MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang clarified yesterday President Aquino was not treating the case of Sen. Panfilo Lacson lightly and that various government agencies were working hard looking for him.
Presidential deputy spokesperson Abigail Valte said Justice Secretary Leila de Lima had said she wanted to take a hands on approach to the case and that there was no need for the creation of a special task force because there was no let-up in the search for the fugitive senator by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the police.
Valte said over radio dzRB that what Mr. Aquino meant was that it would be up to the NBI and other agencies to deal with Lacson’s case since he had a lot more pressing concerns to deal with.
Lacson is now considered a fugitive from justice after he left the country in January before the issuance of an arrest warrant against him in connection with the Dacer-Corbito double murder case.
“First thing, I want to correct the perception that we’re not doing anything to search for Sen. Lacson. Recently it’s been reported that Secretary De Lima herself said that it’s just a matter of intensifying the manhunt,” Valte said.
Valte said the President was only trying to point out that the case had been delegated and that he would have to focus more on the rescue and relief efforts for typhoon victims as well as other problems besetting the country.
Valte also said she would not know where retired archbishop Oscar Cruz got his information that the Palace was communicating with Lacson and arranging his return without getting arrested.
She maintained that Lacson would not get any special treatment.
As the President had stressed, Valte said the only thing that the administration could offer to Lacson would be fair and due process.
Aurea Calica, Philippine Star