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DELIVERED BY SENATOR LACSON AT THE 2002
PMAAA HOMECOMING (Overses Chapter), Los Angeles,
California on 6 April 2002
On my way to the United States, while on the plane, I was reading the
speech prepared by my staff for this occasion. The tone was too political
I had second thoughts of using it. Not that this audience would not
welcome to hear about the political developments in our country as an
interesting subject matter, but I feel we are here on a fellowship gathering
so I have chosen to tone it down a bit.
Quite frankly, I am having butterflies in my stomach even as I face
you tonight. Having subscribed with ourgroup websites namely plebe and
cavaliers as well as the academy cavaliers' forum, I can more or less
draw my own conclusion on what kind of audience I would have here. Basing
such conclusion on the postings I read let me venture a guess - one
third would be cynical at the outset or even before I open my mouth,
another third would be non-believers and the remaining third would be
unmindful of the things I will say. Never mind. At the end of the day,
it is the cavalier spirit that I hope I can bank on to finish my day
unscathed or maybe I'm hoping too much.
Nevertheless, I want to thank all of you for your kind invitation. Not
every "boogoo-boogoo" gets the chance to be in front of
overseas cavaliers to address them. It is indeed a rare privilege that
I am standing in front of you right now. I am equally thankful and proud
that another Senator of the Republic of the Philippines has found time
to be here with us as a very special guest. I would like to acknowledge
his presence- The honorable gentleman from Ilocos Norte, Cavite and
the Philippines, Senator Rodolfo "Pong" Biazon'61. Senator
Biazon and I have few things in common. Both of us belong to the same
political party, of course both of us are graduates of our beloved PMA,
both of us retired as four-star generals, he as Chief of Staff of the
Armed Forces of the Philippines and I, as Chief of the Philippine National
Police. Of course, both of us are "magan" albeit, for our
And, imagine that several months ago, overseas cavaliers were having
problems looking for a second choice induction speaker after being "deadmahized"
by former President FVR, you now have not one but two incumbent nationally
elected officials of our Republic in this hall- "Ping-Pong".
With due respect to my distinguished colleague, there is no better choice
for the billing, otherwise "Pong-Ping" won't ring a bell.
I won't allow the opportunity to pass without congratulating my classmate,
Ariel Domingo for being elected as President, PMAAA overseas chapter
(Let's go '71). The same goes true to the other newly inducted officers.
Congratulations likewise to Cav Pitong Heredia'70 as SOCAL Chapter President.
(Talagang Mas Magaling ang '71 sa '70).
Our camaraderie and fraternity are imbedded in our system. They have
become borderless and transnational.
Distance is no longer a problem. Geographical separation among Peemayers
has only made us grow fonder of each other. Again, I am basing on this
observation on all the "kayahizings" I read in PnC and ACF
postings that transcend boundaries. Perhaps I can say we have grown
even closer to each other and more informed of one another.
I am also glad to have meet in person cavalier email/group subscribers
like outgoing President Rolly Cabanban, Benzie Patron, Lucio Tan@Singkitan,
Butch Moreto, Marathon Finisher Gabby Dizon, Jami Jaramillo, Pepo Chanco,
who looks and acts like his older brother Paco'69 to mention a few.
I am likewise excited to see my favorite yearling, Cavalier Pitong Heredia
I am sure you know everything that happens in the Philippines more quickly
than we do sometimes at home. When President GMA decided to become "ATE
GLO" you knew it not an hour later but sooner. I bet when she decided
to replace her decorative title to "INA NG BAYAN", you
had called up your relatives back home to confirm it.
Then, when former President Erap ran berserk and attacked the people
running the judicial system you were closely monitoring what could happen
Likewise, when some indigenous people in our beloved country chose to
prefer a Federal Republic by planting some unbelievable bombs in the
Metropolis, and when the Lopezes who own Meralco want to pass on to
their electric power consumers the interest rates on their loans and
added costs instead of absorbing some losses for a change, you are as
worried and concerned like any Filipino back home.
About two weeks ago, some established institutions lost face in the
recent national sincerity rating survey conducted. While I don't necessarily
believe in the integrity of these survey groups, the sincerity rating
of one institution nearest to my heart struck me the most - The Philippine
National Police suffered heavily with a net -51. GOOD GRIEF! And to
think that some eighteen months ago when I was heading it, we stood
proud with a net +56 trust rating coming from a -13 just when I took
the post on 16 November 1999.
It pains me that a police force that was slowly gaining public trust
and approval and was well on its way to restoring its "OLD GLORY"
could suffer such a humiliating setback. Unabated resurging kidnap for
ransom incidents, "Kotong Cops" back with a vengeance, jueteng
money flowing as if there is no tomorrow - These are but some of the
reasons for the net -51 rating.
Of course, I believe you are all aware of the absentee voting and
dual citizenship bills that we are working on in both houses of Congress.
In the Senate today, we have the rare distinction of having three cavaliers
in the opposition. No, it is not true that the three of us are always
opposing each other- perhaps only most of the time. But even if we inevitably
disagree sometimes, the common river in us that is the Philippine Military
Academy runs. We are like three small rivers going to and fro the same
ocean that is the Academy.
Rightly so, Senators Pong Biazon, Greg Honasan and I are trying our
best to do well as Senators of the Republic. Both of them have their
pet legislative obsessions. I have mine. Since I am not here on their
behalf, I will discuss only my obsessions as a Senator, or to put it
more aptly, as a public servant.
We have our own respective challenges at the PMA, we learned to
be equal to them. At the Senate, our colleagues have learned to treat
us equals. They better do.
I came to the Senate not by design but by fate. I had repeatedly said
when I was still in the uniformed service that I hated politics, and
to put it more bluntly, I hated politicians. I still do. I will always
do. When my time in government services is finally up, I wish to be
remembered not as a politician but as a statesman and a public servant.
Make no mistake about it. There is a whale of difference between a public
servant and a politician. While a politician places the nation at his
own personal service, a statesman or a public servant places himself
at the service of the nation. While a politician thinks of himself and
the next election, a public servant thinks of the nation and the next
Being a tyro legislator, I am coping to learn not from my colleagues
and peers. No one is in a tutoring mode. Right now, the composition
in the Senate is a mixture of several political parties- Lakas-NUCD,
Lapian ng Demokratikong Pilipino(LDP), Partido ng Masang Pilipino, PDP-LABAN,
Nationalists People's Coalition, Reporma Party, not to mention the independents.
For easier arithmetic, make it twenty four(24) Republics in the Senate.
In the House of Representatives, there are more than 200. Yes we smile
each other a lot. But never commit the mistake of blinking, or turning
your back, or you might end up with twenty-three stab wounds on you
back. Of course, the three cavaliers in the Senate are luckier than
the others in that we are confident to get only twenty-one knives on
I learned of this reality the moment this present administration started
unleashing its vicious black propaganda machinery to wipe out selected
opposition personalities from the face of Philippine politics, with
this humble representation at the frontline and therefore receiving
the volleys of fire. No one, even my partymates wanted to sympathize
or even at least to conduct their own investigation of the issues at
hand so that appropriate positions could be made. Everyone was busy
minding his or her own politics. Then, when Sen Nene Pimentel interpelated
Sen Noli de Castro on his opening prayer, which we do in alphabetical
order, I thought it was the height of partisan, individualistic politics.
I do not blame Sen Nene for his eagerness to do so. He felt he would
never have the chance to engage Sen Noli in a debate since he doesn't
see a privilege speech coming out of Kabayan Noli.
When the investigations on the wild and poorly scripted accusations
hurled by Cavalier Vic Corpus'67 but with a lot of help from other cavaliers
namely, Rey Berroya'69, Rey Wycoco'68 and Bobby Lastimoso'67 started,
I did not have a hint on where it was coming from. My own sources
later identified the direction and support as coming from Malacanang.
Using elongated chin named Angelo Mawanay a.k.a. Ador the unadorable
(I wonder where he is now and how he is doing with his cellular phone
sting business) and a woman scorned by another cavalier, John Campos'87
named Mary Ong a.k.a. Rosebud against me started in the Senate, the
PNP, AFP, NBI, Ombudsman, DOJ and what have you(even the House of Representatives
at one point wanted to join the fray), I started wondering if an "old
Boys Club" indeed exists in the Senate. In fact I could not distinguish
who were partymates at that time.
Now that the anti-Lacson forces engaged in fabrication and manufacture
of evidence have taken their natural course of dissipated and diminished
energies, I have more time to think of how things really are in our
For the record, I co-authored the anti-money laundering act of 2001
in the Senate. Likewise, the amended dangerous drugs act and the ROTC
law. My pending legislative acts include the bill on anti-terrorism,
the anti-trust act, PNP trust fund Act among others. I also represented
the Senate as member of the Bicameral Conference Committees when these
bills were discussed jointly by both houses prior to their enactment.
Yes sirs. You heard me right- inspite of the vicious media assaults
made possible by Victor Corpus on my supposed illegal drugs and money
laundering activities, I was the very first legislator to push for the
enactment of these bills' into law. In fact, I made them part
of my campaign pledges even at the time when I was not yet aware that
they were cooking up something vicious and sinister against me. I was
not made its principal sponsor only because I am with the minority bloc
and that is a reality in the legislature.
One major thrust that I want to push through is the abolition
of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) formerly Countrywide
Development Fund (CDF) but more notoriously known as "Pork Barrel".
Last month, I filed graft and corruption against two-members of my Senate staff for
violating a very simple and clear policy- the "No-Take Policy".
This is one policy that I had consistently and strictly enforced and
implemented when I was still in the uniformed service, which I want
to continue in the Senate and for as long as I am in the government
But, as Sir Winston Churchill once said, "It's gonna be long and
hard, full of ups and downs, bloody and without withdrawal." Of
course, he was not referring to a newlywed couple's honeymoon night
but to World War II.
I believe public service in our country is a living covenant with the
people. Government was invented precisely to give hope to the hopeless
and grant help to the helpless. The people may not be our masters but
we must act as their servants.
My dear cavaliers, you have chosen to live your own lives away from
a decaying place. Sad to say, our country suffers from poor and bad
governance. Corruption by Public Officials as well as in the Private
Sector has become ubiquitous that sometimes we wonder if the practice
was regular. Peace and order has never been bad, tourism is dying if
not dead already. Uncollected garbage stinks everywhere and traffic
going haywire a daily ordeal. We begin to wonder if we can still hope
to survive the next decade.
What shall we do? There are no ready answers right now. I would like
to believe that Peemayers like you and me might still have the Courage,
Integrity and Loyalty to bond together and save our country. As everyone
I presume, would unanimously proclaim, not one cavalier based abroad
would be willing to give up on our beloved country, the Philippines.
Again, I thank you very much. And as we would "bolahize" our
favorite and not so favorite upperclassmen, I would like to bid everybody-
GOOD NIGHT, Sirs. SWEET DREAMS SIRS.