A no-nonsense public servant for more than 40 years, Senator Panfilo Morena “Ping” Lacson has compiled a solid record against wrongdoing, in line with his personal credo: What is right must be kept right; what is wrong must be set right.
Lacson’s most significant Senate expose involved the Priority Development Assistance Fund (pork barrel). Ten years before the multibillion-peso scam involving Janet Lim-Napoles surfaced, Lacson detailed in a March 2003 privilege speech the temptations for officials to pocket taxpayers’ money.
He had his PhP200-million-a-year PDAF allocations returned to the National Treasury, saving government PhP2.4 billion in 12 years.
From 2001 to the present, Lacson authored, sponsored or co-authored key measures including:
* Anti-Money Laundering Act (RA 9160 as amended by Republic Act 9194)
* Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 (RA 9165)
* Anti-Red Tape Act of 2007 (RA 9485)
* National Service Training Program Act of 2001 (RA 9163)
* An Act Increasing the Base Pay of the Members of the AFP (RA 9166)
* Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003 (RA 9208)
* Anti-Cheating Act of 2007 (RA 9416)
* The Philippine Dental Act of 2007 (RA 9484)
* An Act Providing for a Comprehensive Law on Firearms, Light Weapons and Ammunition (RA 10591)
* the law converting Imus, Cavite from a municipality into a city (RA 10161)
* the law that reapportioned Cotabato into three legislative districts (RA 10177)
Lacson was one of the main authors of the Reproductive Health Act, and the Sin Tax Reform Act. His Senate Bill No. 2783, which strengthened further the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2001, is now part of Republic Act No. 10167. Lacson also authored a key amendment to the Armed Forces of the Philippines Modernization Act.
In the 17th Congress, Lacson had a role in crafting major measures such as RA 10927, which amended the Anti-Money Laundering Act to include casinos as “covered persons.”
Lacson also authored proposed measures to curb criminality and corruption; and to streamline the bureaucracy, including:
* Senate Bill 40, Budget Reform for Village Empowerment Act of 2016
* Senate Bill 41, which seeks to establish a National ID system
* Senate Bill 42, penalizing a wide range of heinous crimes ranging from drug-related offenses to treason, terrorism and human trafficking.
* Senate Bill 48, Expanded Anti-Wiretapping Act of 2016
Before the Senate, Lacson served in the Philippine National Police, heading it from 1999 to 2001. He had 85 percent of resources go to frontline units, and imposed a 34-inch waistline limit for police officers.
More importantly, Lacson led by example, refusing bribes and declining “rewards” from rescued kidnap-for-ransom victims. Under Lacson, the PNP – and Lacson – scored very high approval ratings.
Lacson also served as Presidential Assistant for Rehabilitation and Recovery, coordinating efforts to help victims of Super Typhoon Yolanda.