MANILA, Philippines — Senator Panfilo Lacson bared on Tuesday that he had been approached by “emissaries” of Chief Justice Renato Corona seeking for help.
“Ako nilapitan pero hindi ng Iglesia [I was approached but not by Iglesia],” Lacson told reporters, referring to the influential Iglesia Ni Cristo.
So when asked if there were other groups or persons who had approached him, he said, “Normal yun e [That’s normal]. Pag nasa situation ka nya, hahanap at hahanap ka talaga ng koneksyon [If you were in his situation, you will be looking for a connection].”
Asked if those who had approached him came from Corona’s camp, Lacson answered, “Oo [Yes].”
But the senator said this happened when the impeachment trial of the Chief Justice was just starting.
Asked if the persons he was referring to were lobbying for Corona’s acquittal, Lacson said, “Humihingi ng tulong syempre. Pero normal yun e [Of course they’re asking for help. But that’s normal].”
Lacson said he did not meet with Corona’s emissaries but was sure that they were representing the Chief Justice.
“Oo. Alam ko [Yes. I know]. Without him (Corona) stating it, alam ko,” Lacson stressed.
Lacson also claimed that at least one senator had been approached by a certain “Manny Cuevas,” who was mentioned in Monday’s article of the Philippine Daily Inquirer as one of two who had been allegedly lobbying for Corona’s acquittal.
Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III himself admitted that an emissary of a certain “Manny Cuevas” had called his office Monday though he immediately dismissed it as an attempt to further sow intrigue in the alleged move by the INC to lobby for Corona’s acquittal.
But Lacson said the senator he was referring to by a certain “Manny Cuevas” and two others was not Pimentel.
“Hindi naman sinabi kung tungkol saan e. Gusto lang makipagkita,” the senator said, noting that the name “Manny Cuevas” was more associated with the Philippine International Air Terminals Co. (Piatco).
Lacson was wondering if the move has something to do with how Corona voted on the Piatco case filed before the Supreme Court.
“Gusto ko ngang tingnan anong decision sa Piatco. Kung connected dun. Baka naman tumatanaw ng utang na loob [I want to look at the Piatco decision. If it’s connected there. They might be trying to repair a debt],” he added.