Deja vu or trauma? Erap prosecutors now defending Lascañas

The Sanidads, Diokno, and Marcelo were among the battery of top-notch private sector lawyers who helped members of the House of Representatives prosecute Estrada in that trial. Marcelo became Ombudsman after that, and he is now with the Cruz Marcelo & Tenefrancia law office.

Ejercito said that seeing the Sanidad brothers on Monday felt like “deja vu.” He asked Arno Sanidad to confirm that he indeed was part of the Estrada prosecution team and among the lawyers of Singson. (READ: Meet Lascañas' battle-tested lawyers)

“I don’t understand your question,” Sanidad told Ejercito, who repeated it. 

Sanidad agreed, saying they were indeed the lawyers of “Chavit.”

Part of destab?

Ejercito hinted that the Sanidad brothers were part of a "plot" to destabilize his father's administration.

"We are here for the truth. We don't want the Senate to be used for any destabilization plot. This has happened before," the senator said.

"Sa ngayon, masasabi niyo bang hindi rin kayo kasama (This time, are you part of a plot again)?" Ejercito asked Sanidad.

Several senators had accused Lascañas of being used by critics of President Rodrigo Duterte to destabilize the government. 

"We are here as lawyers," Sanidad said.  

Baleleng trauma

Sanidad also volunteered another fact: that he also filed charges against then police general Senator Panfilo Lacson over the alleged Kuratong Baleleng rubout.

"Maybe deja vu is not the word, maybe traumatized," said Lacson, head of the committee investigating Lascañas' allegations.

The Kuratong Baleleng is a robbery group that was allegedly summarily executed along Commonwealth Avenue in 1995 by Lacson's men when he was the chief of the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Task Force (PAOCTF) under the Ramos government.  

TRAUMATIZED. Senator Panfilo Lacson at the Lascau00f1as hearing on March 6, 2017.

TRAUMATIZED. Senator Panfilo Lacson at the Lascau00f1as hearing on March 6, 2017.

Murder charges over the alleged rubout of Kuratong Baleleng haunted Lacson for years. The case was junked, revived, and shelved but kept cropping up through the years. 

It was a prolonged legal battle between Lacson and his group and the Office of the Solicitor General – from the lower court, to the Court of Appeals and finally, the Supreme Court.

In 2013, the Supreme Court junked the case with finality– Rappler.com