They’re at it again. Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago has violent words for former senator and former PNP Chief Panfilo “Ping” Lacson about his proposed appointment as “special independent investigator” of the PDAF scandal. Lacons fight back with fiery words of his own against the “dragon lady.”
As the pork barrel scandal heats up, more and more people are pressuring the authorities to begin investigating the 28 lawmakers who allegedly gave their Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) to questionable non-government organizations.
President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III himself has ordered an “exhaustive investigation” of the matter.
With these plans slowly brewing, Senator Alan Peter Cayetano proposed that former senator and former Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Panfilo “Ping” Lacson should be the “special independent investigator” of the pork barrel scandal.
This proposal was soon belittled and turned down by the “Dragon Lady” herself, Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago, saying that Ping Lacson (whom she calls “Pinky”) should not be the investigator of the scandal “because he is a former fugitive from justice who remains unpunished and serves as the poster boy for people like Napoles who has disappeared to evade a warrant of arrest, just like he did.”
Sen. Santiago also disapproves of this suggestion because of Lacson’s former post as the PNP Chief, even caught on record for saying “A self-taught lawyer is a menace to society.”
“A policeman cannot be adviser to a Senate committee probing the pork barrel, because this is a question of law. He has no clue on how the law proceeds in these cases. After a cop finishes his investigation, the report is submitted to the prosecutor, not the other way around.”
Santiago even went as far as invoke Lacson’s son who lost to Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr.’s son in the last May 2013 elections. With this history, Lacson cannot be expected to be impartial towards Revilla. She also added that Lacson is a close political ally of former Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile.
Revilla and Enrile are just two of the 28 public officials who were named by the Commission on Audit (COA) in their special audit report for misusing his PDAF.
“In the investigation of the pork barrel scam, the last thing we need is a self-interested politician,’’ she said.
Santiago also recalled that Lacson wasted no time in informing the public of Santiago’s alleged use of her PDAF to build a cockpit in Pasig right after she exposed Enrile’s “Christmas gifts” for all his allied senators that amounted close to P2 million. Lacson also questioned her for using her PDAF to pay for the rental of her satellite office, which utilizes an entire floor on one of the building owned by Santiago herself.
Santiago defended herself by saying, “The truth is that my pork barrel was spent for a multipurpose hall in Pasig, but I gave only a portion of the request because the other portion was shouldered by another senator. It defies imagination that I should end up as the owner of a multipurpose hall. Thus, Pinky Lacson is not above inventing things when he is frothing at the mouth. The public has seen how he reacts under pressure during the Kuratong Baleleng rub-out scandal.”
The “Iron Lady of Asia” continued to explain that she actually saved the Senate some money by placing her satellite office in one of her properties.
“The Senate Secretariat has already issued a written opinion that I saved money for the Senate, because the rental is very low. I have charged the Senate only the sum of P70,000 for rental of 403 sq.m., the Senate allows up to P170,000 for rental for other senators, who also have satellite offices. Instead of lauding my efforts to help the Senate to save funds, Lacson without batting an eyelash, charged me with the complete opposite of the facts.”
Sen. Santiago closed her statement with a bang, saying, “He has lied through his teeth. He needs dental work, apart from washing his mouth with soap.”
Meanwhile, in a text message to the media, Lacson fought back Santiago’s feisty words.
“She’s nothing but a pathetic absentee Solon who will soon be facing corruption charges in the Sandiganbayan.”
Lacson even said that one of his sources has valuable ‘dirt’ on Santiago.
“I heard from a reliable source that she has been approaching people who could influence Justice Morales to drop the corruption charges she is facing before the Ombudsman,” Lacson continued. “Unfortunately for her, the Ombudsman is one uncompromising, gutsy lady who cannot be cowed or bought.”
Lacson ended his statement with a bang as well, saying, “I think her only way out is to invoke her insanity.”
With reports from Mario B. Casayuran and Hannah L. Torregoza