MANILA, Feb. 4, 2011â€”Retired Archbishop Oscar Cruz said Friday called on fugitive Senator Panfilo Lacson to surface following a Court of Appeals ruling acquitting the official from two murder cases.
Cruz said it is time for Lacson to come out, face the law, and continue his work in the senate and clear his name from the 2000 murder of publicist Salvador Dacer and driver Emmanuel Corbito.
â€œItâ€™s time to come out because according to him he would not appear until he sees justice in the handling of his case and I agree,â€ said the bishop.
â€œTo be pronounced not guilty does not necessarily mean that one is innocent. So as I said let him come out and establish the truth such that his innocence will come to fore,â€ he said.
Lacson went into hiding in January 2010 before a court issued a warrant for his arrest. He said that the Arroyo administration, which he strongly criticized for alleged corruption, was persecuting him.
For Archbishop Cruz, the senator may not be a saint but â€œIâ€™m rather certain that he would not commit such a gross crime.â€
â€œThe truth shall prevailâ€¦ (It) will become a reality in the case of Mr. Lacson,â€ he said.
Citing many contradictions in the testimonies of key state witness, former police officer Cezar Mancao, the CA dismissed on Thursday the criminal charges against Lacson.
In a resolution, the special 6th Division also granted Lacsonâ€™s petition to annul the warrant for his arrest issued and affirmed by the Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 18 on Feb. 4 and July 23, 2010.
The ruling also said Mancao â€œis not a credible and trustworthy witness.â€ (CBCPNews)