Lacson on Duterte's 77th birthday: He was a morale booster during my ‘Kuratong Baleleng’ case | Inquirer News

Lacson on Duterte’s 77th birthday: He was a morale booster during my ‘Kuratong Baleleng’ case

/ 09:12 AM March 28, 2022
Panfilo Lacson and Rodrigo Duterte

Sen. Panfilo Lacson and President Rodrigo Duterte (INQUIRER.net file photos)

MANILA, Philippines — Senator Panfilo Lacson on Monday recalled how President Duterte, who is celebrating his 77th birth anniversary Monday, uplifted his morale during one of his most “difficult times” in connection with the “Kuratong Baleleng” rubout case.

“Happy 77th birthday Mr President. I wish you good health and peaceful life after noontime on June 30. We may have disagreed on several issues, even called each other out a few times, but I can never forget you were there for me in one of my difficult times in the distant past,” Lacson said in a tweet Monday.

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Lacson was referring to a time in the mid-1990s when the “Kuratong Baleleng” case was still pending.

“This was in the mid 90’s when former Pres FVR ordered me ‘restricted to camp’ in connection with the Kuratong Baleleng case which was then still pending,” Lacson told INQUIRER.net.

During this time, Lacson said then Davao City Mayor Duterte invited him to the Kadayawan Festival as a special guest.

“When the restriction was about to be lifted, then Davao City Mayor Duterte came to me to uplift my morale by inviting me to be his special guest for the Kadayawan festival. ‘Pesteng yawa etong Manila’ he told me, ‘relax ka muna sa Davao. Special guest kita sa Kadayawan’ he added,” the senator said.

Lacson said he could not “forgect such show of support” from Duterte.

“Although it was a very simple gesture of morale support to someone like me who felt almost ‘down and out’ in my law enforcement career, for me I cannot forget such show of support from somebody like Mayor Duterte,” he added.

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Since then, Lacson said he has considered the President a “friend” and surmised this was the reason why Duterte would sometimes become “sensitive” when the senator calls him out “over some issue-related disagreement.”

“He even went to see me in Kiangan Hall inside Camp Crame to extend his morale support and personal invitation. I went to Davao by the way,” Lacson said.

“Since then, I have considered him as a friend. Kaya siguro minsan sensitive siya when I would call him out over some issue-related disagreements. Baka tingin niya sa akin, walang utang na loob [He may think I don’t have a debt of gratitude],” he went on.

Lacson, along with other police officials and officers, were indicted for the murder of the alleged members of Kuratong Baleleng robbery gang on May 18, 1995.

Lacson used to lead Task Force Habagat of the defunct Presidential Anti-Crime Commission headed by then Vice President Joseph Estrada. 

In 2013, the Supreme Court dismissed with finality the multiple murder case against Lacson.

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TAGS: Rodrigo Duterte, Senator Panfilo Lacson
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