’I've lived a life of a prisoner outside a prison cell’ -– Lacson

March 29, 2011 4:53 am 

By Jelly F. Musico

MANILA, March 28 – Senator Panfilo Lacson may have successfully eluded the arrest but he lived a life of a prisoner outside a prison cell throughout the 13 months he was hiding outside the country.

Lacson claimed this in a well-covered press conference on Monday at the Senate, his first appearance since he went into hiding in January last year to escape a warrant of arrest issued in connection with the double-murder of publicist Salvador ‘Bubby’ Dacer and his driver Emmanuel Corbito in November 2000.

”I was virtually living the life of the prisoner because I was not free to move around. The only difference from one who suffers in confinement is that, I could on my own will, navigate my movements using the best of my instinctive compass,” Lacson said.

Lacson admitted that he arrived last Saturday night via Cebu on board a Cathay Pacific flight but preferred to hide from the public to spend enough time with family. From Cebu, he took a chartered flight to Manila.

”Yesterday, I felt it was the best day of my life with the family,” said Lacson.

While in hiding abroad, Lacson said he learned how to cook his own food like afritada, adobo and menudo and how to bake pan de sal and empanada.

When asked who taught him, Lacson replied: ‘through Google’, drawing loud laughter not only from the media but from the Senate employees who watched the press conference inside the Jose P. Laurel room.

Lacson said the enormous effort of the government to arrest him made his life difficult although he claimed he was still able to travel to several countries which he refused to name for the security of the people who helped him.

”You know, I always managed to keep my head down all the time because I know our countrymen are all over the world. So it’s really difficult. It was a day-to-day struggle like you live by that day, and live another day,” Lacson said.

Lacson said he was able to escape arrest due to his self-imposed one rule: ‘do not get caught’.

”I really disciplined myself to the hilt. If I was disciplined when I was in the military, it’s 1,000 times more discipline for myself because it’s my survival. It pays to be one, two or three steps ahead all the time,” Lacson said.

Lacson said that if the Court of Appeals did not rule with finality to dismiss his case and the warrant of arrest, he would be ready to hide for the rest of his life.

”I was ready to spend the rest of my life in hiding. I was ready not to see my family ever again,” Lacson said.

The senator said he is also ready to resort into hiding again if he will experience the same ‘rampant injustice’ he experienced under the previous administration of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

”But, as I said, there are still legal remedies that can be used in this kind of case. My respect to judicial system is still there because that’s part of due process,” Lacson said.

Lacson insisted his innocence in the Dacer-Corbito twin killings, saying he was not in the country during the time that Cesar Mancao claimed he overheard Lacson giving instruction to kill Dacer and Corbito.

”The BI (bureau of immigration) has affidavit that would certify that I was not in the country during that period. The lower court has made unfair decision. What is the evidence, very tenuous,” Lacson said.

Should the Dacer family elevate the case to the Supreme Court, Lacson said he would face the case whether it is in his favor or not.

”If I will not favor, there is nobody I can appeal except to God. Perhaps I will face the case. I’d like to believe the SC will act in accordance with the evidence at hand,” he said.

Lacson, however, advised the Dacer family to open their eyes and heart and find justice from other people.

”I know how they feel but don’t close their eyes and focused only to me. The approach should not be like that,” Lacson said.

When asked if he knew the mastermind behind the killing of Dacer and his driver, Lacson said “it’s not for me to tell you who is the mastermind.”

”If I will tell you who is the mastermind and I could not support it with evidence, that would remain a hearsay,” Lacson said.

Lacson is contemplating of forgiving all the people who caused his experience “so surreal I never imagined could happen.”

”I’m thinking of forgiving altogether those who caused me pains or seek justice through legal process. But I’m more inclined to just forgive and forget. That’s my state of mind because it’s unending struggle,” Lacson said.

Lacson said his next step is to meet with Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile on his committee assignments.

He said he is ready to attend the Senate blue ribbon committee investigating the corruption in the military if he will be included as committee member. (PNA)



Comments are closed.