Senator Panfilo "Ping" M. Lacson

Senate Office: Room 602 (Extension at Room 17, New Wing, 5/F), GSIS Bldg., Financial Center, Diokno Blvd., Pasay City
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Biography | Resume

Ang tama, ipaglaban. Ang mali, labanan. (What is right must be kept right. What is wrong must be set right.)

These words have served as the constant guide of Senator Panfilo “Ping” Morena Lacson in his more than 40 years of public service, in the fields of law enforcement, lawmaking, and humanitarian work.

Lacson is an untiring, tenacious watchdog of the national budget, making sure dubious congressional insertions (a.k.a. pork barrel) and useless appropriations are checked and deleted during plenary debates.

His continuous fight against corruption, including pork barrel in all its iterations, earned him the degree of Doctor of Laws, Honoris Causa, from the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila in March 2019.

Lacson first earned a tough, no-nonsense reputation while serving in the Philippine National Police: solving high-profile crimes including kidnap-for-ransom cases in the 1980s and 1990s; and reviving the PNP’s glory days as Chief, PNP from 1999 to 2001.

During his term as PNP Chief, Lacson led by example as he instituted a no-take policy and a fitness program, while cleansing the police force of “scalawags in uniform” (a.k.a. kotong cops) – initiatives that earned the PNP the highest public approval ratings in its history.

When he got his first mandate in the Senate in 2001, Lacson went to work on righting another wrong: taking down the multibillion-peso pork barrel system, which has bedeviled the national budget, the lifeblood of the nation.

Ten years before the multibillion-peso Priority Development Assistance Fund (pork) scam exploded, Lacson already detailed in a March 2003 privilege speech how public funds were pocketed via PDAF.

He also had his PhP200-million-a-year PDAF allocations returned to the National Treasury, saving government PhP2.4 billion in 12 years.

Legislative Output

In the 18th Congress, the first batch of bills Lacson filed include the proposed Anti-Terrorism Act of 2019, the Budget Reform for Village Empowerment Act of 2019, and a bill ensuring people’s participation in the budget process.

He also filed a bill excluding government officials from the Bank Secrecy Act, the Prepaid SIM Cards Regulations Act of 2019, a bill reinstituting the death penalty for heinous crimes, a bill imposing heavier penalties on lying witnesses, and the proposed Anti-Political Dynasty Act of 2019.

A full list of the bills he filed in the 18th Congress may be found here.

In the 17th Congress, Lacson was the principal sponsor of the National ID System Law (Republic Act 11055), which provides for easier transactions with the government and private entities and which helps deter criminality. Lacson had been a perennial author of the measure since his first term as senator in 2001.

Lacson also authored, sponsored or co-authored key measures including:

* Republic Act 11279: Act Transferring the Training of Police Recruits from the Philippine Public Safety College to the Philippine National Police
* Republic Act 11200: An Act Providing for Rank Classification in the Philippine National Police
* Republic Act 11059: An Act Establishing a Retirement Benefit System in the Office of the Ombudsman
* Republic Act 11053: The Anti-Hazing Law of 2018
* Republic Act 10973: Restoring the Subpoena Powers of the PNP-CIDG
* Republic Act 10969: The Free Irrigation Law
* Republic Act 10927: Amending the AMLA to Include Casinos as ‘Covered Persons’

Lacson filed Senate Bill 1956, The Anti-Terrorism Act of 2018, to update and enhance the Human Security Act of 2007.

He also authored bills to curb criminality and corruption; and to streamline the bureaucracy, including:

* the proposed Budget Reform for Village Empowerment Act
* the proposed Expanded Anti-Wiretapping Act
* a bill requiring the registration of prepaid subscriber identity module (SIM) cards to prevent scams and crimes involving identity theft
* a bill imposing heavier penalties on those giving false testimonies
* a bill that offers substantial rewards and better protection to witnesses testifying against government officials or employees involved in corruption
* a bill that strips drug pushers, manufacturers, cultivators, importers and financiers of their rights under the Bank Secrecy Act, so they can no longer hide their ill-gotten money in banks.

During the 12th to 15th Congresses from 2001 to 2013, Lacson authored, sponsored or co-authored key measures including:

* Republic Act 9160 (as amended by RA 9194): Anti-Money Laundering Act
* Republic Act 9165: Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002
* Republic Act 9485: Anti-Red Tape Act of 2007
* Republic Act 9163: National Service Training Program Act of 2001
* Republic Act 9166: An Act Increasing the Base Pay of the Members of the AFP
* Republic Act 9208: Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003
* Republic Act 9416: Anti-Cheating Act of 2007
* Republic Act 9484: The Philippine Dental Act of 2007
* Republic Act 10591: An Act Providing for a Comprehensive Law on Firearms, Light Weapons and Ammunition
* Republic Act 10161: The law converting Imus, Cavite from a municipality into a city
* Republic Act 10177: The law that reapportioned Cotabato into three legislative districts

Lacson was one of the main authors of the Reproductive Health Act, which seeks to promote responsible parenthood and to protect the health of the mother and child by giving them access to reproductive health services.

He was also a main author of the Sin Tax Reform Act, which imposes higher taxes on tobacco and alcohol products to deter the public from buying such products.

Also, Lacson authored Senate Bill No. 2783, which strengthened further the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2001. His work is now part of Republic Act No. 10167.

He authored a key amendment to the Armed Forces of the Philippines Modernization Act, which aims to provide more funds to the military for its much-needed capability buildup. The measure became Republic Act 10349.

Philippine National Police Chief

Before the Senate, Lacson served in the PNP, heading it from 1999 to 2001. He went after criminals, including rogue cops. 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.

Yolanda (Haiyan) Rehabilitation

Lacson also served as Presidential Assistant for Rehabilitation and Recovery, coordinating efforts to help victims of Super Typhoon Yolanda.

Despite the limitations and difficulties encountered in terms of support from the national government, Lacson and his staff managed to put together the Yolanda Comprehensive Rehabilitation and Recovery Plan (CRRP), which detailed institutional arrangements, including public-private partnerships; and cluster structures for infrastructure, social services, resettlement, livelihood and support.

The CRRP also detailed rehabilitation and recovery plans for local governments, as well as guidelines for engaging with the non-government sector.

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18th Congress Senators