Matatags Who Are Still In Government Service
by Cicero Castellano


To address recurring political tumult and rampant criminality, the Philippines continuously strives to bring much-needed reforms to its institutions including those in legislature and law enforcement. In recent history, one man has defined meaningful transformation to these two areas: Panfilo “Ping“ Morena Lacson.

Ping dreamt to become a lawyer but in a twist of fate, he was admitted to the Philippine Military Academy and became a cavalier instead of a lawyer. A member of PMA Matatag Class of 1971, Ping learned the virtues of courage, integrity and loyalty in the path of becoming a first-class leader of men.

Rising from the ranks to become Chief of the Philippine National Police from 1999 to 2001, Ping was known for his uncompromising and sterling leadership. His vision was to restore the old glory of the policemen by radically transforming the national police.

His arduous struggle in the Senate started in 2001. Amid attempts by his political foes to malign his reputation his resolve has been unflinching, particularly in his call to scrap the Priority Development Assistance Fund. Amid the political irregularities affecting the country’s public institutions, Lacson stood in the august halls of the Senate to blow the lid of anomalous transactions by officials in several government projects: the hydroelectric facility grant, the laundering scheme by one Jose Pidal, the diversion of fertilizer funds and “ Hello Garci“ conspiracy, among others.

As a member of the 12th, 13th, 14th and 15th Congress, Ping authored or co-authored land mark legislations including the Anti-Money laundering law and amendments thereto.

Consistent with his personal credo which goes “What is right must be kept right, what is wrong must be set right“, Ping continues to safeguard public interest through his anti-corruption effort, in particular, through the national budget which he considers the most potent tool to drive the economy’s growth. Ping stressed this in the 17th Congress.

Parallel to his agenda of ensuring good local governance, Senator Lacson filed bills promoting transparency and public accountability. To curb graft and corruption, Ping seeks to encourage whistle-blowers by granting them protection, security and benefits.

Refusing to yield to political pressure from interest groups, Senator Lacson continues to advance his agenda to initiate programs on budget reform, transparency and public accountability, anti-graft and corruption, and public order and security.

That is Ping Lacson.

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Secretary Gregorio Honasan
Ambassador Eduardo Kapunan
Police General(ret) Ricardo de Leon
Police General(ret) Reynaldo Velasco
Colonel(ret) Melchior Acosta


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