Robredo death can’t stop De Lima, Lacson from feudingBy Cathy Yamsuan, Christine O. Avendaño
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Even the death of a good friend can’t keep them from each other’s throats.
Justice Secretary Leila de Lima was irked by Sen. Panfilo Lacson’s statement that Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo tried to help him convince her to respect a Court of Appeals decision that set aside the arrest warrant against him when he was running from the law.
“I cannot confirm it out of respect for Secretary Jesse,” De Lima told reporters Wednesday.
De Lima said she was wondering why Lacson brought that up.
“Isn’t his timing off or isn’t it off? What was that all about? Why does he have to say that at this point?” she said.
Mourning the death of Robredo on Tuesday, Lacson recalled that Robredo “quietly” helped him to convince De Lima to respect the Court of Appeals ruling.
Lacson went into hiding for a year in January 2010 before a Manila court could issue a warrant for his arrest for alleged involvement in the killings of public relations agent Salvador “Bubby” Dacer and his driver, Emmanuel Corbito in 2000.
The senator denied any involvement and said the administration of then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was persecuting him.
When President Aquino came to power, a manhunt for Lacson’s arrest had been called with Robredo on top of it. But the Court of Appeals (CA) handed down a ruling clearing the senator of murder charges as well as setting aside the warrant for his arrest.
Lacson came out of hiding in March 2011. To this day, he has not disclosed where he had been hiding.
On Wednesday, he said he was bewildered by De Lima questioning his tribute to Robredo.
Lacson said he only did it to recognize the kindness Robredo extended to him when he was in hiding.
The senator said he and Robredo were not close, but the interior secretary took the initiative to help him return to the country after the Court of Appeals nullified the arrest warrant issued by the lower court.
“After the CA decision came out, it was only proper that I come home but Secretary De Lima would not allow it,” he said. “That was when Secretary Robredo found time to request her to allow me to come home. There was nothing wrong with that.”
Lacson said he met Robredo when he returned home in early 2011.
“I just said ‘thank you very much, Jess. I know the favor you did for me.’ Still, I was really surprised he went out of his way because as I said, we were not even close,” Lacson said.
He said he wondered why De Lima would question the timing of his tribute.
“I cannot understand what would be wrong timing about that. It was a tribute,” he said.