MANILA, Philippines - Sen. Panfilo Lacson could seek political asylum in a foreign country to avoid extradition back to the Philippines where he is wanted for the Dacer-Corbito double murder case, his lawyer said Monday.
In an interview with ANC's "Dateline Philippines", lawyer Alex Poblador said the senator might seek political asylum if the Arroyo administration continues to pressure Lacson to give himself up to authorities. "Political persecution would be a ground for applying for political asylum," he said.
Poblador said Lacson's decision to go into hiding is not an admission of guilt especially since the senator has serious concerns about his security if he surrenders.
He also noted that statements made by former Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez and current Justice Secretary Agnes Devanadera showed that the Department of Justice (DOJ) had already prejudged the case.
Last Friday, Judge Myra Fernandez of the Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 18 issued a warrant for Lacson's arrest for his alleged involvement in the double murder of publicist Salvador "Bubby" Dacer and his driver, Emmanuel Corbito, in November 2000.
The arrest order was issued nearly a month after 2 counts of murder were filed by the DOJ against Lacson for allegedly masterminding the killing of the publicist and his driver. Lacson left the country for Hong Kong last January 5.
There were reports that the senator proceeded to Australia, but the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) suspects that the former Philippine National Police chief may still be in Hong Kong.
In a separate interview, Lacson's adviser, Lito Banayo, said the senator's decision to go into hiding was a direct result of the "injustice and humiliation" being heaped upon him.
He said Lacson exposed various scandals linked to the Arroyos including the ZTE-NBN broadband mess, the jueteng payola scandal, the fertilizer fund mess and the Jose Pidal account.