Lacson accepts 'rehabilitation czar' post

By Lynda Jumilla, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 01 2013 08:09 PM | Updated as of Dec 02 2013 04:09 AM

MANILA -- Former Senator Panfilo Lacson has accepted President Benigno Aquino III's offer for him to lead and oversee the rehabilitation of Eastern Visayas, which was devastated by monster typhoon Yolanda.

Lacson told ABS-CBN News that he conveyed his acceptance in a text message sent to the President.

He said Aquino has also “acknowledged by thanking [me].”

In his text message, Lacson said: "Mr. President, with all humility, and with distinct honor and privilege, I accept the task that you want me to perform and accomplish."

"Maraming salamat po sa inyong tiwala at sa pagkakataong makatulong na muli sa ating mga kababayan," he added.

However, Lacson asked Aquino to explain first the extent of his mandate and authority as "rehabilitation czar" before the formal appointment.

In a text message to ABS-CBN News, Lacson said he accepted the task after a series of consultations and briefings with experts in the field of rehabilitation and reconstruction of disaster-stricken areas.

"Those consultations increased my confidence that the task, while daunting, is doable within the period of his presidency," he added.

During a meeting of the Cabinet last Friday, the President said he was eyeing Lacson to lead the rehabilitation of areas damaged by Yolanda.

Government and experts estimated the reconstruction could cost more than P41 billion.

Lacson is a two-term senator who left the Senate last June. He was also former chief of the Philippine National Police.