You can run but.

As justice department officials have pointed out, Sen. Panfilo Lacson is not a fugitive; there is no order preventing his departure from the country and no warrant for his arrest – at least not yet. The arrest warrant is expected to be issued this week by the court that is handling the trial of the men accused of kidnapping, torturing and then murdering publicist Salvador “Bubby” Dacer and his driver Emmanuel Corbito.

The nine-year-old case received a not-so-new twist when two of Lacson’s former top operatives in the now defunct Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Task Force, Cezar Mancao and Glenn Dumlao, were extradited from the United States for the grisly crime and implicated their former commander.

Now, faced with arrest and detention without bail, Lacson has decided to skip town. In a statement the other day, he admitted fleeing prosecution. A former national police chief, Lacson admitted that flight is usually taken to be a sign of guilt. But in his case, he said, he was merely avoiding harassment by the Arroyo administration, whose serious wrongdoings he has been exposing since its first year.

Lacson’s sentiment may be valid. And he has reason to be worried about detention under an administration where a former police colleague he had sent to prison for kidnapping, Reynaldo Berroya, is a Cabinet member. Lacson also has reason to question the fairness of state prosecution when he is hunted down while people like Jocelyn “Joc-joc” Bolante, Benjamin Abalos and Virgilio Garcillano go scot-free.

Still, Lacson gave the administration ammunition to go after him, if only for command responsibility. His defense against his indictment is that Mancao and Dumlao were merely forced by the administration to implicate him, and in any case, he was already out of the PAOCTF loop, he claims, at the time of the murders in November 2000.

The hole in this story is that Lacson has failed to point an accusing finger at anyone else as the likely mastermind. All those PAOCTF men accused of direct participation in the murders had no reason to hold a deadly grudge against Dacer. The publicist reportedly had documents about the BW stock manipulation scam that he was about to reveal shortly before his death.

Who was implicated in those documents has not been established. Lacson should reveal everything he knows about this case if he wants to help unearth the truth and give justice to the families of Dacer and Corbito.
Lacson must also reassure the public that he is ready to return and face his accusers as soon as the administration that he has criticized is no longer in power. He must decide whether he wants to return to the country on his own or wait to be apprehended and sent back to the Philippines. In this global village, you can run, but unless you are willing to live in the forbidding mountainous frontier between Afghanistan and Pakistan, where Osama bin Laden is suspected to be holed up, you can’t hide. - (Philstar News Service, 

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