Lacson airs gripes vs Noynoy gov’t

Published by rudy Date posted on March 29, 2011

Former fugitive Sen. Panfilo Lacson, aware of the perception that President Aquino and his officials made it possible for him to come home without having to be arrested, yesterday claimed that political persecution over his alleged involvement in a double-murder case more than a decade ago, persisted under the Aquino administration.

In facing the media after a year of “hibernation,” the senator was very vocal in expressing his gripes against the administration he supported in last year’s presidential elections over the treatment he has received while he was in hiding abroad.

Lacson admitted sending feelers to Malacañang for just treatment while he continued his legal battle over the Dacer-Corbito double murder case and not the kind given him under the previous administration.

“Fair shake. What I’m asking for is only a fair share of justice. I wasn’t asking for anything more. All I asked of them was not to treat me as if I’m still (being persecuted) under the old regime,” he said.

Based on what he had read in the papers, regarding the manner in which the administration is handling his case, Lacson said he never felt being treated by Malacañang as a political ally.

“The Court of Appeals said there’s no probable cause (against me so the CA ) lifted the arrest warrant. Yet there are those still insisting on my arrest warrant. I was wondering then if I’m still in the situation of the previous administration. It was clear that the premise, the basis in the issuance of the arrest warrant had been nullified and yet the Secretary of Justice claimed otherwise – that there’s still a warrant against me. Warrant for what? Warrant for a nullified or dismissed case? Isn’t that a flawed legal argument?” he poiinted out.

The senator was referring to Justice Secretary Leila de Lima who made the remarks, prompting him to lash back at the Cabinet official through an emailed statement as the latter claimed that he had to seek finality of the decision lifting the arrest order against him before he could walk as a free man.

“But then we went through the legal process of filing a motion to clarify even if it was not necessary anymore. Because the resolution of the CA was explicit, so how can you say that you’re an ally of an administration when the Executive branch itself does not want to comply with the order of the court?

“I never felt being afforded fair shake by the administration and that’s the most hurtful. That’s the worst pain of all. The struggle. Then you begin to wonder if you still have friends left. That’s what pained me most,” he said.

The senator debunked assertions that a deal may have been forged by him and the Palace, allowing him now to surface in exchange for his supposed vote in the impeachment proceedings against Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez.

“There’s no deal,” he said, adding that he is yet to see the articles of impeachment much more given a thought as to how to address the case.

“I’m not a shoo-in judge who will vote for the impeachment of Gutierrez, that much I can assure you. I’ll be guided as what the Senate president stated earlier, (that) we should be guided by evidence and even the rules of evidence considering that I was a victim myself of (a proceeding that did not follow the rules of evidence),” he said.

The senator likewise said that he won’t question any move that will subject him to a similar proceeding such as the a case pending before the Senate ethics committee if the rules provide for the conduct of an investigation.

“If there’s a complaint against any senator, the ethics committee should really resolve that issue,” he said.

Lacson, however, is not closing his doors on the possibility of working with the administration saying that unless the current government will prove to be the same as the previous one, committing irregularities one after another.

“So far I can tell you, based on what I’ve heard and read, I think the administration of President Aquino is sincere in addressing corruption problem in the Philippines . That’s the premise on whether I will align myself with them. But on the question on whether I consider myself any ally of this administration, I only read that in the papers,” he said. “I never felt like one,” Lacson added.

He claimed that he was a fugitive from “injustice” for 13 months, having been subjected to vitriol of arrogance and hatred of his detractors, humiliated, unfairly eviscerated of his dignity and personal honor.

“I am humbled by an experience so surreal, I never imagined could happen. Every single day that I was underground, the crucible stared each time I opened my eyes. For 13 months I lived the life of a prisoner outside.  –Angie M. Rosales and Aycth S. de la Cruz, Daily Tribune

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