Monday, January 27, 2003

ping lacson report - balitang america

> STORY: Lacson in US to Appeal Court Order
> Philippine Senator Panfilo Lacson stated in an interview last week that he
> is going to appeal a California court's prior ruling that had declared him
> in default of the cases filed by handcuffs supplier Blanquita Pelaez.
> The case, filed against Lacson before the Superior Court of California in
> Alameda County stemmed from the balance nonpayment of some 41,000 handcuffs
> ordered in 1996 by the Philippine National Police from US-based Smith and
> Wesson Company. Pelaez was the exclusive supplier. Lacson was then the
> chief of the Philippine Police.
> On Jan. 10th, Judge Julie Conger ordered Lacson to pay more than 3 million
> dollars in damages to Pelaez after Lacson failed, despite several
> summonses, to answer a civil suit Pelaez had filed. He now has until March
> 5th of this year to file an appeal. On that day, he is scheduled to appear
> in court to present proof of his US assets to the plaintiff and her
> lawyers. This will enable Pelaez to get the 3 million dollars that Lacson
> has not paid yet.
> Lacson said during the interview that revisions in the business contract
> with Pelaez made the PNP responsible for paying Philippine customs and
> duties. These were supposed to be paid by the supplier instead. he
> therefore considered the deal grossly disadvantageous to the Philippine
> government
> A potential presidential candidate in the 2004 elections, Sen. Lacson also
> clarified during the interview hat there is "no formal declaration" yet
> from the opposition that he will be the party¹s official standard-bearer in
> the 2004 presidential elections.
> While he announced as early as November last year that he will seek the
> presidency, Lacson, in the interview was a bit coy, saying that he does not
> want to sound presumptuous and that the ultimate decision to run in 2004
> rests with his political party. He added that there are talks but nothing
> is official yet.

(Full Disclosure: The preceding report was what I filed for The Filipino Channel's Balitang America when they requested me to be one of their correspondents in California. A week earlier, I had the opportunity to interview Sen. Ping Lacson exclusively for the Asian Journal. It was held at Picanha, a Brazilian restaurant in Burbank, CA. Lacson was with his lawyer Siegfred Fortun.)