To Malaya Business Insight: I wish to set the record straight regarding some points in Mr. Dody Lacuna’s October 3, 2023 column in Malaya Business-Insight, particularly where he mentioned some “details” of the kidnapping of Meneleo Carlos in 1994.
Setting the record straight
Malaya Business Insight/October 6, 2023
I WISH to set the record straight regarding some points in Mr. Dody Lacuna’s October 3, 2023 column in Malaya Business-Insight, particularly where he mentioned some “details” of the kidnapping of Meneleo Carlos in 1994.
Mr. Lacuna’s article is grossly misleading, to put it politely. First, no ransom was paid because Mr. Carlos managed to escape from his captors while the negotiation for the ransom payment was still ongoing.
We found out that Mr. Carlos was brought to Barangay Cotta in Lucena, near a resort owned by a former congressman in Quezon province. The initial ransom demand was mailed by the kidnappers through LBC San Fernando, Pampanga: P25 million and US$1 million.
Second, nobody was killed during the “rescue operation” because there was no rescue operation in the first place. We simply fetched Mr. Carlos from where he hid temporarily after his escape.
Third, at the time, I was chief of the Presidential Anti-Crime Commission (PACC) Task Force Habagat, with the PACC chaired by then Vice President Joseph Estrada. I was appointed chief of the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Task Force (PAOCTF) after Mr. Estrada became President in 1998.
I do not know where Mr. Lacuna got his information since at that time, we never heard of such rumors. If he was trying to pay homage to the late former Marikina Mayor and Metropolitan Manila Development Authority Chairman Bayani Fernando in his column by mentioning the kidnapping case, it is unfair to do so at the expense of others by citing inaccurate information, whether unintentional or otherwise.
That said, I hope this clears the air on the matter. I earnestly hope that Malaya-Business Insight will hold true to its values and remain vigilant against malicious falsehoods that may use its platform to unjustly defame individuals.
(Sgd) PANFILO M. LACSON