MANILA — Sen. Panfilo Lacson filed Wednesday his certificate of candidacy (COC) to run for president in next year's national elections, his second attempt at seeking the country's top post after a failed bid nearly 2 decades ago.
Lacson, who is running under the party Partido Reporma, filed his COC with his running-mate, Senate President Vicente "Tito" Sotto III, who is eyeing for the vice presidency under the Nationalist People's Coalition.
The police chief-turned-lawmaker revived earlier this year Partido Reporma with Davao del Norte Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez, a former ally of President Rodrigo Duterte.
This marks the second time that Lacson, 73, will run for president after he lost in the 2004 elections to Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
The Cavite-born Lacson started his career in public service in 1971 as an intelligence officer and eventually rose to become head of the Philippine National Police by 1999.
Lacson led the team which rescued Robina Gokongwei, daughter of businessman John Gokongwei, from a kidnap-for-ransom gang in 1981.
He served as senator from 2001 and in 2013, he was appointed by President Benigno "Nonoy" Aquino III as head of efforts to rehabilitate areas devastated by Typhoon Yolanda.
Lacson previously faced murder charges for allegedly shooting 11 members of the Kuratong Baleleng crime group in 1995. In 2013, the Supreme Court (SC) dismissed the murder case with finality, affirming a Quezon City trial court's earlier decision to junk the case.
In January 2010, Lacson went into hiding before a local court issued an arrest warrant in relation to the November 2000 murder of publicist Salvador Dacer and his driver Emmanuel Corbito.
He came out of hiding in March 2011 or after 14 months. The same year, the SC affirmed a Court of Appeals decision to clear Lacson of the double murder charge.
As senator, Lacson co-authored and sponsored Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020, which gave government more powers to act against terrorists. Critics have raised concerns with the law due to its supposed vague definition of terrorism, even challenging its constitutionality at the Supreme Court.
Lacson also co-authored the Free Irrigation Service Act, which waived irrigation fees for farmers who own 8 hectares of land or less, and the Anti-Hazing Law of 2018, which imposed harsher penalties for those proved guilty of hazing.