MANILA — Sen. Panfilo Lacson on Thursday shared a light moment with colleague Sen. Leila de Lima, who is facing drug trafficking charges, joking about trying to avoid arrest because she would be missed.
“Don’t get jailed because we’ll l miss you,” Lacson told De Lima during the Senate panel hearing on reported ‘tokhang for ransom’ cases involving rogue members of the Philippine National Police (PNP).
De Lima was questioning to resource persons when Lacson, chair of the Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs, made the remark.
Lacson said that he had to suspend the hearing at 2:40 p.m. since he had another hearing to attend but allowed De Lima to finish asking her questions.
De Lima laughed and thanked Lacson for his remark.
This is not the first time Lacson joked about De Lima’s predicament. Last year, he said that he believed De Lima, who was out of the country that time, will not try to escape as he did when he was charged with a double murder case in 2010.
“In jest I told her, ‘come back, don’t follow my example’. She said ‘I would really return’ because she wanted to face the cases filed against her,” Lacson said in an earlier interview.
Hours after the hearing, Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 204 Judge Juanita Guerrero issued the arrest warrant against De Lima and her co-accused, former Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) officer-in-charge Rafael Ragos and her former driver-bodyguard and alleged drug money bagman Ronnie Dayan.
They were charged with violation of Section 5 (sale) in relation to Section 3 (jj trading), Section 26 (b) and Section 28 or the criminal liability of government officials and employees of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.
“The court finds probable cause for the issuance of warrants of arrest against all the accused Leila De Lima, Rafael Marcos Ragos and Ronnie Palisoc Dayan,” the court order read. AZER PARROCHA/PNA-northboundasia.com