By Ernie Reyes
MANILA — Senator Panfilo Lacson and Senate President Vicente ‘Tito” Sotto III
on Friday advised Senator Manny Pacquiao to present “hard evidence” on
his corruption exposes to ensure a solid hit on the administration.
In their joint statement, Lacson and Sotto, who are now posturing
to run as president and vice president in the next election, said that
“to land a knockout against corruption, make sure all your exposes are
backed by solid evidence.”
“Our advice to him was to make sure the evidence he has is
substantial, because if only one item in his expose turns out to be
lacking or baseless, that is what the public will remember,” Lacson
said in an interview on DZRH radio Friday, a day after he and Sotto
met with Pacquiao at the Office of the Senate President.
Pacquiao had accepted the challenge from President Rodrigo Duterte to
cite specific instances of corruption, after the boxing champ turned-senator
had criticized corruption in the Duterte administration.
But Lacson also said he hopes the word war between Pacquiao and
President Duterte will not become personal.
“It is sad to see two allies and friends have this word war in public.
I hope they can stick to the issues and not take their word war become
personal,” he said.
On the other hand, Lacson said Pacquiao should not be underestimated
either, as he has shown signs he is doing his research.
Lacson also recalled his own experience when he first became a senator
in 2001, with his critics questioning what a “policeman” can do in
legislation – referring to his service in law enforcement.
Lacson headed the Philippine National Police from 1999 to 2001.
Yet Lacson said he did his homework as a legislator and put together a
solid legislative record, while earning a reputation as a watchdog of
the national budget, not to mention his unflinching and uncompromising
abhorrence of corrupt practices in government.
Lacson also authored and sponsored meaningful pieces of legislation in
his 17 years as a senator, including the Anti-Red Tape Act, Anti-Money
Laundering Act, National ID System, and the Anti-Terrorism Act of
2020, to name a few.
” One cannot write someone off without putting him or her to the
test,” Lacson said. (AI/MTVN)