The Leader I Want: Samuel Pagdilao’s to-fix list for 2016

Gerard Lim

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The Leader I Want: Samuel Pagdilao’s to-fix list for 2016
Rappler #PHVote's 'The Leader I Want' series looks at Samuel Pagdilao's stand on key issues the next batch of senators will have to address

MANILA, Philippines – He is a retired police general and serves as party-list representative of the Anti-Crime and Terrorism through Community Involvement Support (ACT-CIS) in the House of Representatives. Now, Atty Samuel Pagdilao Jr. wants to take his anti-crime advocacy to the Senate.

Pagdilao has won the endorsements of two presidential candidates: Senator Grace Poe and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.

Pagdilao served as Chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP) Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, the police arm that specializes in dealing with economic sabotage, notorious wanted criminals, and organized crime groups, among its other functions. He was also one of the founding members of the PNP Special Action Force.

The former police general said peace and order will be his priority should he be elected to the Senate.

As party-list representative, Pagdilao had filed a number of bills on public order and safety. Here are a few of them:

  • An Act Mandating the Installation of Closed Circuit Television Cameras in Private Establishments and Government Offices (HB 3835)
  • An Act Establishing A National Sex Offender Registry System and Providing Funds Thereof (HB 6301)
  • An Act Creating A Special Court To Be Known As The ‘Dangerous Drugs Court’ And For Other Purposes (HB 2733)
  • An Act Creating The Position/Rank of Uniformed Fire Truck Officer in the Bureau of Fire Protection (HB 5809)
  • An Act Establishing the Community Informant Reward Act and Appropriating Funds Thereof (HB 3507)
  • An Act Providing for Additional benefits and Incentives for Barangay Tanods, Amending For The Purpose Section 393 Of Republic Act 7160, Otherwise Known As The Local Government Act Of 1991.

According to a Manila Bulletin report, Pagdilao is for the re-imposition of the death penalty for foreign drug traffickers. Aside from this, Pagdilao says the war on drugs requires the modernization of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency and the PNP. 

Aside from this, Pagdilao said he wants to improve the Witness Protection Program. 

In a Manila Bulletin article, he also raised concerns about the Philippines becoming a hotspot for terrorism after Indonesian police said guns used in the terror attack in Jakarta in January were made in the Philippines.

“An investigation must be set in order to look into the truth of this matter and to assess the present capability of the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines to counter the threat of terroristic activities in our country,” he said.

Pagdilao has also called for the review of the Comprehensive Arms and Ammunition Regulation Act or RA 10591 in response to the “laglag-bala” scandal. The law was enacted in 2012 and serves as the legal basis for the possession and ownership of arms and ammunition.


Pagdilao wants to clamp down on corrupt police and traffic enforcers. In a Sun Star report, he said, “Our bus, jeepney and taxi drivers, including their operators, are currently confronted with low income because of the present traffic problems in Metro Manila and other highly-urbanized areas of the country. And yet, they have to shell out part of their income to these scalawag traffic enforcers.”  

Climate change and disaster

While climate change and disasters are not issues that are integrated in his platform, a Manila Bulletin article reported that Pagdilao has called for reconsiderations on the use of the quick response fund. (READ: COA: Yolanda fund, donations did not reach victims)

Foreign policy

On the dispute with China, Pagdilao believes the Philippines should improve its defense capacities in case conflict arises. According to a Philippine Star report, he has asked the government to fast-track the modernization of the police and armed forces. He also said the Philippines should acquire a missile defense system. 

Peace process

Pagdilao finds the current version of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) lacking. In an interview on ANC, Pagdilao said the BBL is unconstitutional and was based on negotiations between the national government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, leaving out many stakeholders in the proposed measure.

He also said the PNP should have both administrative and operational control of the Bangsamoro Police to avoid another Mamasapano incident.

Other issues

Pagdilao said he opposes a divorce law in the country, saying broken families lead to more crimes involving the youth. (READ: Senate bets against divorce, support same-sex union)

He is also for the return of mandatory enlistment in the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps. –

Samuel Pagdilao is among the senatorial candidates who will participate in Rappler’s #TheLeaderIWant Senatorial Debates at the Far Eastern University on Friday, April 22, from 3 pm to 5:30 pm.

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