Get It Straight with Daniel Razon
Aired December 2, 2013 at UNTV 37
Daniel Razon: This morning one of the most colorful personalities in and out of the political arena and can be called “rehabilitation czar” to the Yolanda stricken areas, please welcome to the program former Senator Panfilo ‘Ping’ Lacson. Sir, Good morning sir.
How are you sir? It’s been a long time.
Ping Lacson: Yeah, it’s been a long time.
Daniel Razon: Sir, let’s get it straight, you being the rehabilitation czar, is it already formalized?
Ping Lacson: Well, the letter of appointment or order, none, but we had talked and contacted both side, I accepted the order and they acknowledged, so it is just the mechanics of appointment and the structure of the executive order … agency.
Daniel Razon: Is that through what? a telephone call? How’s the process?
Ping Lacson: Last Friday, talks occurred in Malacañang while talking other stuff. Then, without nowhere, they asked if I can be of help or to oversee the operations in the reconstruction and rehabilitation… I was tongue-tied and cannot reply, so I just smiled. Then, we head on what the original agenda but they had asked me again if I would do it, they would make an appointment – PNOY. That was the time that I had told them to at least give me 2 days of sleep to think about it because it is the law enforcement. It is new to me – the experience. I cannot give my word for the fact that I am not sure if the seat is not filled. I requested for at least 2 to 3 days to think about it and at the same time, thinking about my own resource person. The experts in the field on what is “rehabilitation” all about. This is entirely new, completely new to me. New field. So that night, I called some friends if they knew experts regarding rehabilitation. Surely we are seeing the town planners, urban planners and the ones whose expertise regarding the after disaster and reconstruction. I have also engaged into reading materials using Google. From there, I saw what McArthur had done at Hiroshima, the Warsaw Martial plan, so as they called it but it there is a big difference because back then, it was post-war. Then I had also read Indonesian. That’s what they called it Mr. Fix it. I had just one simple question, is it doable? They said, it can be done. So it is a challenge. You know, it is hard to just walk away. To refuse challenge. But it is not in my character to just walk away from challenges. That is a job. Then we had a little bit of briefing … consultation to experts then finally, I texted the President yesterday then I said I accept the offer.
Daniel Razon: So, at first, do you think it was serious or you felt it’s just a joke?
Ping Lacson: No. they are really serious. As I smiled back they told me to decide for them to issue …
Daniel Razon: What exactly are you talking about? About what?
Ping Lacson: Ah, it is somewhat confidential.
Daniel Razon: Ah, okay, okay.
Ping Lacson: Entirely a different agenda. Different topic.
Daniel Razon: Okay. This appointment is totally different from being a DILG chief … it was just hampered because of the Jessie Robredo team, right? That was where you are then.
Ping Lacson: Yes. It would be just as smooth as it is if I were in the law enforcement or in the public safety. That is why I am surprised. An almost anti-corruption task force but this is totally hmm … that is why it took me…
Daniel Razon: What do you feel in this situation wherein it is an entirely far or gotten near the issue?
Ping Lacson: Near the issue. It is just like walking on a piece of wire. Big sum of money involved. I am sure of myself that I would not do anything illegal about the funds. I am certain that misusing money would not be one. But…
Daniel Razon: The process …
Ping Lacson: Yeah. Every step of the way, funds must be closely monitored and that is a big challenge for me. The reconstruction and rehabilitation. I can easily find people with technical expertise to do the work. To execute, plan, implement … to do just about everything but the monitoring of funds, that is a challenge.
Daniel Razon: But looking bit from afar, I am sure you have foreseen this is about to happen eventually. You already have some criticism of your own, right?
Ping Lacson: No, because we are all conscious about the ravages and every one of us, in the deepest part of our h hearts we wanted to help and same goes out with a friend of mine who would be sending help in one of the towns at Guiuan, I said if I can send some help too, never mind the recognition. It is from my heart and I wanted to be, even have a small part. I told him to just go and do wherever needs it. I never have known what towns he had given that. Last Thursday, I went to his office, coincidentally, the mayor of the town of Guiuan was there, he gave thanks and I asked how was the devastation in your place? The mayor said that 100%. So 100% devastated and they would be starting from zero. From scratch. I said to him, what you have going through is really hard, but it is an opportunity because by the time you have re-build and started from zero, you can re-organize everything. From zoning … to those houses which are at the coastal areas can have some setbacks. It can be build so that the usual flooding would not go over board for your people to be safe. My point is, the damage has been done. We should not cry over spilled milk. A positive approach is needed. Little did I know that it is just the start for me to welcome my new job and I think that I would fall in love in rehabilitating.
Daniel Razon: But one of the problems is the zoning and mapping. That would place a permanent danger zone. No building zone. What would happen to them whose land titles would cross the permanent danger zone?
Ping Lacson: Well, that’s another challenge, right. The president had pointed out what to do to those houses near the coastline to setback. The state has the power to exprocate if it involves physical safety and security of its people. And one of the hardest challenge that I have not anticipated yesterday is that our last briefing, the information from another resource person is that the land titles in Tacloban. If the LRA in Tacloban is fully computerized. If not, how would they reconstruct and it would be taken advantaged by the land grabbers. They have no control in whoever shall build houses and foundations. It is a possibility that some foundations are washed off by the flood especially to those records in the government offices that had been washed off.
Daniel Razon: That is the reality.
Ping Lacson: Yes I just hope that …
Daniel Razon: So, you found out that it was not computerized?
Ping Lacson: No. I am not yet certain. We have been interacting with LRA thru my staff and asked them if it was computerized, the LRA, to those places that Yolanda ravaged and they replied, they were reconstructing it. Bohol, so far, completed. So, that is a good sign that maybe in Tacloban, too, or Tanawan, they can do the same thing to lessen the problem. It would be complex it’s not.
Daniel Razon: That’s right. What would be the biggest barrier in doing this job. I am seeing you to be this person to just want to remove all barriers. It just goes out with the saying, you attract the barriers. What would be your foresight regarding this?
Ping Lacson: Ah, where would I be creating conflicts? There is just one and that is the administrating the fund of the agencies and the monitoring to them. You can really can see the misused and the attempt to misuse them. Taking advantage to those hopeless victims and digging into the situation including government people that would be really hard. But I will fight them even up to the point of getting my connections to the PNP or NBI to an operation wherein heads would be caught because of mis-using funds.
Daniel Razon: Do you think they were a little bit of slow in implementing this stuff? The process on which I am seeing right now is that making them act really would mean jumping out of the process? It is a slowed down process, right?
Ping Lacson: That is not that simple at it seems. First up, assessing the damage, planning. There is a timeline. As I have studied the past weekend, there are timelines in assessing the damages. I hope that the cabinet had done it and now ready to plan. As a matter of fact, they have submitted a rehab plan. I have not yet seen what they have submitted to the President but that’s the reason why they have come up with the 40 billion, dividing the pie – that was the graph dividing on where fund would be going: livelihood, what percentage would go to the infrastructures. I would be reviewing to see where to adjust if other aspects would be lacking including the community of dead deeds involves the restoration of homes, livelihood, social lives, etc. Objectives that includes the infrastructures, roads, destroyed bridges, forts, airports. There are also the financial objectives to raise funds. So this is not just for the government to do, but still you need the help of the private sectors and human resources because you need volunteers to inspire, motivate to help the government. This is what has been going through my mind. Private sectors would go first, then government whose agencies would be constructed and lead by me and other cabinet members, the one who would monitor and oversee, and that is the work of the private sector – but they do not dwell into that endeavor without … let’s face it. They are profit-oriented. But if I was to choose, rather than to do with the government bureaucracy and red tape, I will prefer the private sector to initiate the forefront and lead the road and the government would only be managing.
Daniel Razon: Well, speaking of which, you said that if it would be at your own terms, as I have known you as a person who do not dive into the puppet side, how would the process of authority be? How big the span … is the President said anything not to dive into your management … no one can intervene because it is hard when many people would dwell into the process.
Ping Lacson: It goes without saying that I will be reporting directly to him and only to him I have the responsibility and to the Filipino people, too.
Daniel Razon: So you can command them under your supervision?
Ping Lacson: Not the word command because it is an inappropriate word. As if I was a king commanding. You should straighten and balance between a dictator or a consultative. You should be in between, whether you would be very aggressive, well do it. If the situation would need you to be calm, then, it depends upon the situation.
Daniel Razon: But the thing is who would be the one on the driver’s seat? Who would be under the jurisdiction of whom? Under you? Would you be handling the whole or acting as an organizer?
Ping Lacson: When you say overall supervisor or overseer, it’s easier to be understood while delegating the plans, what we have come up with, this is the plan on how we can reach or implement. We have like, a Bible for that matter.
Daniel Razon: I just said it because the former DILG Sec. Robredo, there are cops …
Ping Lacson: It is really difficult because when I was in the military, we call it unity of command. It is really, really needed. There you have your commander, sub-commander … if there were many commanders, it would be very disorderly.
Daniel Razon: So they haven’t told you on how far can you go?
Ping Lacson: That was the executive orders that I have been working out that would sum up everything there. Including the definition of functions which is the unity of command that would converse everything.
Daniel Razon: Have you foreseen, maybe there would be throwing stones at your leadership and someone would make some privilege speech and accuse Ping of inconsistence because he had no background in the matter?
Ping Lacson: I am not boasting to know all. And as I told you earlier, I don’t know anything about this. But someone doesn’t have to be a civil engineer or an architect because you have all the technical people with you to do those specific jobs. What needs is the managerial expertise.
Daniel Razon: And how would these things affect the declaration of PDAF an unconstitutional because …
Ping Lacson: It really is a big thing because first of all, the ones whom they had filed cases in the ombudsman, these are not your ordinary people – senators, congressman. For me, that sends a big message, so it really has big money involve and to those holding the minor functions would think 10 times before they would meddle and use those funds for their own good.
Daniel Razon: To divert …
Ping Lacson: Yes, diverting. If senators would be convicted, it would be a very nice message or turning of event, which is basically not good for my fellow politicians that had been facing those cases against them. But for me, it is a blessing in disguise – the blessings that the Philippines, the Filipino people wherein putting an end to abuse of funds. As for the funds concern, it is really a big deal that funds would be fixed and or fellow Filipino would also police, for them to know that the government is really doing everything to convict them. Of course we are on the preliminary investigation but well-publicized for the whole country to see even overseas sending them message that the funds is something not to be diverted and using it wrongly.
Daniel Razon: But you decline to use your PDAF during your time, more so, you fought with the pork barrel, right? What I am looking at is that who would be the implementing body if there is an NGO, who are checking them? The senator or the DDM or the implementing agency?
Ping Lacson: DDM only disperse money. But the problem is, for example, in the case of Mrs. Napoles, why do they have the list before hand? The menu projects has its list, these are the priority projects. It appears to be as the operator knows more and informing the Senators or Congressman, “the list of priority projects are here. You can list down yours …” because if the project is not found in the DDM list, it would really take time. So it is a wide scope in the government syndicate involving different agencies and private individual or entity wherein they would conspire. This is not an allegation but it is what I saw. There are conspiracies to make use or for that big sum of funds to be corrupted.
Daniel Razon: But of course, there are attempts in diving into it.
Ping Lacson: If they can get away with it.
Daniel Razon: Yes if they can, is there any, by chance approached you about the pork barrel in which you totally disagree with and says …
Ping Lacson: There is.
Daniel Razon: Is Napoles one of them? But, sir, before you answer, we’ll pause for a break.
Ping Lacson: Okay. Haha
Daniel Razon: To those who had approached you, is Napoles included?
Ping Lacson: I don’t think so. First up, I don’t know Napoles. I don’t know it she was the one handling or whatever but there was an instance I think it was 2005, there were roaming around, operators, maybe representatives. One of them had gotten to my office. I won’t share the name of the agency. Just sitting around not saying a thing. We talked just about anything until I called my staff, he said goodbye not saying anything. I asked my staff on what the person needs. My staff just said, “Sir, he approaches the other senator … wanted to give you a formal letter request …” I said he gave me none. My staff had the copies that came from other senators. Anyway, I read it, you have to sign a blank letter request to release a 5 million fund wherein the amount of 3.5 would be given to the senator and the 1.5 would go back to them for clearing. I kept the letter which they let me have it. My staff want it back because he just borrowed it from a senator with this name. I said, no, I would be using it on the floor. It was a budget deliberation. When I got on the floor, there is a contact number r, mobile number, then I showed it to everyone that there is a letter going around saying that if we filled out 5 , 3.5 cash will be ours and the remaining 1.5 theirs.
Daniel Razon: 3.5 is yours?
Ping Lacson: Yes.
Daniel Razon: Two fold pocket?
Ping Lacson: Yes. That means that, most probably, it’s a ghost project because 1.5 Million covers the expenses of documentation, tax, not covering the entire project. I was watching all my colleagues, that was not my privilege speech, I just stood for them to recognize me and to be able to say that. I noticed, there were staring at the ceiling … others were looking straight at me like they want to kill me. So, more or less I already have an idea who received. Who got 10, 5, go 12 and 11 …
Daniel Razon: And were talking millions here?
Ping Lacson: Were talking millions here, not thousands. Until one got up, questioning my statement saying, “I do not believe that because that department has no funds for that project.” I retaliated saying, “actually, there is a mobile phone indicated, we can trace whose operating.” Collegians, as you know, when someone stands up and no one supported your statement, it is considered as part of senate record. Example of this is way back 2003, March 11, 2013 wherein I attacked pork barrel. There was no interpolation because after the privilege speech, they suspended the session and after the suspension, it resumed. After the assumption, adjourned.
Normally when senators or a legislature is having a privilege speech or resolution, even if there were no interpolations on the floor, it is being referred to a committee and that committee will call on the resource person to a committee e hearing or public hearing and they would make a committee report then, they will report it on the floor. Debates will take place and it is where they will decide to adopt or reject on the plenary … on the floor. My privilege speech about pork barrel is full of substance because we are talking about percentages. Who are involved. I cleared out that I am not saying that everybody who had pork barrels had received, but everyone is a suspect as long as they have pork barrels. That is the truth because the Filipino people is seeing the senators and congressmen receiving pork barrel would automatically receives a 20%, nothing happened … it was just me who is not getting pork barrel and they looked at me as OA… kill joy or corny. But never mind that. I just stood for what I believed in. I remember a former senator. We chatted for a while because we never found a time to talk while in the senate he told me, “you know why i have confidence in you? “not for anything else, I just shared this because it’s the truth. When we were both senators, we disagreed on pork barrels. We fought against it. At the end, we were just the ones who stood up and grab that opportunity. Other senators were looking and backed out because of being out-numbered. We, two cannot pass a resolution. But it can be done. We stood for what we thought is right. It had occurred to them that it can, really be done. But collegian prevailed. The principle of we, ours, and just follow the majority.
Daniel Razon: Yes, and you were able to do that.
Ping Lacson: It was only now that we had talked about it after what we had stood for in the senate.
Daniel Razon: It is clearly in your character to not to stand without proof or evidence. And I am sure that just doesn’t end there. For sure, you knew some who were involved in this and that transactions, am I correct?
Ping Lacson: That is right. We have informations, others classified as solid evidence, because if you have solid evidence, like the ones coming out like the whistle blowers who have documents and reached the ombudsman.
Daniel Razon: … but have you had solid evidence until now?
Ping Lacson: We have. That is why I have one senator who filed one, right? The one pending on the ombudsman …
Daniel Razon: But in others who were involved …
Ping Lacson: You know, if you were the one who is going to pursue, the senate would think that you are attacking them. But the one that I had told them are those that I just referred to the ombudsman and that was it. The records are available in the senate and all I have to do is give it to them. They conducted a fact finding investigation and seen that it is authentic and the investigation is still going on.
Daniel Razon: That was newly launched but there is this one incident that they wanted the pork barrels to go up. You exposed this right? Why just recent?
Ping Lacson: I also said that but …
Daniel Razon: buried?
Ping Lacson: It was buried and overlapped by other issues and it was not noticed, for example …
Daniel Razon: You were being ganged up on, is that right?
Ping Lacson: I also said that but…
Not really. Let’s just say that it was placed under the rag and did not talked about it. That incident … situation way back 2003 when I delivered my privilege speech, which I considered a skating privileged speech, what I have said back then, is a big issue now. I speak up in caucuses when they want to tackle that before talking about the field of amendments. They would insert things aside from the 200 million every year; year in, year out, there really is an additional. There was once a caucus of all the senators wherein they questioned the 38 billion pesos lump sum appropriation in the office of the President who suggested that it should be reduced. That was the time of GMA. We all agreed for the fact that really is in the news about misusing the funds. After we had agreed to lessen and how much should we cut off, one senator protested and suggested to give everyone a sum of 500 because of its large amount. I objected upfront and disagreed. It is a shame to cut off the 38 billion of the President – whoever that president just to be seen a 500 each in every senators pork barrel. I disagreed. The caucus was dismissed. The caucus adjourned and they said to talk about it some other time. I was not invited on the second caucus and I was not informed. But God is really good because we have meetings with few senators, congressmen and other personalities. We talked about different gossips in the government. One congressman who is a little bit of insulting who had talked to a common friend asking me if I can allocate a 50 million to his locality upon hearing that we had an additional 200. I said there was none. He told me that one senator told him that there really is an additional 200. That was the time that I had known that additional money and confronted the senate president and the chairman of finance committee. I told him, “didn’t I objected in the caucus? You still proceeded not me knowing just because I objected. I just accidentally known that it was pursued. Everybody would know that issue. Tomorrow you will be seeing me on TV and radio denouncing that. I also questioned the sack loan in the interpolation. In other words, the 200 million additional was not executed and the 200, also, was not approved because of me buzzing all about it.
Daniel Razon: But prior to that, is there other executed?
Ping Lacson: Yearly, there were but that particular instance, that is just blatant. It started with 300. Come to think about it, 300 times 24? How many billions are there? Just like having an advocacy to get that lump sum of the president then, it would be showing … it would appear in time and it would be appearing that we cut that off then it would be showing in our individual form. It is just a bad image to see.
Daniel Razon: Many feared you. Are you aware of that?
Ping Lacson: At times but I don’t want to believe it, haha.
Daniel Razon: Why do you think that most people felt uneasy or feared you?
Ping Lacson: That is the case because I don’t really conform to the … let’s just say in the tradition. We can say that I don’t go with the flow.
Daniel Razon: Sort of a villain.
Ping Lacson: Yes. Not conforming with everybody.
Daniel Razon: It is just like … there is this notion in the recently issue that came out about Bobby Dacer. How do you react when they said that Ping Lacson, killer?
Ping Lacson: There are blog sites wherein you can read different stuff, they were saying that I am gay. Different sorts of things, right?
Daniel Razon: Wait, since you already mentioned it, are you gay?
Ping Lacson: No. haha!
Daniel Razon: Hahaha!
Ping Lacson: I will fight you if you will insist that I am. That is not true hahaha!
Daniel Razon: I would ask you regarding that gossip roaming around.
Ping Lacson: No. No offense to all gays in the world but I am not gay. For the record.
Daniel Razon: It is just like … there are things …
Ping Lacson: That started when I was the Chief PNP. I was …
Daniel Razon: Why do you think that came out?
Ping Lacson: Well, those things to be thrown away when I was the chief PNP, those secretly despise me. “He’s gay” and in return, I would answer them. “If I am gay, there would be none in the world.
Daniel Razon: Yes, because I heard that you hold a dual citizenship.
Ping Lacson: That was it.
Daniel Razon: Was there anyone who caught you doing your make-up?
Ping Lacson: There was someone who is going to do it but I declined because I have somewhere to go after this. If there anyone who would see me in foundation, they would immediately confirm, that is why I just requested for the tissue.
Daniel Razon: It started… How it come up?
Ping Lacson: Well, I had charged this police colonel with kidnapping and since then, we haven’t established a good relationship. He started it all. We have what we called a cadet night show. This is held 100 days before the graduation. We are all male cadets. No females. The stag … the place where we performed since there were no …
Daniel Razon: Like a stage show?
Ping Lacson: Yes, sort of, just for fun. There were who danced the pandanggo. We hired choreographers and they would roam around the classrooms, spotting mestizos whom they can dress like woman. So, I am one of those, I think, Greg Honassan is one of them. There were those that had been dressed up, wore a wig, lipstick, and would look like a woman. Then they would let them wear skirts and I am one of those. We danced, but we were many. But if you are a playboy, surely, you cannot resist.
Daniel Razon: Among those, you are the prettiest?
Ping Lacson: No, there were those who is much prettier than me but that officer is also a PMAer, he made clippings, maybe he spread it out that I was gay having that as his evidence, me dressing as a woman. He did not mentioned that it was a cadet night show and it is not just me dancing but many of us, dancing in different numbers.
Daniel Razon: You should hand them evidence that “I have one, with Greg”
Ping Lacson: Haha. You are dragging others into this. So, anyway, that started it all. An interview of him, I remembered, they mentioned the incident about kidnapping. We are told that our evidence is some kind of a fairy tale against them. It came across a fairy tale in the closet, and then they added the closet fair. That was the start of that accusation that I was gay. “I have his picture.” That is why it is always in his pocket for proofs.
Daniel Razon: Maybe he has a crush on you?
Ping Lacson: That I don’t know but it is always in his wallet for him to show off to whomever he’ll be talking to – “You see? He really is…” That’s what he does until one time, a senate hearing held. I remember Senator Maceda and Senator Herrera, it was all about drugs. I was invited as the Chief PNP as resource person. Then when it was almost done and about to ajourn, I remembered the gay issue. I said, your honor, Mr. Chairman, I just want to add one more statement. I want to bring up that issue. “Go ahead.” I told them, “for the record, I am not gay and I don’t intend to be one” for that to just be part of the record. A police officer said that “admitted” he said “he is not gay but he did not intend to be one.” Hahah. So you see, they are playing porch. Anyway, when Miriam arrived, she called me Pingky. Every time I read it, I cannot help but to laugh. My wife laughed. Of course, of all people, she knows. I don’t want to go beyond what she knows.
Daniel Razon: So, if you’re not gay, are you a womanizer?
Ping Lacson: Hahaha!
Daniel Razon: Why suddenly got red face?
Ping Lacson: You, hahaha
Daniel Razon: Hahaha
Daniel Razon: With those kind of issues the impression by others to you is that you are a killer even if you are not.
Ping Lacson: Yeah
Daniel Razon: That was associated with your name.
Ping Lacson: Kuratong.
Daniel Razon: Who were your enemies that you think that you cannot forgive?
Ping Lacson: I’ve forgiven them.
Daniel Razon: How is …
Ping Lacson: Even GMA, I already had forgiven her. My principle in life, like what I have read, John F. Kennedy said that. “Forgive your enemies but don’t forget their names.”
Daniel Razon: Are you okay with Veroya?
Ping Lacson: In my case, it’s all good. All detractors, all to those who made my life hard. From Mawanay, from Rose Bud … I have forgiven them. Because if you hold grudges and never forgive, no matter how badly you were treated in the past, it’s going to be you who would suffer because you will be thinking of it.
Daniel Razon: You will fastly get older.
Ping Lacson: We haven’t got the chance to talk. We have not seen each other.
Daniel Razon: But you’re okay?
Ping Lacson: Yes. Whatever they want me to do. They made me gay, to another, made me a killer, made me a drug lord, and made me a kidnapper… all of that. But at the end of the day, you would think that they have their reasons. But then again, it’s not true, I would just sleep soundly.
Daniel Razon: The things that they were accusing you, is there one that has a bit of truth? None?
Ping Lacson: I cannot think of one because I should have been behind bars.
Daniel Razon: That was not all that, right.
Ping Lacson: All I can say is that there is no truth regarding the issue of me being gay.
Daniel Razon: Hahaha
Ping Lacson: There are some with a bit of truth but I cannot recall. But this is what I can assure you …
Daniel Razon: How many have you killed so far?
Ping Lacson: When you are in a gun fight, you don’t know who were going to be shot.
Daniel Razon: You cannot recount?
Ping Lacson: Yes.
Daniel Razon: But there was none whom you instructed to be killed?
Ping Lacson: None. None.
Daniel Razon: Something like …
Ping Lacson: What I have instructed my men during jump off operations is that, “it’s just in the movies that happened wherein the police would let the villains shot them, rolled and not a wound. We know for a fact that inside that vehicle, inside the house, it is stupid to wait for them to held their hands and say to them to get out and surrender themselves. Seeing that a gun muscle is shown, don’t wait for them to shoot. “Shoot stupid” because it is better to be a … being murdered if you can call that a murder or a dead tool a dead stupid whatever that they call in their wake. “This cop is really a weak one. Come to think about it, there were many of them that raided the place, still he was killed. Self defense is applied in an imminent danger. But it is up to yu on how you are going to apply at that instance. Telling them to held their both hands, wherein a gun muscle is shown inside a car, would you wait for them to get out of the car and held the gun point blank for you to pull that trigger?
Daniel Razon: You’ll pull that trigger first?
Ping Lacson: Yes but if you still call that murder, so be it. At least my men are alive… I live.
Daniel Razon: How’s between you and Secretary De Lima?
Ping Lacson: It’s okay. Okay.
Daniel Razon: You have straightened things out?
Ping Lacson: Yes.
Daniel Razon: You’ve talked?
Ping Lacson: Yes. I understood his passion because it is the same as mine. She has work to do, I have mine. She has her own belief … fought for her belief, I also fought for my belief. It is just so happen that were not the same.
Daniel Razon: So you think that there is something personal about that?
Ping Lacson: Never. Even when we had some discussions about that. I am not thinking about that because we don’t have any history of …
Daniel Razon: What’s your history with Miriam?
Ping Lacson: None. We got along even when I was the Chief PNP we always … her husband is undersecretary Santiago. We are still friends up to now. But I don’t know … it started with an issue regarding an additional MOOE (Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses) of Senate President Enrile. I was the chairman on committee on accounts, she got the least compared to other senators and she returned it. At first, it was the Senator, senate president Enrile whom she was pinpointing. But later, for all the people that she had bombarded with that issue that included me. I heard her saying, “December is coming to an end, they had accepted 300 thousand each … going in their pockets” I was being dragged at that issue. We all received but it is clearly stated in the voucher ‘additional MOOE’ and not for our pockets. It’s your personal thing. MOOE handled by a finance officer. So why did she have to tell all the radio and television that we hid it in our pockets because the end of the year. But I for one researched and found out that she had accepted a 600 thousand in November and said that it is perfectly moral. But when a 250 rather than a 300 thousand to others, she considered it immoral. It is also an additional MOOE. In one of my interviews I stated that she should not include all. That we are the thieves and she is not. She had taken that on us and accused of being an attack dog of Enrile, which is not true because I was not defending Senator Enrile. Whom I was defending is myself and maybe the whole senate as an institution because it is collapsing. She told everybody that we all pocketed the additional MOOE. We exchanged words which I called her a proceeding crew. That was then, she called me Pingky. Then I called her another name, crazy or whatever. That was the start and up to now, it has not subside.
Daniel Razon: If you were to describe her now, how would you describe her in a word?
Ping Lacson: No. but the Senator President can.
Daniel Razon: You are following?
Ping Lacson: No. I was just listening. But haha …
Daniel Razon: Would you consider running for Presidency?
Ping Lacson: Tiring, sickening at really tiring. Even returning in the senate after being there for 12 years.
Daniel Razon: Like 2016, because you’re still very young?
Ping Lacson: I graduated in 1971, 42 years ago until 2013 … nonstop. It is just now that I have tasted to relax after June 30 of 2013. It really felt good.
Daniel Razon: Good luck for being a rehabilitation czar.
Ping Lacson: When you entered this, as I have said in the beginning of this program, giving you responsibilities and challenge that it is hard to say I quit.
Daniel Razon: So that’s one of the things to have take into consideration if in case, 2016 arrived, the challenge is for you to try..
Ping Lacson: I don’t know what to say … but if you are to ask as of this moment … it is really tiring.
Daniel Razon: But it is more tiring when you are about to work on it.
Ping Lacson: That is the challenge. When you see their situation, you will be touched. I watched on television, I have friends who had lost their families, lost their relatives, lost a friend … that will touch you. That is why I had managed to send some to a friend and don’t tell anyone whom it is from. I just know that I had send some.
Daniel Razon: If by chance, would you want to enter the DILG?
Ping Lacson: Mar Roxas is there.
Daniel Razon: Is there by chance of you returning …
Ping Lacson: For now, there is none. I am already full time and the rehabilitation, I asked them if it is doable within the period of the term, they said that it is doable but needs full force. Presently, we are already full up to June 2016th.
Daniel Razon: You have been a candid per son. As you have seen, even if you are not in the DILG, watching how it progresses, are you happy the way Mar Roxas handling the DILG?
Ping Lacson: That is an intrigue.
Daniel Razon: No, I mean …
Ping Lacson: You know, there are questions better left unanswered. When I refuse to answer you might say …
Daniel Razon: Because if your answer is good …
Ping Lacson: Just as I have thought. I know what’s next if I would refuse to answer. You would say that “silence mean …
Daniel Razon: Not really. We can give idea to where there are things that needs to be improved. What aspect to improve?
Ping Lacson: Let’s put it in this way. All administration, all leadership of whom during my time as chief of PNP, there is room for improvement.
Daniel Razon: I will lay down things senator. Let’s just say “rehabilitation czar and DILG” if you were to choose and you have another chance, what would you choose between the two?
Ping Lacson: I’ll be more at home in peace and order in law enforcement. But this is more challenging. If I were to choose, I would stay, I would take full responsibility in this one. This bigger challenge.
Daniel Razon: Well if there is one thing that you would like to tell people who are listening … watching right now and to the Filipino people that you think you haven’t still said in your privilege speech? Things inside you as a human being not as a senator … not as a PNP chief, what will that be?
Ping Lacson: Well this is the time to uplift our country. We are really far from what … I don’t think that I have said this but it is culture and tradition of the Filipinos. It should be changed. It is better to be observant, not destructive.
Daniel Razon: That is magnificent. Be observant, not destructive.
Ping Lacson: That is right.