MANILA, Philippines – Senator Panfilo Lacson arrived in Cebu shortly before noon on Saturday onboard Cathay Pacific flight CX 921 from Hong Kong. As of 4:30 p.m. he boarded a private plane bound for Manila.
Radyo Singko 92.3 NewsFM reported that Senator Lacson arrived around 11:42 a.m. at the Mactan International Airport, where he was promptly met by officials of the Bureau of Immigration.
Lacson’s arrival was confirmed by National Police spokesman Chief Superintendent Agrimero Cruz Jr.
The senator had been in hiding for months since a warrant for his arrest was issued early last year in connection with the murders of publicist Salvador “Bubby” Dacer and his driver Emmanuel Corbito.
From Cebu, Senator Lacson is expected to arrive in Manila by Saturday evening.
On Twitter, Yahoo Philippines quoted President Benigno Aquino III’s spokesman, Edwin Lacierda, as saying: “We welcome the return of Senator Ping Lacson so that he can put closure to the accusations hurled against him.”
Senate president Juan Ponce Enrile on Thursday told reporters that Lacson can expect to see his office open when he returns to the Senate.
“There was a request by his staff… for the reopening of the office of Senator Lacson. I do not know when he will come but there was a request from his staff,” Enrile said on Thursday. “I assume that he’s about ready to come back. I’m going to talk to the Secretariat today to let the staff reopen the office of Senator Lacson.”
Supt. Ager Ontog, regional director of Visayas, said Lacson did not coordinate with his office on the senator’s arrival. He said his office was simply informed by the immigration office.
Ontog said there have been no arrests have been made because there are neither warrants nor requests for escorts.
Asked about the senator’s whereabouts, he said Lacson is “somewhere in Cebu” waiting for his flight to Manila.
Ontog said he is also not certain if Lacson was with someone when he arrived in Cebu.
Lacson once served as director of Cebu City.
The Department of Interior and Local Government on March 22 recalled the tracker teams sent to hunt down Senator Lacson following a Court of Appeals decision nullifying the warrants of arrest issued against him.
Secretary Jesse Robredo said the two teams were returned to the elite Philippine National Police units they were drawn from.
In its 16-page ruling, the CA cleared Lacson of the 2000 murders of publicist Salvador “Bubby” Dacer and his driver Emmanuel Corbito and said anyone who would arrest Lacson “may be criminally liable for arbitrary detention.” Interaksyon.com