MANILA –Sen. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson on Wednesday welcomed the surrender of former Senior Supt. Cesar Mancao II but made it clear that whatever his reason in coming out is not his concern.
Mancao of the defunct Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Task Force (PAOCTF) and one of the police officers allegedly involved in the 2000 Dacer-Corbito murder case surrendered to the Philippine National Police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) on Monday.
To recall, Mancao implicated Lacson in the double murder but later took it back and apologized.
Lacson, like Mancao, was also charged with double murder which made him flee the country to hide in Hong Kong. However, the Supreme Court later dismissed his case in 2013.
“It’s his prerogative if he wants to surrender. He can’t avoid surrendering unless he wants to be a fugitive forever,” Lacson, a former PNP chief, told reporters in an interview.
Lacson said Mancao’s case was different from his because unlike Mancao, his case has not been arraigned. He, however, said that he was not able to escape the criminal justice system.
“While I was not physically here (in the Philippines) to defend myself, I did not really get out of that justice system. I continued to fight my case and luckily I won but in the case of Cesar Mancao it’s different. He has been arraigned,” he added.
Lacson further said that it would do well for him to surrender to “resolve” the case either way.
“I’m not hoping for him to be acquitted, I’m not also hoping for him to be convicted,” the senator said.
He said that he didn’t really care about Mancao’s reason for resurfacing especially because he no longer had credibility in case he decided to implicate him again.
“I no longer have a case in the Supreme Court. The reason why the case against me was dismissed because he made different testimonies. He changed tune four times,” Lacson said.
Lacson said that he has already forgiven Mancao like he has forgiven all his detractors a long time ago but maintained he could never forget his detractors’ names.
“He (Mancao) made my life miserable for 14 months but I learned so many things. Instead of sulking in a corner, I would treat my miserable life before as a lesson learned that there are positive things that happened in my life,” Lacson said.
“I found out who my real friends were, I found out who were plastic,” he added.
If it were only up to him, Lacson said he would answer media interviews about Mancao with two words: “who he?”