Privilege Speech of Senator Loren Legarda
On the Falsehood of Negative Propaganda
Senate Session Hall
6 February 2013
I rise on a matter of personal privilege to put on record facts that will disprove the negative, vicious and black propaganda that has been circulating through text messages and social media.
It has come to my knowledge that certain individuals with ill motives have spread within several government institutions malicious, false, inaccurate and baseless information that I purportedly authored a bill which will reduce the leave credits and retirement benefits of our hardworking public servants.
This information is totally false and fabricated, with no other purpose than to destroy my reputation as a champion for the rights of our dedicated government workers.
No legislator will introduce such a bill which would diminish the salaries and benefits of our personnel in government institutions that provide services critical to public safety and order, such as the Department of National Defense (DND), the Philippine National Police (PNP), the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP), and the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP). I will never support measures that will diminish the salaries and benefits of our uniformed and non-uniformed personnel from the police organizations, as well as our teachers, nurses and public health workers.
In addition, I have always supported measures that seek to improve the compensation of our government employees and provide protection to those employed on a casual or contractual basis. For instance, I filed Senate Bill 2355 which seeks to increase the Combat Duty Pay of all enlisted personnel of the AFP to 25% of their base pay.
This representation, as a reserve officer of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, understands the need to uplift the living standards of our rank-and-file employees who are overworked and underpaid. Rest assured, and I wish to put this on record, that they will always find a partner in this representation, a staunch partner who will protect and promote their rights to achieve a better life.
I wish to urge the source of these malicious messages to stop perpetrating these falsehoods so as not to demoralize and confuse our beloved government employees and their families.
In closing, I would like to underscore our responsibilities towards each other, as nothing less than our best efforts is demanded from us by the challenges of our times.
We should be cooperating and creating positive change, not spreading lies that will distract us from our goals and result in unnecessary conflict.
Thus, let us strive to be better people. Let us be honest, transparent and willing to serve, bearing in mind, first and foremost, the best interests of our people.
Thank you, Mr. President.