Senate ready to help Ping but would not interfere in case  

The Senate will extend assistance to Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson to ensure his rights are respected, but will not intervene to stop his arrest in connection with the murders of publicist Saldavor “Bubby” Dacer and his driver, Emmanuel Corbito in November 2000 that he allegedly masterminded, according to Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile.

A warrant was issued yesterday by the Manila Trial Court for the arrest of Lacson, who was formally charged on January 7 with the twin-killings based on the testimony of his former police aide, Cezar Mancao.

The Bureau of Immigration said Lacson left the Philippines for Hong Kong on January 5 via Cathay Pacific and had been placed on the watch list.

“The warrant of arrest was issued by the court and let the law takes it course,” Enrile told ANC, “The Senate will see to it that his rights are respected and that no harm will come to him, but we cannot interfere with the enforcement of warrant because that is the action of our judicial system.”

Enrile renewed his appeal to Lacson to return to the country and face the music similar to what he did when he was charged during the time of late President Cory Aquino and under the administration of President Gloria Arroyo. Enrile was detained and was later freed after his case was reviewed by the Supreme Court.

“He (Lacson) has to answer the charges. I’m sure he is ready… and as far as the Senate is concerned, of course, we will see what assistance we could do and give to a fellow senator but we are not going to resist or obstruct the administration of justice in our country,” Enrile said.

According to Enrile, he has not heard from Lacson since he received a letter from his office requesting approval to travel from Manila to Hong Kong.

Lacson, who has not been seen since Congress resumed its session on January 18, was reported as saying that he was “not guilty” and could not “risk putting his life and security at the mercy of that evil conspiracy.”

“I would suggest to him (Lacson) that he should come back and face the issue,” Enrile said.#