to look into this."

On F2 logistics bagging contract with Comelec, is this a concern?

"Not just the area of warehousing. Maraming pwedeng magkaroon ng intervention. And we're trying to piece them together and find out how to check possible weaknesses sa election and transmission processes."

"May joint congressional oversight sa elections."

"Warehousing is just 1 aspect kung saan pwede magkaroon ng interventions... We're looking deeply into all these aspects na pwede magkaroon ng sabihin nating dayaan. Ang dayaan di sa precinct level or agaw balota. In this day and age of modern tech iba ang usapan, it's computerized."

On supposed silence vs drug war:

"That isn't true. Bakit nakakulong ang pumatay kay Kian? I spearheaded the inv in the Senate. Even earlier, I was exposing abuses by police officers, kay Kerwin Espinosa and Marcos. Who headed the investigation of those shenanigans? Ako rin. Chairman ako ng committee on public order."

"Drowned out ng propaganda dahil may nag-invent ng word enabler in-attach sa akin. Pagdating sa trolls, I have a Twitter account lagi labas enabler ka. I won't admit that. Even earlier in the campaign of admin vs illegal drugs I was calling them out. Kung tama ang pag-implement sa kanilang drug war I was also supporting them especially the police where I came from. It's unfair to say earlier on wala akong ginawa at ngayon lang nagsasalita. You can go back and check the records in the Senate, I've been very consistent."

"I have not been an enabler. I stick to what I think is right."

On Sen de Lima:

"Nasa court ang kaso. Nag-undergo ng trial. It's on record. Ako nag-file ng reso to allow LDL to participate in Senate proceedings. Not only in committee hearings but even sa session. Co-author ko riyan si FMD. Unfortunately hindi na-adopt because we're only 2 or a minority. Kung di adopted ng majority what can we do?"

"This is another troll operation. Kasama ako sa pagpapahirap kay LDL. When she was granted medical furlough and PNPI was taking too much time before that cout order could be implemented, I called the camp commander. LDL knows this. She sent me a message thanking me for my effort. FMD took the cudgels and asked me being CPNP baka pwede tulungan si LDL, mauubos oras ng furlougu. When I called camp commander he went to LDL cell and informed her that same night, the court order was implemented and brought her to the hospital."

On changing sentiments on RRD:

"I can only speak for myself I've been very consistent. If you keep your ears close sa ground, iba narinig mo. Even common taong narinig natin, even media, even business community, nag-iiba ang sentiment. Yan narinig namin sa ground. I don't know about the others."

On anti-drug war under PML admin:

"Nag-usap kami ni SP. We'll take care of the fight vs illegal drugs but he'll do it more holistically. Focus ng admin masyadong law enforcement. I think we talked about this. Iba ang approach na gagawin. Maraming pwedeng gawin para labanan illegal drugs aside from law enforcement. SP knows about this"

On winning over local officials na walang proyekto kasi anti-pork daw kayo?

"One of my advocacies long before I have always advocated for distribution of national resources sa LGUs. Naroon ang disconnect, ang daming mayors, governors, brgy chairman sa corridors and hallways."

"May disconnect, di address ng NG ang LG needs and priorities. So laging national. One of our advocacies, and we are sorting out how to implement this, bigyan ng enough funding not only for devt but to address the health concerns."

"Health Facilities Enhancement Program ng DOH, ang pondo sa central govt. walang laman district hospital kasi pondo sa NG It's about time magkaroon ng redistribution. This is apart from Mandanas ruling increasing the IRA. Ang daming unused appro di nagamit because of poor planning."

"Let's activate local devt councils. Only 20% ina-adopt ang ine-endorse ng RDC. Tanong ko kay then Sec Avisado bakit 20% lang? Sabi niya tama. Ginawa niya in fairness to him naglabas ng circular, kung walang encorsement ang RDC di re-release-an ng pondo. That's a good first step toward distributing resources of govt to LGUs."

NTF-ELCAC asking for P28B budget:

"P29-29B is a bit too much to fund NTF-ELCAC campaign vs insurgency. Sabi nila 3500 na lang armed regulars. We gave them P16.4B for 2021 na di masyadong nagamit. To make matters worse di nagagamit nang tama. There are LGUs nabigyan ng pondo, Davao City P1.5B. Mismo Mayor Sara nagsabi di kailangan yan kasi walang surrenderree. Sa Davao Norte 2000 surrenderees, zero ang NTF-ELCAC."

"While it is a good concept, ang implementation again nanroon ang problema."

"Sa distribution mali na. P28-29B is too much. Di nila kaya, absorptive capacity."

"We have to scrutinize, look at itemized budgeting for NTF-ELCAC. And they will have to justify."

Regrets supporting ATL and NTF ELCAC due to implementation?

"NTF ELCAC may frustrations ako because of what I've been hearing from other LGUs."

"ATL I don't have any regrets at all... a good law implemented by a bad govt that's another matter. Why blame the law itself? Maglagay tayo ng how to institute checks and balances."

On whether RRD admin is a bad govt:

"In terms of implementation of some laws we passed."

"Generalizing this govt is also unfair. There are good things that came out of decisions made by this govt. Econ managers of admin were doing all right but we're hit by pandemic, doon nagkaroon ng diskaril."

"We started hearing on budget principles. Ang projections sometimes do not jibe with existing conditions. For example 2020 ang real GDP growth rate natin -9.6, sa 2021 project sila 6-7%. So I asked SOF and Chua, how could this be viable? Galing tayo sa -9.6, project kayo 7-9 na growth. These are macroeconomic assumptions, kung mali assumption mali decision mo. A mere 1% off ka sa projection mo sa GDP growth rate that would translate to P14.7B deficit."

"While delta variant is to be blamed, ang ma-blame mo rin govt response. We're not responding accordingly sa prevailing situation. To make matters worse, may corruption involved. Naroon ang problema."

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