Lacson ribs De Lima: 'Don't get jailed; we'll miss you'
Senator Leila de Lima might just be counting down the days until her supposed impending arrest but Senator Panfilo Lacson made a light moment out of it at a Senate inquiry days after drug charges were filed against the former justice chief.
During the 2nd hearing into the murder of South Korean businessman Jee Ick Joo, Lacson informed De Lima, who was still questioning the resource person, that he would have to suspend the hearing soon to attend another committee hearing.
“But you can consume the remaining time because you have very good points that you’re pursuing," he said, before ribbing De Lima. "Bilin ko lang (My only advice is), don’t get jailed. We’ll miss you.”
De Lima replied with a hearty laugh and said, “Thank you.”
Like De Lima, Lacson knows what it's like to be the nemesis of a sitting president. Lacson exposed alleged government corruption during the administration of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and even implicated her husband, Mike Arroyo, in alleged anomalous government deals.
During the Arroyo administration, Lacson faced arrest for the double murder of PR man Bubby Dacer and his driver, Emmanuel Corbito. He fled the country to escape political persecution, and only returned when Benigno Aquino III won the presidency. The charges against him were eventually dismissed. (READ: SC dismisses case against Lacson with finality)
Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II, a known De Lima critic, was also present in the hearing.
Lacson introduced him as “the best friend” of the lady senator.
In an unusual break from his criticisms, Aguirre openly agreed to at least two views and statements of De Lima at the hearing.
First, Aguirre said he agreed with De Lima that the “ransom” was only an "afterthought."
Lacson said in jest: "That for once?"
To which Aguirre replied, “Yes. I agree with Senator Leila de Lima that talagang parang (it's really like) kidnapping here is only an afterthought.”
Lacson also teased Aguirre the second time he agreed with the senator – this time on the legality of the President’s authority to appoint relieved officials.
“That’s twice already,” Lacson said with a smile.
Lacson was not always friendly with De Lima. When he was still in hiding in 2011, Lacson spoke against then Justice Secretary De Lima for her "ill-advised opinion" ordering his manhunt even after the Court of Appeals had already nullified the warrant for his arrest.
In August 2012, however, Lacson initiated a peace offering to De Lima – a birthday greeting via SMS. He later said he understood De Lima's previous actions as just part of her job.
Will De Lima ever have the same conclusion regarding Aguirre? – Rappler.com
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