Sen. Lacson surfaces
MANILA, Philippines – (UPDATE 2) After over a year in hiding, Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson returned to the country on Saturday, officials said.
Lacson arrived at 11:42 a.m. and unannounced at the Mactan International Airport in Cebu from Hong Kong aboard Cathay Pacific flight CX-921 shortly before noon, according to Chief Superintendent Agrimero Cruz Jr., spokesman for the Philippine National Police.
Cruz said Lacson was met by immigration officials from Manila.
This was confirmed by Immigration chief for Cebu Elsie Lucero who said that Lacson had travel documents, lined up unassisted like any other passenger and was subsequently cleared by the officer of the day.
A group of Senate witnesses and whistleblowers welcomed the return to the country of Lacson, who went into hiding shortly before he was ordered arrested for his purported role in the murders publicist Bubby Dacer and his driver Emmanuel Corbito in 2000.
“We are very happy that Senator Lacson has come out and has been cleared of the criminal case filed against him,” Sandra Cam, president of the Whistle-blowers’ Association, said in a mobile phone interview.
Cam said Lacson may now be on his way to their family’s residence in Manila.
“I’m happy that he’s been given a chance to defend himself. We knew him as a straightforward person who defends the truth and exposes the irregularities in the government,” she said.
“We can now heave a sigh of relief because he’s our primary supporter in the Senate,” she added.
Cam said her group would offer a thanksgiving Mass for Lacson on Sunday.
With reports from Tetch Torres, INQUIRER.net and Radyo Inquirer
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