Miriam Santiago strikes back at 'Pinky Lacson'

Kim Arveen Patria
·Kim Arveen Patria
(Voltaire Domingo/NPPA IMAGES)
(Voltaire Domingo/NPPA IMAGES)

Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago hurled personal barbs against former colleague Panfilo Lacson, after the latter tagged her in the multi-billion pork barrel scandal.

“Anyone can make lists,” the senator said Tuesday, when asked to comment on Lacson’s claim that she is among those named by alleged pork scam brains Janet Napoles.

“I was told that there is a list entitled ‘Closeted gays or bisexuals in public service,’” Santiago said in a statement after Lacson revealed the list in a TV interview.

“I was given names, and I was requested to say ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ on whether the person was truly in the list. When the name Pinky Lacson was called, I said ‘Yes,’” she added.

Lacson had earlier answered “Yes” when asked by ABS-CBN news anchor Karen Davila if Santiago was included in the list he allegedly got from Napoles’ husband Jaime.

Other officials he said were in the list were Budget Chief Butch Abad and Senators Francis Escudero, Alan Peter Cayetano and Gringo Honasan.

Santiago was not in the list, however, when Lacson submitted it to the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee. The list included 12 senators, among dozens of other officials.

Lacson however implied that Santiago was in the list produced by pork scam state witness Benhur Luy. The former senator claimed to have also seen the Luy list.

Santiago, for her part, insisted that she “never had dealings with Napoles,” as she called Lacson the “attack dog” of her archenemy, Senator Juan Ponce Enrile.

The senator also stressed that the list Lacson is holding, if unsigned, may not be admitted as evidence. “Where is the evidence, as defined in the Rules of Court?” she said.

Santiago urged the Senate to look into the Luy list, which she said is “definitive and substantiated,” vis-à-vis “spurious documents inadmissible in evidence” from Napoles, Lacson and Sandra Cam.

The feisty senator also quipped that “there is an affidavit, although unsigned, circulating in Metro Manila that Pinky Lacson has asked for leave of absence from Malacañang.”

“The highly confidential reason is that he is scheduled for a gender change operation in a remote clinic in the United States,” Santiago joked.