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Sunday, September 25, 2022

Panfilo “Ping” Lacson Sr.: Profile, Platforms, Accomplishments, Controversies, & Stands on Issues

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(UPDATED based on Jessica Soho’s presidential interviews, aired on GMA on January 22, 2022.)

Welcome to Politixxx Today’s profile of presidential aspirants. This series aims to know better the personalities who are vying to be the country’s 17th president. It provides an opportunity for readers to scrutinize their political background and platforms on hot-button issues.

Panfilo “Ping” Lacson Sr. is vying to be the president anew after an unsuccessful run in 2004. From being a member of the Philippine Constabulary to becoming the chief of the Philippine National Police to being elected a senator thrice, Lacson is drawing from his nearly four-decade experience in public service to resolve the issues dominating the country, from the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact to the economy to crime and corruption.



Basic Information

Age: 73 years old

Birthday: June 1, 1948

Parents:
Mother:
Maxima Lorena Lacson
Father: Buenaventura Lacson

Educational Attainment:
Elementary:
Bayang Luma Elementary School (1954-1960)
High School: Imus Institute (1960-1964)
College: Philippine Military Academy (1967-1971; Bachelor of Science)
Post-Graduate:
Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila (1995-1996; Master in Government Management)
Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila (2019; Doctor of Laws, Honoris Causa)

Spouse: Alice de Perio

Civil Status: Married

Children:
1. Reginald Lacson
2. Ronald Jay Lacson
3. Panfilo Lacson Jr.
4. Jeric Lacson

Net Worth: PhP58,330,268.50 (2020)

Political Affiliation:
Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino (2001-2004)
Independent (2004-2021)
United Opposition (2007-2010)
Partido Reporma (2021-present)

A young Panfilo “Ping” Lacson as member of PMA Class ‘71. Only after 18 months of their graduations, Martial Law was declared by Ferdinand Marcos Sr. According to historian Alfred McCoy, then young Lieutenant Panfilo Lacson “joined the MISG right after graduation and spent the next 15 years in this elite torture unit, rising to deputy command under his mentor Colonel Abadilla.” McCoy further observed that “when torture becomes duty and officers spend years in a daily routine of terror, the experience becomes central to their socialization. Such experiences broke down their socialization into subordination, transforming them from servants of the state into its would-be masters (McCoy, 1999). Photo from Panfilo Lacson Facebook Page.

Human Interest Information

Favorite Food: Sinampalukan native chicken

Favorite Tourist Spots: Siargao, Boracay and Baguio City

Favorite Authors: Lee Kuan Yew and Sun Tzu

Favorite Sports: Baseball, Basketball and Boxing

YouTube Subscribers: 22,300

YouTube Lifetime Views: 33,201,197

Career

Metrocom Intelligence and Security Group (1971-1986)

PC-INP Anti-Carnapping Task Force (1986-1988)

Philippine Constabulary Provincial Commander, Isabela (1988-1989)

Philippine Constabulary Provincial Director, Laguna (February-July 1992)

Metropolitan District Command Center Commander, Cebu (1989-1992)

Philippine Anti-Corruption Commission Chief, Task Force Habagat (1992-1995)

Special Project Alpha Project Officer (1996-1997)

Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Task Force Chief (1998-2001)

Philippine National Police Chief (1999-2001)

Senator (2001-2013, 2016-present)

Presidential Assistant on Rehabilitation and Recovery (2013-2015)

Legislative Record

Authored and co-authored bills from 13th to 15th Congress (2004-2013) that were enacted into law: 30

Pending authored and co-authored bills as senator from 13th to 15th Congress: 146

No available record on 12th Congress (2001-2004)

Authored and co-authored bills during the 17th and 18th Congress (2016-2021) that were enacted into law: 28

Pending authored and co-authored bills during the 17th and 18th Congress: 102

Major Legislations:
• Anti-Terrorism Act
• National ID Law
• Anti-Hazing Law of 2018
• Anti-Red Tape Act of 2007
• Sin Tax Reform Law
• AFP Modernization Program
• Anti-Money Laundering Act
• Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act
• National Service Training Program Act
• Philippine Dental Act of 2007

Awards and Citations:

  • 17 Military Merit Medals
  • 3 Medalya ng Kadakilaan
  • 3 Medalya ng Kagalingan
  • 2 Outstanding Achievement Medals
  • 5 Military Commendation Medals
  • 5 Bronze Cross Medals
  • 2 Medalya ng Papuri
  • Luzon Campaign Medal
  • Visayas Campaign Medal
  • Combat Efficiency Medal
  • Ten Outstanding Policemen of the Philippines, Philippine Jaycees Inc. (1998)
  • Special Medal of Honor, Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP)
  • Police Director of the Year, Regional Command (RECOM) 7, Cebu City (1992)
  • Philippine Constabulary Officer of the Year, Regional Command (RECOM) 7, Cebu City (1989-1990 and 1990-1991)
  • Certificate of Academic Excellence, AFP Command and General Staff College (1983)
  • PMA Alumni Cavalier Award (Special Operations), Philippine Military Academy Alumni Association Inc. (1983)
  • PC Metrocom Officer of the Year, Philippine Constabulary (1982)
Sen. Ping Lacson and his running mate, Senate President Vicente Sotto III, at Brgy. Tangub, Negros Occidental. (Photograph from Sen. Lacson’s Facebook page)



Advocacies, Stand on Issues and Government Platforms

COVID-19 Pandemic Will scrap lockdowns as an approach to combat COVID-19.
Vows to utilize funds judiciously, pouring money for vaccines and hospital facilities.
Proper disbursement and distribution of COVID-19 funds to avoid misuse.
Plans to use the “off-budget” income of government hospitals to defray patients’ expenses.
Economic Recovery Proactive response to COVID-19 since the economy is tied to people’s health.
Digitization of government processes.
Restructuring of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps).
Paid internships to college students and graduates.
Stringent measures to fight corruption.
Drug War Campaign A holistic approach to curbing illicit drugs to be headed by Senate President Vicente Sotto III if elected vice president.
The plan is to focus equally on law enforcement and prevention and rehabilitation, the latter of which was neglected by the Duterte administration.
Balance approach to the drug war, prioritizing the rule of law.
President Duterte’s drug war a “failure,” noting that a review of the cases is “a bit too late” at this point.
West Philippine Sea 2016 ruling “not implementable” but the Philippines can form alliances with other countries like the United States, European Union countries, Japan and Australia.
Maintaining a balance of power in the WPS by building alliances with other countries with better defense forces.
Favors joint explorations with Western countries in the West Philippine Sea, so long as the 60-40 economic constitutional provision is observed.
Refurbish and upgrade facilities at the Kalayaan Island Group.
Peace Talks With Communist Rebels Supports restoration of peace talks with CPP-NPA-NDF.
Improve development programs in communist-influenced barangays by employing a digitized and data-driven approach.
Has criticized NTF-Elcac for misusing anti-insurgency funds as only 26 of 2,000 projects are completed.
Supports the Anti-Terrorism Act, a law he principally authored in the Senate, to curb terrorism.
Climate Change and the Environment Implement better carbon emission testing, starting with eliminating the rampant corruption inside LTO.
Reforestation and massive tree planting to bring back what was lost due to illegal logging.
Build more renewable energy sources.
Criticizes the world’s dependency on fossil fuels.
But he is open to reviving nuclear energy given the rise of oil and gas prices, subject to environmental provisions.
Infrastructure Will continue Duterte’s “Build, Build, Build” program.
Focus on urban decongestion rather than building more roads by allocating funds to LGUs for community development programs that will encourage Metro Manila residents to flee the metropolis.
Education ‘Edukasyon Plus’ program intends to keep the youth at schools by providing free tuition, PhP5,000 monthly allowance and a government internship program starting Senior High School.
Agriculture Remove the import-dependent mentality to support the local agriculture industry.
Buy 50% of farmers’ output will be directly purchased by the government at their own price.
Calls on the Filipino youth to take agriculture-related courses to shore up the agri industry.
Same-Sex Marriage and LGBTQ+ Rights Supports civil union among same-sex partners but opposes same-sex marriage.
The ABS-CBN Franchise and Press Freedom Backs a Senate Bill to grant ABS-CBN Corp. a fresh 25-year franchise.
Press freedom would get a “premium” under a Lacson administration.
Divorce Categorically supports divorce but in 2019, he batted for a “once-in-a-lifetime” divorce wherein troubled couples can avail this option only once so as not to “cheapen” marriage.
Labor Rights Establishment of emergency employment program and food terminals for jobless Filipinos, especially during this time of the pandemic.
Pushing for internships to be paid.
Advocates for a balance to satisfy both employees’ and employers’ interests. He said he favors more protection for workers.
Death Penalty After years of advocating for the death penalty, Lacson is now opposed to its reimposition after watching “The Life of David Gale.”
Political Dynasty In 2016, he filed a bill to prohibit political dynasty, saying its prevalence “[results] in the proliferation of small monarchies all over the country.”
Marcos’s Martial Law Marcos’s Martial Law was a mixed bag: while it was declared for good reasons, “greed and abuse took over.”

Poverty and Income Inequality:
– Resolve corruption.
– “Budget Reform Advocacy” where Filipinos from all parts of the country would be flushed with money for local development and alleviate poverty.

Corruption:
– Pursue corrupt officials with much vigor, acting as a watchdog, which has been his main advocacy since entering public office.
– “There’s a lot of fixing to do in the government,” pushing to restore the people’s trust in government after being tainted by numerous controversies involving corruption.

Substitution by Withdrawal: Support

Mandatory Drug Testing: Support

Allowing 100% foreign ownership: Don’t support

Lowering the age of criminal liability (CURRENTLY set at 15 years old): Don’t support

Rights of Overseas Filipino Workers: Proper implementation of the Department of OFWs, vowing that its operations would be free of corruption.

Visiting Forces Agreement: Support

Abolition of Presidential Commission on Good Governance (PCGG): Don’t Support

Allowing operations of Philippine Offshore Gaming Operator (POGO): Support

Legalization of Jueteng: Support

Legalization of Medical Marijuana: Support

PhilHealth:
– A financial expert should handle PhilHealth’s money, not a lawyer and former NBI director.
– Corruption in PhilHealth must be eradicated so its funds won’t vanish further.

On Fake News:
– Urges Filipinos to be discerning on social media.
– Government must have a control mechanism to halt the proliferation of fake news.

Marawi Rehabilitation: Sustained rehabilitation of Marawi and other areas struck by calamities.

Releasing their SALN to the Public: Yes.

Releasing their Medical Records to the Public: Yes.

Prohibition of Candidates Facing Charges: Don’t Support

Two-Party or Multi-Party System: Two-Party

Parliamentary or Presidential: Presidential

Notable Friends in Business and Politics

  • Former Defense Secretary Renato De Villa
  • Former House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez
  • Vic Sotto
  • Helen Gamboa

Other Controversies

In a study by Alfred McCoy on the state of human rights under the Marcos dictatorship, it was stated that Lacson joined the Metrocom Intelligence and Security Group (MISG) right after graduation, wherein he and Robert Ortega “tortured together for over a decade, forming a tight faction that would rise together within the police after Marcos’s downfall.” In a presidential interview with Jessica Soho, Sen. Lacson denied this claim stating that he was assigned in “intelligence and security group police intel branch” of MetroCom and had no involvement in the torture of political prisoner.

Lacson was implicated in the murders of publicist Salvador “Bubby” Dacer and his driver Emmanuel Corbito in 2001. Lacson’s then-subordinates, Sr. Supt. Glenn Dumlao and Cezar Mancao II, accused him of masterminding the crime. That led Lacson to flee the country in 2010, becoming a fugitive in Hong Kong for the next 15 months. In 2011, the Court of Appeals and Supreme Court decided to withdraw Lacson from the murder charges since the witnesses were not credible and trustworthy. The senator returned to the Philippines in March that year.

Lacson has had a rocky relationship with the late Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago, to the point that the latter has accused his colleague of being gay. Santiago then floated the moniker, ‘Pinky Lacson.’ The root of Lacson and Santiago’s vehemence against each other was the pork barrel scam. Santiago accused Lacson of being an “attack dog” of former Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, another political nemesis of the lady senator.

Lacson has drawn the ire of President Duterte after the Senate conducted a series of hearings on the government’s questionable deals with Pharmally Pharmaceuticals. The president has thrown a multitude of insults and allegations against him and Sen. Richard Gordon, chair of the Blue Ribbon Committee, saying they were just “showing off” in the hearings “worse than Martial Law.” In response, Lacson said that Duterte is in “panic mode” as the hearings unveil revelations after revelations.

References

Ager, M. (2021). “14 senators now backing ABS-CBN franchise approval.” Philippine Daily Inquirer. https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1379753/14-senators-now-backing-abs-cbn-franchise-approval.

Ager, M. (2014). “Lacson on Santiago’s gay list.” Philippine Daily Inquirer. https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/601819/lacson-on-santiagos-gay-list.

Casayuran, M. (2021). “Lacson OK with investing on safe nuclear energy subject to climate change policy.” Manila Bulletin. https://mb.com.ph/2021/11/01/lacson-ok-with-investing-on-safe-nuclear-energy-subject-to-climate-change-policy/.

Casayuran, M. (2021). “Lacson says better carbon emission testing, reforestation part of his climate change program.” Manila Bulletin. https://mb.com.ph/2021/11/17/lacson-wants-to-implement-better-carbon-emission-testing-and-reforestation-programs-as-his-initial-plans-versus-climate-change/.

Casayuran, M. (2021). “Press freedom, transparency would get a premium under a Lacson administration.” Manila Bulletin. https://mb.com.ph/2021/11/04/press-freedom-transparency-would-get-a-premium-under-a-lacson-administration/.

Cheng, W. (2021). “Lacson says he is no longer for restoration of death penalty.” ABS-CBN News. https://news.abs-cbn.com/news/11/04/21/why-lacson-is-now-against-death-penalty.

Corrales, N. (2021). “Drug war a ‘failure,’ Lacson says.” Philippine Daily Inquirer. https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1401119/drug-war-a-failure-lacson-says.

Domingo, K. (2021). “Lacson promises ‘data-driven’ anti-insurgency programs if he wins in 2022.” ABS-CBN News. https://news.abs-cbn.com/news/12/13/21/lacson-promises-data-driven-anti-insurgency.

Felipe, C.S. (2021). “Ping pushes emergency employment, food terminals.” The Philippine Star. https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2021/10/17/2134700/ping-pushes-emergency-employment-food-terminals.

Galvez, D. (2019). “Lacson: ‘Once in a lifetime’ divorce less whimsical, won’t ‘cheapen’ marriage.” Philippine Daily Inquirer. https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1150816/lacson-once-in-a-lifetime-divorce-less-whimsical-wont-cheapen-marriage.

Get to know PING LACSON. (n.d.). Ping Lacson. https://pinglacson.net/about.

Lacson bill seeks to fulfill Constitution’s provision vs political dynasties. (2016). Senate of the Philippines. http://legacy.senate.gov.ph/press_release/2016/0708_lacson1.asp.

“Lacson: Admin’s good programs should continue even without Duterte endorsement.” (2021). CNN Philippines. https://www.cnnphilippines.com/news/2021/12/2/ping-lacson-endorsement-rodrigo-duterte-build-build-build.html

“Lacson: Marcos martial law had benefits but ‘greed, abuse’ ruined it.” (2019). ABS-CBN News. https://news.abs-cbn.com/news/09/21/19/lacson-marcos-martial-law-had-benefits-but-greed-abuse-ruined-it.

“Lacson: Sotto to lead ‘modified’ drug war if elected.” (2021). CNN Philippines. https://cnnphilippines.com/news/2021/10/14/Ping-lacson-Tito-Sotto-drug-war.html.

Lacson’s ‘Edukasyon Plus’ Program to Break Cycle of Poverty. (2021). Ping Lacson. https://pinglacson.net/article/lacsons-edukasyon-plus-program-to-break-cycle-of-poverty.

“Lacson’s Top Priority: Improved COVID-19 Response.” (2021). Northern Mindanao Daily Source. https://www.northernmindanaodailysource.com/news/params/post/3753701/lacsons-top-priority-improved-covid-19-response.

Martinez, J. (2021). “Billionaires Villar, Pacquiao still richest senators in 2020.” Rappler. https://www.rappler.com/nation/cynthia-villar-pacquiao-richest-senators-philippines-saln-2020/.

McCoy, A. (1999). Dark Legacy: Human rights under the Marcos regime. Hartford. http://www.hartford-hwp.com/archives/54a/062.html.

“No more lockdowns – Ping Lacson.” (2021). Daily Guardian. https://dailyguardian.com.ph/no-more-lockdowns-ping-lacson/.

Perez-Rubio, B. and Viray, P.L. (2021). “Lacson urges ‘balance of power’ in WPS following threats from Chinese ships.” The Philippine Star. https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2021/11/22/2143065/lacson-urges-balance-power-wps-following-threats-chinese-ships.

Perez-Rubio, B. (2021). “Senators hail Supreme Court for upholding most of anti-terror law.” The Philippine Star. https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2021/12/09/2146816/lacson-sotto-hail-supreme-court-upholding-most-anti-terror-law.

Pulta, B. (2021). “Lacson urges reinforcements for PH ship in Ayungin Shoal.” Philippine News Agency. https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1160915.

Ramos, C.M. (2021). “Duterte is in ‘panic mode’ after Senate’s probe of pandemic funds — Lacson.” Philippine Daily Inquirer. https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1481159/duterte-is-in-panic-mode-after-senates-probe-of-pandemic-funds-says-lacson.

Senator Panfilo “Ping” M. Lacson. (n.d.). Senate of the Philippines. http://legacy.senate.gov.ph/senators/sen_bio/lacson_resume.asp.

“Senatorial candidate Ping Lacson opposes marriage equality.” (2016). Outrage Magazine. https://outragemag.com/senatorial-candidate-ping-lacson-opposes-marriage-equality/.

Talabong, R. (2021). “Lacson tells business groups internships should be paid.” Rappler. https://www.rappler.com/nation/elections/lacson-tells-business-groups-internships-should-be-paid/.

Tamayo, B. (2021). “Review of drug war too late – Lacson.” The Manila Times. https://www.manilatimes.net/2021/09/24/news/national/review-of-drug-war-too-late-lacson/1815864.

Tan, A.N. (2021). “Lacson’s Metro Manila plan: Decongest rather than build more roads.” BusinessWorld. https://www.bworldonline.com/lacsons-metro-manila-plan-decongest-rather-than-build-more-roads/.

Tan, A.N. (2021). “Lacson-Sotto agri sector plan: Gov’t to directly buy 50% of output.” BusinessWorld. https://www.bworldonline.com/lacson-sotto-agri-sector-plan-govt-to-directly-buy-50-of-output/.

Torregoza, H. (2021). “Lacson hopes more Filipino youth will consider taking agri courses.” Manila Bulletin. https://mb.com.ph/2021/10/31/lacson-hopes-more-filipino-youth-will-consider-taking-agri-courses/.

What are Ping’s favorite books? (2021). Ping Lacson. https://pinglacson.net/article/what-are-ping-s-favorite-books.

What is Ping’s favorite Filipino food? (2021). Ping Lacson. https://pinglacson.net/article/what-is-ping-s-favorite-filipino-food.

What are Ping’s favorite sports? (2021). Ping Lacson. https://pinglacson.net/article/what-are-ping-s-favorite-sports/.

What are Ping’s favorite tourist spots in the Philippines? (2021). Ping Lacson. https://pinglacson.net/article/what-are-ping-s-favorite-tourist-spots-in-the-philippines.

“What Went Before: Suspects in Dacer, Corbito murders.” (2015). Philippine Daily Inquirer. https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/671268/what-went-before-suspects-in-dacer-corbito-murders.

Yumol, D.T. (2021). “Lacson bats for ‘future-proof’ economic strategies.” CNN Philippines. https://cnnphilippines.com/news/2021/10/30/Lacson-bats-for-future-proof-economic-strategies.html?fbclid=lwAR2.

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