|Senator of the Philippines|
June 30, 2001 – June 30, 2013
of the Philippine National Police
November 16, 1999 – January 20, 2001
|Preceded by||Edmundo L. Larozza|
|Succeeded by||Leandro Mendoza|
|Presidential Advisor on Rehabilitation and Recovery|
December 10, 2013 – Present
|Born||Panfilo Morena Lacson
June 1, 1948
|Political party||Independent (2004-2007; 2007–present)
|Spouse(s)||Alice de Perio|
|Alma mater||Lyceum of the Philippines University
Philippine Military Academy
|Allegiance||Republic of the Philippines|
|Rank||Police Director General|
Panfilo "Ping" Morena Lacson, Sr. (born June 1, 1948) is a Filipino politician who served as Philippine senator, serving from 2001 to 2013. He served as the Director-General of the Philippine National Police from 1999 to 2001 before being elected to the Philippine Senate.
To lead the management and rehabilitation efforts of the central provinces in the Philippines affected by Typhoon Haiyan, Philippines President Benigno Aquino III appointed Panfilo Lacson as Typhoon Haiyan Rehabilation Czar.
Early life and education
He finished grade school at the Bayan Luma Elementary School in 1960, and high school at the Imus Institute in 1964. He completed Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy at the Lyceum of the Philippines University and in 1967, attended the Philippine Military Academy.
Early law enforcement career
Lacson worked at the Metropolitan Command (Metrocom) Intelligence and Security Group (MISG) from 1971 to 1986, during which time he was one of the arresting officers of student activist and martial law critic Abraham Sarmiento, Jr.. He also served at the PC-INP Anti-Carnapping Task Force from 1986–1988, as Provincial Commander of the Province of Isabela from 1988–1989, as Commander of Cebu Metropolitan District Command (Metrodiscom) from 1989–1992, and as Provincial Director of the Province of Laguna from February to July 1992. He was then appointed to the Presidential Anti-Crime Commission as Chief of the Task Force Habagat from 1992 to 1995. From 1996 to April 1997, he was a project officer of Special Project Alpha.
During the Estrada administration
Lacson was appointed by then President Joseph Estrada to head the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Task Force (PAOCTF) and to serve as Director-General of the Philippine National Police. Lacson's notable accomplishments were the reduction of corrupt policemen (Kotong Cops), various syndicates particularly gambling and drug cartels and punished undisciplined motorists.
In late 2006, Lacson said he may run as mayor of the city of Manila in the 2007 midterm elections. However, he rescinded that decision and instead ran for re-election for a second Senate term under the Genuine Opposition coalition. He won reelection in the 2007 senatorial elections senatorial elections, ranking third.
In the Senate, Lacson primarily authored the following:
- Republic Act No. 9160, as amended by Republic Act 9194, otherwise known as the Anti-Money Laundering Act
- Republic Act No. 9163, The National Service Training Program (NSTP) Act of 2001
- Republic Act No. 9166, An Act Increasing the Base Pay of the Members of the AFP
- Republic Act No. 9208, The Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003
- Republic Act No. 9416, Anti-Cheating Act of 2007
- Republic Act No. 9484, The Philippine Dental Act of 2007
- Republic Act No. 9485, Anti-Red Tape Act of 2007
He was also one of the co-authors of the following laws:
- Republic Act No. 9165, otherwise known as the Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002
- Republic Act No. 9189, otherwise known as the Absentee Voting Act
- Republic Act No. 9287, otherwise known as the Anti-Jueteng and Illegal Numbers Game
- Republic Act No. 9406, An Act Reorganizing the Public Attorney's Office
2004 presidential campaign
Lacson ran for President in the 2004 general election against the incumbent President, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. His candidacy stirred disagreements with its party president, Senator Edgardo Angara. The COMELEC decided to follow what was done in the Quirino-Avelino case splitting the certificates of votes into half. Angara appealed the case before the Supreme Court and reversed the COMELEC decision.
Revival of the Kuratong Baleleng case
In 1995, the PACC was linked to the killing of 11 members of Kuratong Baleleng in Quezon City. In 2003, the High Tribunal ordered the Quezon City Regional Trial Court to try the case against Lacson and 33 other police officials. The trial court however dismissed the criminal case, finding absence of probable cause. The special prosecuting team later moved for new trial before the High Tribunal to remand case to the trial court to present new evidence against Senator Lacson, inter alia. On May 2, 2008, the Supreme Court of the Philippines resolved to take cognizance of the motion of the families of the slain Kuratong Baleleng members for revival of the murder case against police officials and Senator Panfilo Lacson.
After eight years in the United States, Sabina and Carina Dacer, on July 11, 2008 testified before the Manila Regional Trial Court, regarding the mastermind of the abduction of their father. Sabina swore that: "In his exact words he said, 'mga anak, kung may mangyari sa akin, walang ibang may kakagawan noon kundi si Ping Lacson'" (my children, if anything should happen to me, no one else could be responsible but Ping Lacson). Dacer's family also discovered the publicist's letter to Joseph Estrada on Panfilo Lacson's 1999 actuation to secure the Philippine National Police chief post. Dacer was the publicist of then PNP chief Roberto Lastimoso, Lacson's rival. Lacson's link to one of the suspects, Michael Ray Aquino, were also evident according to the Dacer witnesses.
Lacson denied the allegations: "For the nth time, I will assert the truth that I had nothing to do with it. They can lie and make people lie even under oath and before a court of law to make me look bad and guilty in the Dacer case. In fact, right after Dacer disappeared, the family sought my help.... And I responded the way I should as a law enforcement officer at that time."
Former police senior superintendent Cezar Mancao also named Lacson as the mastermind of the murders of Dacer and his driver Emmanuel Corbito. The allegations were made in an affidavit that Mancao signed on February 14, 2009, according to The Philippine Star. Mancao was allegedly present when Lacson gave the hit order to then police senior superintendent Michael Ray Aquino sometime in October 2000.
In an interview by Philippine Daily Inquirer, then Transportation Undersecretary Reynaldo Berroya said that Dacer possessed documents showing Lacson was earning billions of pesos from stock manipulation. Berroya was chief of the Philippine National Police Intelligence Group at the time of the murders.
Dacer and Corbito were abducted the morning of November 24, 2000, while on their way to the Manila Hotel. Investigations later showed that the two were interrogated, tortured and strangled to death, and their bodies burned.
Mancao has recently returned to the Philippines on June 5, 2009, which is now in custody of the National Bureau of Investigation. On the same day, Panfilo Lacson told the press that he will no longer seek the Presidency in 2010 citing the cost of campaigning.
Escape and return
He left the Philippines on January 5, 2010 to Hong Kong, shortly before charges against him were filed in court and his whereabouts for the next year were unknown. On February 5, 2010, the Regional Trial Court in Manila issued an arrest warrant against him. On February 12, 2010, Interpol issued an international notice for Lacson.
On February 3, 2011, the Court of Appeals withdrew the murder charges against the senator. Its decision cited Mancao as "not a credible and trustworthy witness".
He returned to the country on March 26, 2011.
- [blogs.wsj.com/searealtime/2013/12/02/philippines-aquino-appoints-past-senator-to-helm-typhoon-rehab/ Wall Streel Journal, Philippines’ Aquino Appoints Past Senator to Helm Typhoon Rehab]
- "Senator Panfilo M. Lacson". Senate of the Philippines. Retrieved May 23, 2010.
- gmanews.tv/story, SC defers action on revival of Kuratong case
- abs-cbnnews.com, Dacer daughters links Lacson to dad's abduction, death
- Ping gave hit order on Dacer - Mancao. The Philippine Star. March 16, 2009.
- Berroya: Lacson wanted Dacer dead. Inquirer.net. March 13, 2009.
- Philippine Daily Inquirer June 6, 2009 and June 8, 2009 issue
- Lawyer insists Mancao a credible witness, abs-cbnnews.com, March 16, 2011
- Ping Lacson official website
- Senate of the Philippines - Senator Panfilo M. Lacson
- Ping Lacson's assets and liabilities