MANILA, Philippines?The camp of Senator Panfilo Lacson said Wednesday moves to cancel the fugitive senator?s passport were ?premature.?
Lawyer Alex Avisado said Lacson, who has a standing arrest warrant for the murders of publicist Salvador ?Bubby? Dacer and his driver Emmanuel Corbito, must be accorded the same constitutional presumption of innocence given to others.
He cited the case of Eliseo Soriano of the charismatic group ?Ang Dating Daan,? who, facing rape charges, has also fled abroad.
The lawyer said he had asked the Department of Foreign Affairs in 2006 to cancel Soriano?s passport in an attempt to flush him out and to compel him to respond to charges of rape made by a male follower. But his request was not granted purportedly on the ground that Soriano?s case, which has already been archived due to his failure to attend court hearings, has not yet been terminated.
He said going after Lacson at this point could be construed as a ?double standard.?
?While I admire the zeal of the new secretary of justice in processing criminal cases, she might want also to look into the criminal complaint filed by Senator Lacson against former election commissioner Virgilio Garcellano,? he said.
Lacson fled the country early this year before a warrant for his arrest was issued.