No court tried, let alone convicted, Senator Panfilo Lacson of having Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Task Force men rub out publicist Salvador “Bubby” Dacer and driver Emmanuel Corbito.
Lacson was not born yesterday. He knew what his hush-hush scramming would unleash. Accusations of admitting culpability is the least of them.
“He who flees from trial confesses his guilt.”, the Syrian writer Publius Syrus wrote in the first century BC “ Other axioms snap at Lacson’s heels – wherever he is.
Lacson is not in Australia, National Bureau of Investigation’s Ricardo Diaz said. “Our intelligence counterparts in Australia (confirm he) is not there.
On January 7, the Justice Department lodged double murder charges in connection with the Dacer-Corbito killings. Bureau of Immigration records confirm Lacson slipped to Hong Kong two days earlier. So did “Joc-Joc” Bolante before him.
The agriculture undersecretary preferred a US immigration prison cell. To appearing before Senate investigators, including Lacson. They were probing into P728 million dissipated for substandard fertilizers s during President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s election campaign.:
Lacson ‘s leave from the Senate has expired. He’s been tagged absent in Senate roll calls. Parliamentary immunity also does not blanket murder raps. It covers only crimes that carry penalties less than six years.
Twenty two armed men ,in civvies, flagged down Dacer and Corbito in Makati November 2000. Their burnt remains turned up in barangay Buna Lejos, Indang Cavite. UP forensic pathologists identified Dacer and Corbito, based among others, on metal dental plates and a ring.
PAOCTF washed it’s hands. Then, Gen. Panfilo Lacson oversaw this agency with aides:Michael Ray Aquino, Cesar Mancao, Glenn Dumlao and others, under President Estrada..
A PMA ‘ 72 graduate, Lacson rose to national power starting with the Marcos torture chamber: Military Intelligence Security Group, says the Yale University study: “Closer Than Brothers”
Bitter privilege speeches between Lacson and Senator Jinggoy Estrada preceded this bailout. .. The strike-counterstrike of privileged speeches, guaranteed “mutual assured destruction”, predicted Senator Miriam Santiago. “Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad.”
Lacson had Dacer-Corbito murdered, Estrada claimed, not President Joseph. Former Lacson aide-flipped-state witness Cezar Mancao hinted Bigote was the mastermind.. If anything happened Lacson would be responsible, Dacer told his children..
Estrada tried to pin on Lacson the Kuratong Baleleng massacre, rub out of a Western Manila police officer, Red Scorpion gang relatives, etc. Lacson had witnesses — a 20 year old woman and an eight-year-old girl — dumped from a helicopter into waters off Corregidor Other charges against Erap were “Fiction Parts I and II,”
Lacson fired first Erap, who fantasizes about become President again, creamed jueteng payoffs, plus the monthly P5million baksheesh for PNP chiefs, .He extorted Philippine Long Distance Telephone shares from industrialist Alfonso Yuchengco to favor Manny Pangilinan, On the sidelines, he coddled smugglers.. .
Casino worker Edgar Bentain leaked a video of Erap playing high stakes baccarat. Bentain was rubbed out in Laguna. Estrada dealt directly with PAOCTF officials linked to murder of publicist Salvador Dacer – who stashed documents on the Palace-BW stock scam.
“Both camps have the goods on each other”, observed Inquirer columnist Solita Collas-Monsod. “And why not?. They were together for so long,” With signature candor, the professor-economist added : They were “a crooked duo”.
Both Estrada and Lacson sought high posts. The two. shun “command responsibility” and wash their hands of accountability. “Both did not lie. Both told the truth – about the other.” Both took a decade before ventilating each other’s transgressions. And both have been shown up as unfit for public office.”
“Joc-Joc Bolante” play-acted illnesses in exile. No one believed him With his back-to-the-wall of his undisclosed country-bunker, Lacson has tried to go on the offensive. He scrammed to beat “an evil conspiracy”. The Arroyo regime was trying to nail him. Will anybody buy this line?“
His track record weighs him down. “Under Marcos, military murder was the apex of a pyramid of terror – 3,257 killed, 35,000 tortured and 70,000 jailed,” writes Alfred McCoy in “Closer Than Brothers” ( Yale University).
“Under President Estrada, Lacson and other “mistahs” of PMA Class 71” – which Marcos used as a mailed fist – “continued it rise to power within PNP” , McCoy told the Ateneo conference on legacy of dictatorship. Panfilo Lacson was deputy director of the notorious Military Intelligence Security Group and indicted for the brutal (Kuratong ) massacre,”
“How guilt once harbour’d in the conscious breast,/ Intimidates the brave, degrades the great,” we read in the “House of Seven Gables.”
Will Lacson, who once sought the presidency, become just another Joc-Joc wandering in aimless circles? The answer indicates the future .of this troubled nation.