MANILA, FEBRUARY 18, 2013 (INQUIRER) By Maila Ager - It seems that Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson beat Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago to the punch after the lady lawmaker threatened to expose her colleague’s alleged “sins”.

Lacson disclosed, in a text message, that his own investigation showed that Santiago may have allegedly used her “pork barrel” to construct a cockpit arena “in the guise of a sports complex.”

He said he was also gathering evidence that Santiago may have also used the Senate fund for the grocery allowance of her husband and payroll of their maids.

“I’m still collating those pertaining to the grocery allowance of the husband and maids’ payroll,” Lacson said.

“I’m also starting an investigation into the use of her pork barrel to construct a cockpit arena in the guise of a sports complex,” he said.

When INQUIRER.net asked Santiago’s office to comment, a staff said she would have to check the senator’s availability.

Two weeks ago, Lacson’s office submitted pieces of evidence at the Office of the Ombudsman against Santiago for possible violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act when she allegedly used the Senate fund to pay the rent of her office in a building owned by her family.

“I didn’t start this fight. She did,” Lacson said. “Every time she opens her mouth, I’ll gather evidence of her misdeeds and corrupt acts.”

It was Santiago, in an interview over Radyo Inquirer 990AM Wednesday, who threatened to expose Lacson’s sins, including his true sexuality.

“Maghanda ka. Dahil mayroon akong parliamentary immunity, ibubulgar ko lahat ng kasalanan mo pati ang sexuality mo ,” Santiago said.

“Tapos ikaw hindi ka na senador wala ka ng parliamentary immunity. Pag sumagot ka sa akin, idedemanda kita ng libel,” she added.


A nasty word war By Alejandro Del Rosario | Posted on Feb. 16, 2013 at 12:01am

The word war between Senators Panfilo Lacson and Miriam Defensor Santiago has gotten out of hand. It’s nasty, ugly and unbecoming of two senators of the realm.

Smarting from Lacson calling her a “crusading crook” for renting an extension office from her own building using Senate funds, mad (as in very angry without any clinical connotation) Miriam got back at her tormentor calling him “Pinky Lacson,” which as anyone knows insinuated a certain sexual preference. Ouch.

Expect Ping to call his nemesis “Brenda,” an allusion to the senator’s state of mind when he described her claims that he is gay as “lunatic.”

“Senator Santiago cannot always claim immunity by reasons of insanity,” Lacson shot back. He also alleged Santiago used her pork barrel funds to construct a cockpit (sabungan) arena in Pasig in the guise of a community sports complex.

Santiago defends renting out her own building as an extension office, claiming the Senate Secretariat allowed it under maintenance and operating expenses rules. Lacson said he has already submitted to the Ombudsman all the documents and evidence relevant to the case.

Lacson must be wishing the woman would just go away and take up her position as a judge in the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

Not contented with sexual innuendos, the Iloilo senator made clear she was referring to the Cavite senator’s “true sexuality” and threatens to tell more when Lacson leaves the Senate in May and he loses his parliamentary immunity.

This nasty exchange all started when Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile gave out millions in unspent funds to senators for additional maintenance and operating expenses. Goodwill turned to ill will for four senators–Santiago, Antonio Trillanes and the Cayetano siblings, Alan Peter and Pia who received only P250,000 each. The 18 other senators got P1.6 M each.

But as the Christmas ditty goes, getting the gift you want depends on your being “naughty or nice.” Well, the Senate Santa knew who had been naughty or nice. The practice is also known as realpolitik.

Lines are drawn

It seems the Liberal Party and the semi-opposition United Nationalist Alliance are about to drop all pretensions of constructive engagement as the May mid-term election campaign heats up.

Vice President Jejomar Binay who heads UNA felt slighted that common candidates Chiz Escudero, Loren Legarda and Grace Poe snubbed the party’s proclamation rally in Cebu City. UNA warned the three common candidates they would be dropped from the slate if they don’t join the party’s next rally.

But why are the LP and the UNA fielding common candidates like Escudero, Legarda and Poe? Is there such a dearth of talent and “winnables” from their own ranks? Instead of offering the best choices to voters, both parties presented candidates with the same familiar family names.

Take the case of the Liberal Party senatorial slate which has Sonny Angara, Bam Aquino, Allan Cayetano, Koko Pimentel, Jamby Madrigal and Cynthia Villar. UNA on the other hand, has Nancy Binay, Tingting Cojuangco, Jack Enrile and Jayvee Estrada.

There’s nothing wrong with familiar names like Ramon “Jun” Magsaysay, Ernie Maceda and Dick Gordon who want to return to the Senate. These are men of proven competence who can restore respect for the Senate which has been rocked by a vitriolic word war between the Enrile -Lacson camp against the Santiago- Cayetano – Trillanes triumvirate.

What’s the beef?

Europeans, particularly the animal-loving Brits, are incensed they have been eating horsemeat being passed off as beef in burgers and frozen food products. Horsemeat has also been discovered in frozen meals such as lasagna and meat pies.

I must have eaten some while in London when I had Shepherd’s Pie, a favorite pub food washed down with a pint of ale. Truth to tell I would not be able to tell the difference even if I knew. But I did know when I was introduced to it by a Central Asian ambassador during his national day reception.

He proudly proclaimed the dish simmered in herbs and spices as very popular in his country. Observing the niceties of protocol, I did not refuse being served some on my plate even as I thought I could be devouring a prized racehorse.

The horsemeat product was traced to Ireland and Romania which claimed their product had been properly labeled. European distributors committed the fraud by misrepresenting its contents.

Some Filipinos who eat dog meat also relish horsemeat deep fried as “tapa.” So what’s the beef? No offense meant to animal lovers.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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