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Palace to Lacson: Take your accusations vs Erap to court

September 23, 2009 4:16pm

(Updated: 11:48 p.m.) Agreeing that the Senate is not the place to bare the alleged criminal activities of former President Joseph Estrada, Malacañang on Wednesday urged Senator Panfilo Lacson to take his issues against his erstwhile boss to the court.

“I support the position taken by the Senate President [Juan Ponce Enrile]. Ayaw naman naming panghimasukan ang bagay na iyan sapagkat iyan naman ay (We do not want to meddle in that issue because it) does not involve us at all," said Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita.

Enrile, in a privilege speech on Tuesday, said Lacson should take his accusations against Estrada to the court.

Enrile also defended Estrada in his speech, which was delivered before Lacson took the floor for the second part of his tirades against Estrada.

In his second privilege speech, Lacson aimed his tirades at Estrada's son, Senate Pro Tempore Jose "Jinggoy" Estrada.
Ping not keen on suing Erap, Jinggoy

Senator Panfilo Lacson on Wednesday said he is not keen on taking his allegations against former President Joseph Estrada and his son, Senate President Pro Tempore Jose "Jinggoy" Estrada, to the court.

“It is not my intention to put President Estrada back in jail, so I will abide by that statement," Lacson said in a television interview shortly after Jinggoy delivered his privilege speech and dared Lacson to bring his accusations to the proper forum.

Asked what were his objectives in exposing the anomalies and crimes the Estradas are allegedly involved in, Lacson replied: “To inform the Filipino people, because President Estrada is again presenting himself before the electorate."
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Jinggoy, in refuting Lacson’s accusation that he benefited from jueteng operations, challenged Lacson to sue him as well as his father.

“I believe the most basic and decent thing to do is for Senator Panfilo Morena Lacson to file the necessary charges in the proper court," he said in a privilege speech Wednesday.

By bringing the issue to the courts, Jinggoy said he and his father would be given a chance to properly defend themselves.

The sins of Erap

In his first privilege speech delivered Monday last week, Lacson said Estrada was a protector of jueteng operators and smugglers during his short-lived presidency. He also accused the former President of pressuring tycoon Alfonso Yuchengco to give up his business shares in the Philippine Long Distance Telephone (PLDT) company.

Lacson, who was the national police chief during the Estrada administration, also said the elder Estrada might have important knowledge in the killing of publicist Salvador “Bubby" Dacer and his driver Emmanuel Corbito in 2000. In his second speech on Tuesday, he linked Estrada to the disappearance of government employee Edgar Bentain in 1999.

Bentain, video operator of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor), in 1998 provided a video of then Vice President Estrada gambling in a casino. Estrada then was a presidential aspirant.

In his speech on Wednesday, Jinggoy said Lacson had abused the hospitality of the Senate to pursue his "selfish and self-serving agenda" with his speeches.


Lacson's "crimes"

Turning the tables against Lacson, Jinggoy cited past killings and criminal activities that were allegedly masterminded by Lacson when he was still a police officer.

Jinggoy showed the audience a video interview of the late Francisco “Kit" Mateo, who admitted that Lacson ordered him to kill former Captain Jimmy Victorino of the Western Police District (WPD) in 1986 and Alfredo "Joey" de Leon of the Red Scorpion Group in February 1993.

Jinggoy likewise revived Lacson’s alleged involvement in the Kuratong Baleleng case, referring to the alleged summary execution of 11 suspected members of the robbery syndicate in 1995 by members of Task Force Habagat, who were under the Lacson-led and now defunct Presidential Anti-Crime Commission.

He also nailed Lacson in the Dacer-Corbito case, saying he had the resources and capability to commit the crime.

Lacson, aside from being the Philippine National Police (PNP) chief during the time of the Dacer-Corbito murders, was also the head Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Task Force (PAOCTF), the law enforcement group allegedly behind the killings.

Rumors

Jinggoy said Lacson had spread rumors that Dacer was involved in destabilization plots against the Estrada administration. He said this information was contained in a July 27, 1999 letter written by Dacer to former National Security Adviser Jose Almonte.

“In Mr. Dacer’s letter to General Almonte, he complained and identified General Lacson as the one spreading lies to implicate Mr. Dacer to alleged destabilization plots against the Estrada administration," Jinggoy said.

Jinggoy also said Dacer opposed Lacson’s appointment as PNP chief in November 1999. - with Amita Legaspi, GMANews.TV