Presidential candidate Panfilo “Ping” Lacson on Saturday said a government too involved in the COVID-19 vaccination drive slows down the distribution of shots and public immunization.
“Ang daming pahirap. Ang isang solution is less government intervention particular na kung paano ita-trato ang ating private sector, business sector. Huwag tayo mag-overregulate kasi diyan tayo mahihirapan sa pagbangon ng ating ekonomiya,” Lacson said in a Facebook Live town hall with residents of Antipolo City’s second district.
(There are too many hurdles. One solution is less government intervention, particularly how we deal with the private and business sectors. Let us not overregulate because that’s slowing down our economic recovery.)
Lacson also reiterated his pitch for good governance as a solution to what he said is the problem of bad governance in the country.
He urged voters, too, to look beyond personalities and gimmick, and choose candidates based on their competence, experience, loyalty to public service, and solutions to address problems.
Lacson said he and his running mate, Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III, share common positions in addressing the drug problem through rehabilitation, shunning corruption, and empowering local governments through budget reform.
“The biggest problem of this country is government, bad government. At ang solusyon hindi rin lalayo doon sa problem (The solution is not far from the problem) . . . It lies in the face of the problem itself. Government din ang solusyon, good government (is also the solution),” Lacson said.
“Ayusin natin ang gobyerno para maayos ang buhay ng mga Pilipino (Fix the government and we fix the lives of Filipinos.”
Former Antipolo 2nd district Representative and retired police general Romeo Acop threw his support behind Lacson, vouching for his former police colleague’s character, competence, and capability.
Acop, Lacson’s upperclassman at the Philippine Military Academy, was PNP comptroller during Lacson’s stint as PNP chief and Lacson’s classmate at the staff college. He has known Lacson for more than 50 years.
Acop said Lacson ensured that resources and logistics reached frontline units and supported Lacson’s program to curb corruption and instill discipline in the police force. He related how Lacson refused an offer of reward for rescuing kidnap victim Robina Gokongwei-Pe, saying he was just doing his job and how Lacson never publicized his helping those in need.
Lacson lauded the heroism of public servants and frontliners, including Rep. Resurreccion Acop, a doctor and wife of Acop, who died because of COVID-19.
Senatorial candidates running under the Lacson-Sotto tandem also made their pitch for the tandem.
Former Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista said Lacson and Sotto would ensure that resources would reach local governments to enable them to respond adequately to problems.
“Sinasabi ni vice-president Tito Sotto, ‘Alam mo maganda ang plano ni President Ping Lacson,’ kasi hanggang sa barangay level, simula po sa probinsiya hanggang sa mga lungsod, hanggang sa mga munisipyo . . . Mararamdaman natin ang pambansang pamahalaan dahil galing po sa itaas, sa pondo, sa pagsasaayos ng pondo o tinatawag ni president Lacson na budget reforms ay bababa po iyan hanggang sa barangay para po ang pagtugon sa mga pangangailangan po (nila),” Bautista said.
Another senatorial candidate, Paolo Capino, said only Lacson and Sotto have given a PWD person such as him to be represented in their senatorial slate.
“Isa po itong repleksiyon ng kanilang paninindigan sa mga hindi napapansin masyado ng bayan. Mas marami po silang big time na pwedeng mapili po pero si Senador Lacson at Senador Sotto ang nagpakita at nagpapatunay ng kanilang kalinga sa mga ordinaryong tao lalo na sa mga may kapansanan na tulad ko,” Capino said.
Answering questions from Antipolo residents, Lacson reiterated his plan to lift lockdowns and open the economy, saying the decision will be made in coordination with medical experts and based on data and science.
Eye Bank founder Dr. Minguita Padilla, also a senatorial candidate supporting Lacson-Sotto, advocates for frequent COVID-19 testing and make testing available for free or at a cheap price and setting up of generic drugs factories to make the price of medicines cheap.
Sotto was unable to join the virtual program, citing a conflict in schedule.