Ping Lacson, 73, has served in the legislative and executive branches of the government for over 40 years. He is currently serving his third term in the Senate.
Lacson has authored laws such as the controversial Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020, the Philippine Identification System Act of 2018, and the Reproductive Health Act of 2011. He has long served as a watchdog on the national budget, pushing to delete pork barrel and other questionable insertions during plenary Senate debates.
Prior to becoming a lawmaker, he served as chief of the Philippine National Police from 1999 to 2001. He started his career in law enforcement in 1971 as a member of the infamous Metrocom Intelligence Security Group that was responsible for the disappearances and torture of activists and critics of ousted dictator Ferdinand Marcos. Lacson denies that he ever took part in the MISG's nefarious activities, maintaining that he worked on cases involving kidnap for ransom, holdups, and common crimes as a member of the unit's police branch.
He also launched a failed bid for the presidency in 2004.
If elected, Lacson vows to restore public trust in government by improving the country’s pandemic response, purging the bureaucracy of corrupt officials, and allowing local governments more autonomy.
The candidate's top priorities if elected to office, tracked against previous promises and accomplishments, if any
- 1. Elimination of pork barrel allocations
- Establish an annual Local Development Fund to assist local government units in implementing three-year development plans
- Exemption of all public officials from the privacy protection under the Bank Secrecy Act
- Prevent misuse of unallocated funds from the national budget
- Full automation of Bureau of Customs operations and punish all erring personnel
- Cross-referencing major revenue collecting agencies to prevent tax collection losses
- Empower local government units through his Budget Reform Advocacy for Village Empowerment plan, which downloads resources to LGUs for implementation of development plans
Consistent opposition to pork barrel allocation from 2003 to present
- Scrutinized national budget proposals to identify questionable allocations
- Led investigations in aid of legislation of anomalous government transactions
- Republic Act No. 9485, Anti-Red Tape Act of 2007
- Filed Senate Bill No.23 or the proposed Budget Reform for Village Empowerment (BRAVE) Act in 2019
- Called for a moratorium on PhilHealth corruption in 2020
- Enforcement of the law against all offenders while ensuring human rights violations are held liable
- Continuation of peace talks with rebels
Principal sponsor and one of the authors of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020
- Targeted fiscal stimulus packages to businesses
- Support to micro, small, and medium enterprises
- Eviction and foreclosure moratoriums and employee-retention tax credits
- “Filipino First” policy, including production of health supplies
- Reinvent the Conditional Cash Transfer or 4Ps programs, with emphasis on Cash-for-Work mechanisms
- More efficient rollout of the National ID system
- Improve broadband service and access
- Increase resources for automation and interoperability of government agencies
- Among authors of R.A. No. 1055 or the Philippine Identification System Act
- Proposed increase of funding for the National Broadband Program
- Focus on economic recovery and strengthening the health sector in the 1st 10 days in office
- Fully fund and enforce R.A. No. 11223 or the Universal Health Care Act of 2019
- Called on the national government’s coronavirus task force to ensure more affordable and accessible testing for COVID-19
- Proposed that local government units and private businesses and entities be more proactive in procuring tests and personal protective equipment for their constituents to bring down prices and cut down queues in testing
- Urged testing centers to keep their clients informed about their tests
The candidate's top five accomplishments and contributions for the last 15 years or so
From 1971 to 1986, Lacson was part of the Metrocom Intelligence Security Group and was identified by American historian Alfred McCoy as among the operatives who "tortured together for over a decade, forming a tight faction that would rise together within the police after Marcos's downfall."
Lacson denies this and claims that McCoy incorrectly generalized the entire Philippine Military Academy Class of 1971 as complicit in the human rights violations perpetrated during the Marcos regime. He has also said that he was assigned to the police branch of the MISG which was focused on criminality and not the security branch that was assigned to insurgency and other security concerns.
Murder charges have twice been filed against Lacson throughout his law enforcement career: the first was in 1995 over the gunning down of 11 members of Kuratong Baleleng Syndicate and the second in 2010 over the murder of publicist Salvador Dacer and his driver Emmanuel Corbito.
Both cases were eventually dismissed by the Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 81 and the Court of Appeals, respectively. The dismissals were also upheld by the Supreme Court.
Before he was cleared by the CA, Lacson evaded arrest by fleeing the country for over a year. Former intelligence officers Cesar Mancao and Victor Corpus have since apologized for implicating Lacson in the Dacer-Corbito murder case.
As the country's top cop, Lacson sought to expel kotong (bribery or extortion) culture from the Philippine National Police. This was in line with his own "no-take" policy as a member of the police force, refusing rewards from the numerous families of kidnap-for-ransom victims that he rescued and rejecting bribes from gambling groups.
As a senator, Lacson is known as a fierce watchdog against dubious insertions and needless appropriations in the national budget. He has also authored at least 29 laws in the three terms he has served in the Senate including the Anti-Hazing Act of 2018 and the Reproductive Health Act of 2011. He co-authored at least three others.
Among the laws he both authored and principally sponsored is the controversial Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 which seeks to prevent, prohibit, and penalize terrorism.
Several petitions assailing the constitutionality of the law were filed following its passage on the grounds of broadness, overreach, and vagueness, particularly in its definition of terrorism and acts of terrorism.
Petitioners further alleged that the law violates freedom of expression, association and religion as well as the rights of the accused protected under the 1987 Constitution. Critics of the law fear abuse of the sweeping definitions, the broad powers granted to the Anti-Terror Council and other authorities, as well as provisions allowing prolonged detention for those arrested without a warrant.
On Dec. 9, 2021, the Supreme Court upheld the validity of all but two portions of two provisions of the Anti-Terrorism Act. Lacson has said that the ruling is a win for him and other supporters of the law. Addressing criticism of the measure, he previously vowed dogged oversight over its implementation and said he would join protests on the streets if the law was ever abused.
Two Aeta farmers were the first to be charged under the law for alleged violation of Section 4. They were detained for a year before a court ruled that prosecution evidence was insufficient.
Author and sponsor (Oct. 1, 2019)
Signed into law on Jul. 3, 2020. Mostly upheld by the Supreme Court after it was contested by 37 groups of petitioners.
Author (Mar. 23, 2020)
Signed into law on Mar. 24, 2020
Author and sponsor (Jan. 23, 2018)
Signed into law on Jun. 29, 2018
Author and sponsor (Mar. 12, 2018)
Signed into law on Aug. 6, 2018
Signed into law Dec. 21, 2012
Presidential Assistant on Rehabilitation and Recovery, Dec. 2013 to Feb. 2015
Resigned as rehabilitation head and the functions and duties of the position were absorbed by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council
Actions and/or proceedings pending against or resolved in courts or tribunals involving the candidate, based on publicly available information
Resolved Actions and/or Proceedings
|Subject Matter||Relevant Dates||Potential Liability||Status|
|Murder charges were filed against Lacson and 33 other members of a joint task force over the killing of 11 members of the Kuratong Baleleng syndicate||Shootout on May 18, 1995
Murder cases filed on Nov. 2, 1995 with the Sandiganbayan, but transferred to the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City
RTC dismissed the charges for lack of probable cause on March 29, 1999
Murder charges re-filed on June 6, 2011 with the RTC
|Case was dismissed on Nov. 12, 2003 by the RTC for lack of probable cause
SC affirmed the dismissal on Nov. 21, 2012
|Murder charges were filed against Lacson and other police officers over the killings of publicist Salvador Dacer and his driver Emmanuel Corbito||Abduction occurred on Nov. 24, 2000
Bodies were found in April 2001
Arrest warrant issued against Lacson on Feb. 4, 2010
|Case was dismissed by the Court of Appeals on Feb. 3, 2011
SC upheld the dismissal with finality on Nov. 25, 2011.
Also known as SALN, this document is a declaration of one's personal finances. Philippine Law requires the SALN to be submitted by all public officials and employees to the Ombudsman. Public officials and employees may opt to voluntarily disclose their SALN to the public.
* As of Dec. 31, 2020
Key details about the candidate's campaign
Ronaldo Puno (campaign manager for Partido Reporma)
Vicente Sotto III, vice-presidential running mate
Candidate's major donors and campaign funding sources
The candidate's top advocacies in the last 15 years or so
Since 1st term in 2003 - As senator
Continues budget allocation scrutiny at plenary deliberations in the Senate
As senator, filed bills prohibiting political dynasties
No anti-political dynasty bill has passed
Reversal of support for reinstating death penalty as of Nov. 4, 2021, said he now realizes that “it is more important to save the life of wrongly convicted person.”
Withdrew his Senate Bill No. 27, seeking the reinstatement of capital punishment for heinous crime convicts, on Nov. 9, 2021.
Backs proposal of his running-mate, Senate President Vicente Sotto III, to create regional penitentiaries for the lifetime imprisonment of high-level drug traffickers and heinous crime convicts.
Basic information on the candidate's family, background and work experience
- Buenaventura Lacson, father, jeepney driver
- Maxima Morena, mother, market vendor
- Reginald Lacson
- Ronald Jay Lacson
- Panfilo Lacson Jr.
- Jeric Lacson
•Bachelor of Science, Philippine Military Academy, 1971
•Master in Government Management, Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila,1996
•Doctor of Laws, Honoris Causa, Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila, 2019
•Senator, 2001 to 2013; 2016 to present
•Presidential Assistant on Rehabilitation and Recovery, 2013 to 2015
•Director General, Philippine National Police, Nov. 16, 1999 to Jan. 20, 2001
•Chief, Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Task Force, June 26, 1998 to Jan. 21, 2001
•Project Officer, Special Project Alpha, 1996 to April 1997
•Chief, Task Force Habagat, Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission, 1992 to 1995
•Provincial Director, Laguna, PC, February to July, 1992
•Commander, Cebu Metrodiscom, 1989 to 1992
•Provincial Commander, Isabela PC, 1988 to 1989
•Philippine Constabulary Integrated National Police Anti Carnapping Task Force, 1986 to 1988
•Metrocom Intelligence and Security Group, 1971 to 1986
Learn more about this candidate
Principal author in the Senate (Sept. 22, 2020)
Signed into law on Dec. 23, 2020
Signed into law on July 23, 2012
Signed into law on June 2, 2007