MS 30th Anniversary XXX

Lacson: I’m Henpecked

Senator Panfilo Lacson on Thursday denied a suggestion by Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago that he was a homosexual. “If I’m gay, there might be no macho men in this world,” Lacson said in a phone interview with Senate reporters after Santiago threatened in a radio interview to reveal his “sins from A to Z” and referred to him as “Pinky Lacson.” Relations between the two senators soured after a row over the use of Senate funds in which Santiago accused Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile of bribing some senators with cash gifts and branded Lacson as his attack dog. Lacson later accused Santiago of renting her own building using Senate funds and submitted documents to the Office of the Ombudsman to bolster his claim. In his phone interview Thursday, Lacson said Santiago’s insinuation about his sexuality was both untrue and below the belt. “Why would I not admit it if it’s indeed true?” he said, noting that it was popular these days to be gay. But he added: “I have no intention of becoming one.” Lacson was supposed to be a guest at the Kapihan sa Senado forum but asked that it be cancelled as he was headed to Baguio City with his wife to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Lacson joked that while he was not gay, he was a henpecked husband. Referring to Santiago’s new nickname for him, Lacson said the senator can always call people by other names, but that didn’t make her insinuations true. Lacson said Santiago thinks she can always invoke “immunity by insanity” but said parliamentary immunity is not absolute. He said Santiago should read the law again to realize that parliamentary immunity is not in effect during session breaks. He also said Santiago should not use her power to trample on the rights of others. “That’s a big, big character flaw,” he said. Lacson recalled how Santiago besmirched the reputation of the senators when she accused them of accepting cash gifts before Christmas that were treated as maintenance, operating and other expenses. Santiago, along with Senators Alan Peter Cayetano, Pia Cayetano and Antonio Trillanes IV did not get the full amount of over P2.2 million distributed to the senators before Christmas. But Lacson said he had proof that Santiago misused funds allocated to her office by renting her own building as a satellite office. The proof that he sent to the Ombudsman included Securities and Exchange Commission document showing that her family owned the building, the senator’s statement of assets, liabilities and net worth, and the lease contract. Lacson these documents will prove that Santiago has been using Senate funds to pay rental fees for a satellite office located in a building that her family owns. This, he said, was a clear violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. Santiago defended the lease contract and insisted that her use of Senate funds to rent her satellite office was approved by the Senate Secretary. Enrile’s signature also appeared on the lease contract. Lacson also told reporters he is preparing more possible cases against Santiago. “Every time she opens her mouth, I will gather evidence to expose her misdeeds and corrupt ways,” he said. “If you claim to be honest and clean, then you should also be honest and clean. But if you’re not, then don’t attack other people,” said Lacson. Santiago was not available for comment. Her staff in the Senate said she was resting.
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