Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson on Monday called for a much-needed and long-overdue break from corruption and bickering as the country faces myriad of problems made worse by the COVID19 pandemic.
Lacson, chairman of the Senate national defense and security committee, said no one – especially those who continue to engage in corruption to profit from the pandemic – should be exempted from putting national interest above personal aggrandizement.
“All of us Filipinos should think of the national interest and unite to promote it. Those Filipinos engaging in corruption now, especially those wanting to make dishonest money from COVID, are not exempt from this,” Lacson said as he cited information reaching him involving corruption in the procurement and supply of testing kits and machines, face masks, face shields, personal protective equipment (PPE) and similar items.
“Can they at least forget about their greed during the pandemic? I am not saying they can resume their corrupt ways once the pandemic is over, but especially during this period when we face so many problems, they should pause if they cannot stop,” he added in an interview on Eagle News.
Lacson noted the country now faces several serious problems, including the ongoing pandemic, troubles hounding the economy, a continuously growing national debt, and territorial integrity issues in the West Philippine Sea, just to name a few.
He also reiterated his call to Filipinos to set aside their “political colors” when it comes to pushing the national interest, saying that while a public discourse is healthy for a democracy, it should not degenerate into personal attacks and insults.
Our political divide is very deep but we must set aside our differences. We have only one country and the national interest must come first. The national interest is for all Filipinos, not just for certain groups or parties,” he said.