MANILA, Philippines – Former President Joseph Estrada said he is willing to make peace with his former national police chief, Sen. Panfilo Lacson.
Estrada said Lacson performed well when he was appointed chief of the Philippine National Police above more senior police officers.
“Ang totoo niyan ay ginampanan niya lahat ng obligasyon niya, yung duties niya as a police officer kaya ako ay saludo nga sa kanya,” he said in an interview on ABS-CBN’s “Umagang Kay Ganda.”
Estrada said he first asked Lacson to help clean up Metro Manila of criminals when the latter was still assigned to the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Task Force (PAOCTF). At the time, he said Metro Manila was being racked by a wave of kidnappings and carjackings.
He said Lacson’s performance helped the PNP gain positive ratings in the national surveys, the first time that the agency received record high public approval ratings.
This, he said, made it easy for him to appoint Lacson as PNP chief. “My priority was performance and not seniority so I promoted him to chief PNP,” he said.
Lacson recently praised Estrada, saying that he is where he is now because of the former president.
Estrada, however, said he cannot take full credit.
“Palagay ko partly, pero nasa kanya rin. Kung hindi naging maganda ang performance, hindi ko siya i-po-promote. E napakaganda ng performance niya,” he said.
Lacson and Estrada recently had a falling-out after accusing each other of having a hand in the murder of publicist Salvador “Bubby” Dacer in 2000. The senator recently said he wanted to make peace with Estrada.
Asked if they will ever go back to their former relationship, Estrada said: “Why not? I have forgiven those who did worse.”