Lacson flees RP to escape Arroyo ‘harassment’

By Sophia Dedace – Opposition Sen. Panfilo Lacson admitted fleeing the country for safety reasons in light of the double murder charges filed against him in connection with the nine-year-old Dacer-Corbito case.

“As I had correctly suspected, the harassment by the DOJ upon the order of Malacañang will never stop. That’s exactly the reason why I left the country… For now, my concern is my own personal safety and security… I am not guilty but I cannot risk putting my life and security at the mercy of that evil conspiracy,” Lacson said in a statement issued Tuesday.

Lacson, a staunch critic of the Arroyo administration, has been charged for double murder for the killings of veteran publicist Salvador “Bubby” Dacer and driver Emmanuel Corbito on Nov. 24, 2000.

Lacson did not disclose his location, but Immigration Commissioner Marcelino Libanan earlier in the day said the senator flew to Hong Kong last January 5, 2010.

Lacson, who has repeatedly denied involvement in the Dacer-Corbito case, said he was just a “victim of the conspiracy” between President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and “her stooge” in the Department of Justice.

Political vendetta

The senator likewise said he would not give the Arroyo administration “the pleasure of seeing my life miserable and in danger.” He added that the political vendetta against him stemmed from his exposés against President Arroyo and her husband, First Gentleman Jose Miguel “Mike” Arroyo.

“From the Jose Pidal scandal, jueteng payola, Hello Garci election cheating controversy, to the ZTE and fertilizer scam, and many more abuses committed by Mr. and Mrs. Arroyo against the Filipino people, where I played the leading role in exposing, are mostly the reasons why I am being harassed no end,” Lacson said.

The Jose Pidal scandal referred to the alleged ill-gotten wealth of Mr. Arroyo hidden under the account of “Jose Pidal, while the ZTE controversy referred to the $329-million allegedly overpriced broadband deal the government entered into with Chinese firm ZTE Corp. where the First Gentleman allegedly received commissions in the deal.

The fertilizer scam, meanwhile, was the P728-million fund allotted for poor farmers but were purportedly diverted by former Agriculture Undersecretary Jocelyn “Joc-Joc” Bolante to the campaign kitty of President Arroyo in the 2004 presidential elections.

Palace, DOJ brush accusations aside

In Malacañang, deputy presidential spokesperson Gary Olivar laughed off Lacson’s accusations, saying the senator’s conspiracy claims are just “unsubstantiated allegations.”

“There is no substantiation on his charges of conspiracy. If there were indeed instances of harassment, then he should bring these charges to the proper forum,” he told GMANews.TV in a phone interview.

Olivar likewise challenged Lacson to reveal the real reason for his trip to Hong Kong.”If he is indeed fleeing to Hong Kong, he must explain himself. He must explain himself to the public,” he said.

For her part, Justice Sec. Agnes Devanadera denied harassing Lacson over the Dacer-Corbito double murder case, arguing that the filing of charges against Lacson went through due process.

“All I know is that a preliminary investigation was done and due process was accorded to Senator Lacson. He even gave his counter-affidavit,” Devanadera told GMANews.TV in a separate phone interview.

She added that Lacson should show proof that the DOJ had committed violations in giving Lacson due process.

“Kaya ba namin (DOJ) mang-harass ng senador (Can the DOJ harass a senator)?” Devanadera asked.

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  1. Ping fan says:

    I was impressed Ping’s integrity and bravery since he was still our Regional police chief R7 ~ AFP chief till he became a Senator. Even considered by many, could be the most effective disciplinarian and powerful persona as leader of this ever-corrupt Gov’t. Expose after expose seems his only accomplishment in the senate. Until lately he become the center of mysterous criminal expose. Where is your integrity and bravery now Mr. Lacson. Why hiding, face the music please!

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