Ping’s conservatives

Published November 25, 2021, 12:05 AM

by Jullie Y. Daza


Jullie Y. Daza

All in one day, presidential candidates Lacson, Marcos, and Pacquiao talked about, tested for, showed off the results – negative – of their drug tests.

But for Senator Ping Lacson, displaying a bottle containing his urine, eww, could not have been as memorable as visiting Pag-asa island days before, when he and his party were greeted with this SMS upon landing: “Welcome to China!”

Those two high-profile events most certainly buoyed the spirits of Ping’s followers (make that voters), who feel he deserves more print space and screen time, not counting his paid advertisements. After all, as conservative-minded supporters believe, he is “the most suited, most experienced, most responsible” in or out of uniform, for his upcoming job in Malacañang.

They want greater media mileage for him to project a dynamic Lacson. The visit to Pag-asa – “hope” in English, as in hoPing — fits the bill: the first ever by an elected government official, what he saw and learned from the inhabitants (193 in all, including two classes of grade school pupils taught by two teachers), why the trip was important, security-wise, diplomatically and militarily speaking. The senator who heads the committee on defense and peace chooses his p.r. events the way he chooses his battles; that’s how mindful he is.

Last Tuesday I wrote about how Lito Atienza, vice presidential candidate, and I go a long way. Likewise, we oldies have been following for 50 years the Panfilo Lacson who came on the scene as a Metrocom lieutenant during Martial Law — tall, almost dark, and handsome in his spiffy uniform. This is the guy who, as soon as he became PNP chief, ordered his cops to maintain a 34” waistline or else.

Eventually Ping outgrew his uniform and became chief enforcer, continuing to shine as the nemesis of kidnappers and drug dealers (it was his habit to sleep in the same room as the vault where confiscated drugs were kept). To this day, his faithful cheerleaders include the victims and families of kidnappers who preyed on both wealthy and plain, unrich Chinoys. His record in the Senate as defender of taxpayers’ wealth and wellbeing is a source of pride to fellow lawmen of note such as Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong and ex-top cop Guillermo Eleazar.