Feb 122013
The discord within the Senate got uglier Wednesday after Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago launched another attack against Sen. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson, this time threatening to expose his real sexuality.

“Maghanda ka (Lacson) dahil meron akong parliamentary immunity, ibulgar ko lahat ng kasalanan mo pati ang sexuality mo,” Santiago said in a radio interview.

She noted that Lacson, former chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP), is known to some people as “Pinky Lacson.”

In a text message to GMA News Online, Lacson denied being gay as insinuated by Santiago.

“I am sorry to disappoint the lady senator. If she’s insinuating some lunatic idea about my sexuality, let me emphasize this — I am not gay and I do not intend to be one,” he said.

Santiago, who is waiting to be summoned by the International Criminal Court where she has been named judge, said she will try to remain a senator for another month when Congress resumes session in June to answer Lacson’s allegation that she is using Senate funds for her personal needs.

‘Pinky’ Lacson

“[Tatawad ako para] masagot ko naman ‘yung mga pagbibintang ni… ‘di ko na alam pangalan niya, kasi ibang tao tawag sa kanya Ping Lacson, ibang tao naman tawag sa kanya Pinky Lacson,” the feisty lawmaker said.

She also said that she will find out all of Lacson’s wrongdoings and expose them.

“Tapos ikaw (Lacson) hindi ka na senador wala ka nang parliamentary immunity pag sumagot ka sa akin demanda kita ng libel,” Santiago said.

Lacson is on his second and last term as senator.

The rift between Santiago and Lacson began when she accused him of being one of Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile’s attack dogs. Santiago has been criticizing Enrile for giving additional funds to selected senators.  

Lacson, as chair of the Senate committee on accounts, alleged that Santiago has been using Senate funds to pay for her office’s rental fees, her housemaid’s salary, and her family’s grocery allowance.

“Hypocrite,” “crusading crook

In what could be his strongest words against her, Lacson called Santiago a “hypocrite” and a “crusading crook.”

In the radio interview, Santiago explained that she had been allowed to use Senate funds to rent another office since the offices of senators are too small for their usual staff of 30 or 40.

“Yun ang ginawa namin dati at walang problema ‘yan, sila ang nagsabi sa akin,” she said, referring to the Senate secretariat.

She also said that by renting her own building, the Senate is saving money since they only charge P70,000 a month for a 450-square meter office space.

Lacson had not spoken about the fund issue after Santiago went on a sick leave and the senators agreed to go on ceasefire.

Already with Ombudsman

But after Santiago’s outburst, Lacson told GMA News Online that he has already turned over the documents against her to the Office of the Ombudsman.

“Yes, nandun na. Antay na lang si Miriam ng summons and most likely, warrant of arrest,” he said.

Lacson is reportedly being eyed by President Benigno Aquino III for a Cabinet position when his term ends this year.

Santiago, however, said this is probably just part of Lacson’s propaganda so that he won’t lose supporters. — KBK, GMA News

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