MANILA- Presidential candidate Senator Ping Lacson on Friday reiterated his plan to sign a waiver of his rights under the bank secrecy law on his first day as president if elected.
Answering questions from panelists in the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP) presidential forum, Lacson said he will also encourage other government officials and employees to do the same, saying this will “set the tone” of his presidency.
“On the first day of my office, waiver of my rights under the bank secrecy act at i-encourage ko ang lahat ng government employees and officials to do the same," Lacson said.
"I cannot mandate it but I will encourage them because that is an individual right but I am going to set the tone of my presidency to establish a clean government. Leadership be example ang tawag namin doon,” he added.
Partido Reporma's standard bearer also noted that he would not ban his Cabinet officials from appearing in congressional probes, saying he wants to push for transparency.
“Ang ipu-push natin ay transparency. Papaano magtatagumpay ang isang administration kung magtatago tayo [sa] dapat malaman ng publiko?” Lacson said.
(I will push for transparency. How will we be successful in our administration if we will hide information from the public.)
To preserve government’s checks and balances, Lacson said he would also stop the culture of “palakasan” in government and apply a standard in governance.
“Naging kultura na iyong palakasan. Iyon ang ating ihihinto. Kaya kailangan isa lamang standard ang ating susundin. Magagawa mo lamang iyon kung mayroon kang leadership by example," he explained.
(Patronage has always been our culture. We should stop it. There should be a standard. We could only implement it if we lead by example.)
"Kasi ‘pag ka iba iyong trato mo sa kaalyado, kaibigan, kamag-anak at iba ang trato mo sa hindi kaalyado at kalaban sa pultika, hindi tayo magtatagumpay. So isa lamang, hindi pwedeng double standard, kailangan isa lang standard sa pamamalakad,” he said.
(If you treat your allies, friends, and relatives different from your enemies in politics, then we will not be successful. There should only be one standard, and double standards should be eradicated.)
In appointing officials in independent constitutional commissions, including the Comelec, Lacson said he will put premium on the appointee’s probity and objectivity. “Hindi dapat iyong naggaling sa puliktika rin,” he said.
To address corruption, Lacson said he will start by conducting internal cleansing to rid government of inept, corrupt and undisciplined government personnel, just as he did when he led the Philippine National Police.
“Lahat ito hindi magtatagumpay kung walang leadership by example. Ginawa ko na rin po ito kaya ako nagtagumpay sa PNP. I led by example. Hind po ako tumanggap, ni minsan sa buong buhay ko sa public service, ni misan hindi ako tumanggap ng suhol kapalit ng serbisyo publiko,” Lacson said.
(This can only be successful if there's a leadership to follow. I did that in the PNP which was why this was successful there. I did not accept any bribe for my public service.)
He also cited backing for digitalization and cross-referencing in Bureau of Internal Revenue, Securities and Exchange Commission, Land Registration Authority, and Land Transportation Office to ensure proper payments and catch misdeclaration of taxes.
Lacson also stressed he has never receive any bribe while in government service, including any reward, jueteng payola, and recalled warning bidding winners during his time as PNP chief not to give any bribe.
The presidential aspirant added that the full implementation of the National ID law will help law enforcers catch cyber-criminals while also helping government distribute aid.
Asked for his position on reclamation, Lacson said his basic guideline in making decisions would be science-based and data-driven and would include consultation.
“Kailangan ba talaga? At ito ba’y makakasama sa environment? Sa ibang lugar naman talagang hindi pupuwede. So very basic ang ating panuntunan: science-based and data driven, consultation pati. Kasama na sa data-driven ang makipag-konsulta ka sa mga maaapektuhan na taga-roon sa lugar na magkakaroon ng reclamation projects,” he said.
(Is it needed? Will this harm the environment? This is not applicable in some places but our guideline is simple: science-based and data driven. We should also consult every time. We should also include in our decision the sentiments of people living there.)
He said though that he would continue public projects in Mindanao if contracts have been perfected, adding that the country should shift to public-private partnership and tap local industries as government partners to avoid debt.
He said he will sign into law the bill proposing the creation of the Boracay Island Development Authority (BIDA), saying a tourism estate mindset in tourist areas is a must to help attract tourists.
GAMBLING, ILLEGAL DRUGS
On e-sabong, Lacson said this should be studied carefully, citing social costs of gambling.
In fighting illegal drugs, he said the solution should be comprehensive and holistic to include drug prevention and rehabilitation aside from law enforcement.
He also agreed with Vice President Robredo that the National Bilibid Prison is congested, which is why he supports for the establishment of regional prison systems to address prison riots.
“Bakit ba nagri-riot sa Muntinlupa? Hindi nadadalaw ng kanilang mga nakakulong na kapamilya so nagkakaroon ng problema. Rehabilitation po ang isang programa para sa mga nakakulong. Regionalize para nang sa ganoon, madalaw sila ng pamilya nila nang madali,” he said.
(Why are there riots in Muntinlupa? They cannot be visited by their families that's why there is a problem. Rehabilitation could help. There should also be regional prisons so they can be visited by their families.)