President Aquino must address the ‘Lacson double standard’

March 28, 2011

MANILA — “Sen. Ping Lacson is no oppressed fugitive in our eyes. He is nothing but an Aquino ally skirting the pursuit of justice in our land.” This was the statement of Terry Ridon, chairperson of the League of Filipino Students as Sen. Panfilo Lacson finally surfaced after more than a year of hiding from the law.

Ridon said that unlike activists and human rights workers persecuted by the previous regime and had remained in hiding, Lacson was evading criminal responsibility for the murder of a well-known publicist and critic of his former principal, ousted President Joseph Estrada.

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“Lacson cannot now pretend as though it is him that had been subject to persecution. If anything, it had been the Dacer and Corbito families that had been persecuted day to day by the slow wheels of our criminal justice system. And by surfacing just because he is allied with the new government is another massacre in the fight for justice.”

Ridon said President Aquino needs to be principally accountable for the sudden resurfacing of Sen. Lacson as it appears that the President is not repudiating the “bata-bata” system that had characterized the previous regime.

“As President Arroyo had accorded human rights violator Palparan full legal protection, so is President Aquino playing blind to the cries for justice against Sen. Lacson.”

Ridon said that President Aquino’s satisfaction ratings would suffer severely if Sen. Lacson is allowed to merely return to his work at the Senate as though no tenets of law and justice had been violated by Sen. Lacson.

“There can be no ‘daang matuwid’ when the pursuit of justice is defeated. There can be no justice if Sen. Lacson is not put to justice.”#

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