Ping resigns as finance panel vice chair to focus on 2022 budget scrutiny

Senator Panfilo M. Lacson has tendered his resignation as vice chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance, and as chairman of the panel's Subcommittee C, to give himself more time to focus on scrutinizing the proposed 2022 P5.024-trillion budget.

Lacson, chairman of the Senate National Defense and Security committee, said his resignation would also help him address the advent of red flags raised by the Commission on Audit (COA) in its audit reports of several agencies.

The COA's red flags indicate the "blatant inefficiency, unconscionable incompetence and worse, probable misuse and abuse of public funds in virtually the entire government,’’ he said.

"I trust that it is to the greatest interest of our people to once and for all, ferret out the truth behind these reports, put value to the oft-ignored COA mandate, and ensure that there will be no 'sacred cows' in making accountable those who have blundered the effective and proper use of public monies," he said in his letter to Senate President Vicente C. Sotto III.

The Lacson-Sotto presidential vice presidential tandem is bring prepared to fight the presidential and vice presidential candidates of the ruling Partido Demokratikong Pilipino (PD)-Laban party.

Lacson, who earned a reputation as a watchdog of the national budget, also reassured the Senate leadership that he will "actively participate in the budget deliberations and reinforce the democratic system of checks and balances."

As chairman of Finance Subcommittee C, Lacson sponsors the annual budgets of the:

* Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and its attached agencies

* Department of National Defense (DND) and its attached agencies

* Commission on Human Rights (CHR)

* Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB)

* Mindanao Development Authority (MDA)

* Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP)

* Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA)

* Presidential Legislative Liaison Office (PLLO)

* Southern Philippines Development Authority (SPDA).