MANILA — At one time, Senator Panfilo "Ping" Lacson was seen as the most ardent political foe of former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo after he hurled allegations of corruption against her husband Mike Arroyo.
More than a decade ago, Lacson accused the former First Gentleman of ownership of second-hand choppers that were sold to the Philippine National Police for a much higher price than the factory cost.
But on page 121 of her recently published memoir, “Deus Ex Machina”, Gloria Arroyo recalled she attempted to reconcile with Lacson after he first became a senator. That fell through because of an erroneous tale, she said.
“During the 2001 elections, Lacson won the 10th out of 12 Senate seats, and we discussed a political reconciliation. But our talks collapsed due to the incident involving whistleblower Ador Mawanay, later revealed as Antonio Luis Marquez, who fed AFP intelligence chief Victor Corpus information on foreign bank accounts allegedly owned by Ping Lacson," she wrote.
"The information that was made public could not be substantiated. I was told that years later Corpus apologized for the incident.”
Arroyo mused "there was no deliberate attempt to use Mawanay to spread fake information about Lacson.”
“Sadly, the result of the whole affair is that Ping Lacson became an enemy instead of an ally,” she said.
Lacson took to social media to respond.
“Late is always better than never. To ex-PGMA’s credit, she has the decency and courage to admit that she publicly and unjustly accused me of various crimes based of false information. Whatever, I have already forgiven her a long time ago,” Lacson said in a tweet.
Lacson, who lost to Arroyo in the 2004 race, is the lone repeat contender in the upcoming 2022 presidential elections.
In her memoir, Arroyo shared stories about her predecessor and successors, including Joseph Estrada, whom she replaced as chief executive in 2001.