Senator Loren Legarda today refuted claims regarding her authorship of a bill that limits privileges provided for the personnel of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
“I have never authored and will never think of proposing a bill that would deny our police and military personnel of the benefits and privileges due to them. Even if they search the whole archives of the Senate, no such measure was filed by me or any other Senator,” Legarda stressed.
The Senator made the statement following the resurgence of information about a supposed PNP/AFP Retirement Law, which she was alleged of proposing, being circulated via short messaging system (SMS) or text messaging.
The message explains that in the supposed PNP/AFP Retirement Law a member of the Retirement and Separation Benefits System (RSBS) will not receive a refund for his contribution.
The author of the message encourages recipients to pass it on to other PNP personnel.
Legarda explained that the circulation of such information is evidently part of a smear campaign against her since it came up again following the release of the result of a recent Pulse Asia Survey that showed she was second most preferred senatorial candidate for the May 2013 midterm polls.
She said that even during the 2010 Elections, such messages, which also include alleged reduced benefits for teachers, have been circulating.
In fact, Legarda has authored a measure logged under Senate Bill 2355, seeking to increase the Combat Duty Pay of all enlisted personnel of the AFP to 25% of their base pay. She has also proposed the provision of more benefits and greater protection to teachers and non-teaching personnel all over the country, under Senate Bill 10.
“I have been working hard in the Senate and it is unfair that there are people who are using dirty tactics to destroy a person’s credibility. I hope that citizens will be more cautious and skeptic when receiving any information whose instigator could not even come out and show proof of his claims,” Legarda concluded.***
Office of Senator Loren Legarda
RM.209, Senate of the Philippines,
GSIS Bldg. Pasay City