Lawyer files ethics case vs Lacson amid truce
Notwithstanding the so-called “ceasefire” among disagreeing colleagues, a lawyer filed a complaint for unethical conduct against Sen. Panfilo Lacson in the Senate ethics committee in connection with his remarks branding Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago “a crusading crook.”
Lawyer Oliver Lozano filed the ethics case against Lacson on Monday, a day after the former Philippine National Police chief indicated in a radio interview that he had an open-and-shut graft case against Santiago for the latter’s use of Senate funds for the rent of a satellite office in her family’s building.
“No comment,” Lacson said when asked about Lozano’s suit against him.
Aside from the ethics case, Lozano filed in the Office of the Ombudsman a criminal complaint against Lacson in connection with the latter’s remarks that also included calling Santiago a “hypocrite par excellence” without “a single shred of integrity in her veins.”
“The malintention of Senator Lacson in his ungentlemanly and unethical conduct is evidently to malign Senator Miriam Santiago in order to deter her legal actions against the illegal disbursement of public funds,” Lozano said in his complaint to the Ombudsman.
Back and forth
“Senator Lacson could have simply pushed through a COA (Commission on Audit) audit in accordance with due process without unnecessarily insulting Senator Santiago,” he added.
Lacson’s remarks against Santiago came after she repeatedly questioned before the media Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile’s distribution to each 18 senators P1.6 million in additional maintenance and other operating expenses (MOOE) just before Christmas. Four senators, including Santiago, did not get the additional MOOE.
Santiago questioned the propriety of the yearend release as the Senate was about to close 2012 with its Christmas break.
Lacson, the chairman of the Senate committee on accounts, defended the release, saying the additional MOOE could be used for the following year even if 2012 was about to end.
Santiago countered by calling Lacson an attack dog of Enrile, prompting the former PNP chief to come up with his own strong words against the former.