Lacson: De Lima declined to be transferred to another detention facility

Former senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson on Sunday, October 9 commended the swift and decisive response undertaken by the Philippine National Police (PNP) in the foiled hostage-taking of former Senator Leila de Lima.

Lacson, a former PNP chief himself, said the in-depth investigation already ordered by PNP Chief P/Gen. Rodolfo Azurin Jr. must be taken into consideration “before the usual critics start to put the PNP in a bad light.”

“That being said, an impartial investigation must be conducted immediately with the end in view of preventing any similar incident in the future,” Lacson stressed.

But unknown to pubic, the former senator said the PNP had earlier offered to De Lima to be transferred to another detention facility but the latter declined.

“What is not known to many, an offer for transfer was already made by the PNP to Sen. de Lima as early as mid-August this year on the occasion of the US Congressional delegation visit led by Sen Markey, the reason being - the PNP Custodial Center is primarily designed for high-value criminals and high-risk terrorists,” Lacson said.

“Unfortunately, the former senator declined the offer and opted to stay where she is presently detained,” he added.

“That all being said, and without intending to preempt the authorities, high-risk detainees who are members of an internationally proscribed terrorist organization like the Abu Sayyaf Group should be isolated and not mixed with the other PDL’s (persons deprived of liberty),” Lacson emphasized.

“That, I assume will be part of the recommendations in an investigation now being conducted,” he said.