Kuya Alex Lacson is a lawyer and author known for his best-selling patriotic books, including 12 Things Every Filipino Can Do To Help Our Country.
He briefly accepted the Kapatiran Party’s nomination for vice president to field an opposition candidate against President Rodgrigo Duterte’s rumored bid but withdrew his candidacy to make way for Sen. Francis Pangilinan, citing his desire to unite the opposition vote. Lacson will instead seek a Senate seat in 2022, having previously launched failed bids for senator in 2010 and 6th District of Negros Occidental representative in 2001.
Lacson’s 2022 campaign centers on the radical reforms he views as urgent and necessary to reengineer key pillars of public life such as the political system, the economy, the bureaucracy and government as a whole.
He says he is running partly because the radical reforms he wants need enabling laws, such as establishing a two-party political and electoral system to prevent frequent shifting to winning parties, finding a solution to the entrenched political dynasty problem, taking some appointment power from the president to an independent commission that will appoint the members of constitutional bodies like the Commission on Elections as well as an independent prosecutor that will have jurisdiction and sufficient power to investigate and prosecute erring members of Congress and the office of the president.
Lacson also focuses on the agriculture sector, increasing employment opportunities for all, and cultivating youth entrepreneurs. Lacson also brings to the table solutions to helping the country’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic through the sound restructuring of the COVID-19 inter-agency task force and proper management of pandemic funds.
He is among the senatorial aspirants endorsed by opposition coalition 1Sambayan.
“Sa mga nakikita nating problema sa bansa ngayon, nakaka-challenge talaga na kumilos kaysa nandiyan ka lang sa gilid because you know you can do something, you have some programs to help change the lives of many poor people, including the youth. Ito ang nagmo-motivate sa akin: The desire to see the real change I want to see.”
ALEXANDER “ALEX” LACSON
Full Name: Alexander Ledesma Lacson
Nickname: Kuya Alex
Birthday: January 5, 1965 (Age 58)
Birthplace: Kabankalan, Negros Occidental
Languages Spoken: Filipino; English
– Fe Tenefrancia Ledesma, mother, public school teacher
– Jose Ramos Lacson, father, land surveyor, businessman
Spouse: Pia Pena
Children: Four children
- Haggai Institute of Leadership in Singapore, Leadership Training Program, 2007
- Harvard Law School, Program for Instructions of Lawyers, summer term 2002
- Bachelor of Laws, UP Diliman-College of Law, 1996
- Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, University of the Philippines- Diliman, 1991
After finishing high school in 1982, Lacson received a full scholarship at the Philippine Military Academy in Baguio. He studied there for three years before transferring to the University of the Philippines Diliman (UPD), where he earned a bachelor’s degree in political science in 1991. In order to finance his studies at UPD, he worked as a professor’s assistant by day and a telemarketer by night. He also received help from his sister, who was working in Japan. When he entered the University of the Philippines College of Law, he decided to work full-time during the day and study at night; he graduated in 1996.
As a student, Lacson was the leader of three campus organizations. He was president of the Association of Political Science Majors, chairman of the Independent Student Alliance political party, and lord chancellor of the Alpha Phi Beta fraternity at the UP College of Law. He was also a member of the UP Law debate team, which defeated the Ateneo Law School team in 1992 in a competition hosted by the Association of Law Schools of the Philippines.
In 2002, Lacson took a short summer program at Harvard Law School. In 2007, he attended a month-long Christian leadership training at the Haggai Institute in Singapore, where he delivered the valedictory address for graduates from more than 30 countries.
- Co-Founder and Partner at Malcolm Law Firm, 2001-Present
- MCLEA Lecturer, UP Law Center, 2006-2009
- Editor-in-Chief, The Practice Magazine for Lawyers, 2003-2005
- Legal Counsel, People’s Task Force for Bases Clean-Up, 1999-2004
- Legal Consultant, UN Development Program Philippines, 1999-2004
- Lawyer, Platon Martinez Flores San Pedro & Leano, 1996-2001
- Partner, PESALAM Law, 1998-2002
- Member, Philippine Army’s Multisectoral Advisory Board, 2011-Present
- Member, National Defense Multisectoral Advisory Board, 2017-Present
- Board of Trustees, World Vision Philippines, 2015-2017
- CEO, Institute for Solidarity in Asia, 2015-2017
- Chairman, Civil Service Commission’s Multisectoral Advisory Board, 2011-2016
- Columnist, Business World Philippines, 1997-2004
ADVOCACY AND PILANTHROPY
Lacson is the current[as of?] chairman of the Civil Service Commission’s Advisory Council, which is composed of leaders in various sectors who help the Civil Service Commission improve its systems, operations, and quality of public service. He is a member of the boards of trustees of World Vision Philippines, Alay Buhay Community Development Inc., the Dilaab Foundation, and the Joey Velasco Foundation.
He is also the lead convenor of the Pilipino Movement for Transformational Leadership (PMTL), a coalition of faith-based organizations from the country’s Catholic, Protestant, and evangelical communities that aims to elect honest, competent, and dedicated public servants. During the 2016 elections, the group created the “Gabay Kristo”, a scorecard that it used as a voter’s guide for all the member organizations of the PMTL.
Since 2001, Lacson has been supporting scholars in Kabankalan, including the children of some of his own high school classmates. He has also been supporting scholars under World Vision since 2007. He and his wife established a foundation to help underprivileged children through school, which is now subsidizing 27 students in public schools in Negros Occidental, Lacson’s home province.
LEGAL AND BUSINESS WORK
acson was the CEO of the Institute for Solidarity in Asia (ISA), which implements good-governance programs in local and national government agencies in the Philippines. He is also a co-founder and partner at the Malcolm Law Offices in Ortigas.
He served as a legal counsel for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in the Philippines from 1997–2004, and wrote a weekly legal column in the BusinessWorld newspaper from 1996–2004. He also served as a court attorney under Supreme Court Justice Teodoro Padilla, studying and drafting court decisions.
Lacson is currently[when?] the chairman and CEO of a family food business in Manila. He is also the president of Alay Pinoy Publishing House Inc. (which publishes books, pamphlets, and other materials on patriotism and good citizenship) and a co-founder and board member of Remax TRP Inc., a support systems office for real estate agents in Ayala Alabang.
Lacson is known for his bestselling book 12 Little Things Every Filipino Can Do To Help Our Country, published in 2005, and for his 2008 poem “I am Filipino”, which is now memorized by students in some parts of the country. His publications also include the poem “Our Dream Philippines” (2010) and the books 12 Little Things Our Youth Can Do to Help Our Country (2011), 12 Little Things Global Filipinos Can Do to Help Our Motherland (2011), 8 Principles of Success for the Filipino Youth (2011), and 12 Wonderful Things about the Filipino & Our Motherland (2012).
12 Little Things
When he published a 108-page book titled 12 Little Things Every Filipino Can Do to Help Our Country, it struck a nerve among many Filipinos.
The 12 “little things” are:
- Follow traffic rules. Follow the law.
- Whenever you buy or pay for anything, always ask for an official receipt.
- Don’t buy smuggled goods. Buy local. Buy Filipino.
- When you talk to others, especially foreigners, speak positively about us and our country.
- Respect your traffic officer, policeman, and soldier.
- Do not litter. Dispose of your garbage properly. Segregate. Recycle. Conserve.
- Support your church.
- During elections, do your solemn duty.
- Pay your employees well.
- Pay your taxes.
- Adopt a scholar or a poor child.
- Be a good parent. Teach your kids to follow the law and love our country.
According to Lacson, it was the Philippine Star founder and columnist Maximo Soliven who opened the door for him and his book. Lacson and Soliven met for the first time on December 15, 2005, five months after the book was published. According to Soliven, his new BMW broke down in the middle of the street, and Lacson pulled over and offered to help. Inside Lacson’s car, Soliven saw a few copies of his book, and four days later, on December 19, he wrote a newspaper column titled “A Filipino of Faith”.
The column went viral on social media. Many people called Soliven’s office to ask how to contact Lacson and where to buy his book. Lacson started receiving speaking invitations—more than 300 in 2006 alone—and sales took off.
AWARDS AND HONORS
The awards Lacson has received include:
- Family Values Award, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Philippines (November 2014)
- Most Distinguished Lay Leader, Diocese of Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental (March 2013)
- Good Citizen / Good Filipino award, Edsa People Power Commission (February 2009)
- Best in Filipino linguistics award, M.I. International School (2009)
- Good Pilipino award, Galing Pilipino Movement (2006)
In 1990, Lacson and his siblings learned that they had a half-brother: a son whom their father had with another woman, who died giving birth to the child. In 1995, when Lacson was studying for the bar examination, he took time off to look for his half-brother in Palawan. With the help of his father’s sisters, he found him in a remote barangay. Lacson’s father-in-law, Teodoro Peña, found the half-brother employment as a utility worker (janitor and messenger) at Palawan State University in Puerto Princesa. Lacson subsequently decided to help all four of his half-brother’s children with their studies. The eldest finished college and got a job at a hotel in Puerto Princesa; another child is employed in one of Lacson’s companies.
Lacson married fellow lawyer Pia Peña in 1995, and they have four children: Theo, Angeli, Ally, and John.[
In 1999, at the height of a financial crisis in Asia, Lacson and his wife considered moving to the United States or Canada. Lacson’s older brother and his family had immigrated to the US the previous year, and in 1999, another brother and his family applied for residency in Canada. In 2000, however, Lacson and his wife decided to stay in the Philippines