Lacson placed in Interpol wanted list

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 11 2010 05:33 PM | Updated as of Feb 12 2010 09:41 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The International Criminal Police Organization, more popularly known as Interpol, has placed Sen. Panfilo Lacson on its "red notice" list of international fugitives.

Inclusion in Interpol's red notice list means that police authorities in 188 member states are requested to arrest the wanted person, with a view to extraditing the same.

The Interpol website showed 2 pictures of Lacson and basic information such as birthdate (June 1, 1948), place of birth (Bayan Luma, Imus, Cavite) and languages spoken (English, Tagalog). It listed the senator as a fugitive due to a pending arrest warrant issued by the Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 18.

The arrest order was issued nearly a month after 2 counts of murder were filed by the Department of Justice (DOJ) against Lacson for allegedly masterminding the killing of publicist Salvador "Bubby" Dacer and his driver, Emmanuel Corbito.

Lacson left the country for Hong Kong last January 5. He later blamed a conspiracy between President Arroyo and the DOJ to have him arrested.

"For now, my concern is my own personal safety and security. I will not allow Mrs. Arroyo and her cohorts in the DOJ the pleasure of seeing my life miserable and in danger. This is one case that I will dispute the argument – flight is an indication of guilt. I am not guilty but I cannot risk putting my life and security at the mercy of that evil conspiracy," he said in an e-mailed statement.

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. The NBI earlier said it is also coordinating with police authorities in countries that are not members of Interpol.

The DOJ earlier said the Philippine government can suspend Lacson's passport and move for his arrest and extradition.

In a related development, Lacson's lawyers filed a motion for reconsideration before the Manila RTC to withdraw the arrest warrant and dismiss the murder cases against their client, citing lack of probable cause.