After Nearly 20 Years: Inquirer Apologizes for ‘Fake News’; Lacson Responds

Truth Against Lies

Finally, the truth.

The Philippine Daily Inquirer on Monday published an apology to Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson for several articles in 2001 that accused him of alleged misdeeds.

Lacson accepted the apology, thanking the Inquirer for its “humility and courage,” adding that getting back his honor and dignity means much to him.

“Time heals, forgives. Thank you, Philippine Daily Inquirer for your humility and courage to admit I am not the person you said I was. Getting back my honor and dignity matters a lot to me. It is with equal humility that I accept your apology,” Lacson said in a tweet.




Earlier, Lacson said he has forgiven those who wronged him, including ex-Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines head Victor Corpus.

Corpus similarly apologized in 2017, admitting unjustly wronging Lacson in 2001 after being taken for a ride by Angelo “Ador” Mawanay, who himself retracted his own statements.

In its apology, the Inquirer said the articles it published in 2001 were mostly by then columnist Ramon Tulfo, based on the confession of Francisco “Kit” Mateo. Mateo recanted his confession before he died of colon cancer in January 2001.

The Inquirer also published articles linking Lacson to alleged multimillion-dollar account in US banks, which was based on an intelligence report submitted to then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo by Corpus. The articles turned out to be false.

“The Inquirer sincerely apologizes for the published articles based on testimonies of persons that turned out later to be false,” the Inquirer said.

Here is the full text of the Inquirer’s apology, published May 27, 2019:

In July 2001, the Philippine Daily Inquirer published several opinion column articles of its former columnist Ramon Tulfo on then newly elected Sen. Panfilo Lacson. The articles were essentially about the alleged misdeeds of Sen. Lacson while he was an officer of the Philippine Constabulary, which were based on the confession of self-confessed hitman Francisco “Kit” Mateo, and on Sen. Lacson’s alleged multimillion-dollar account in US banks, which was based on an intelligence report submitted to then Pres. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo by then chief of the Intelligence Service of the AFP (ISAFP) Col. Victor Corpus.

The Inquirer also published in August 2001 a news report with the heading “Ping has $211M in the US,” based on the same intelligence report.

Mateo has since recanted his confession before he died of colon cancer in January 2001. In March 2017, now retired Brig. Gen. Corpus admitted that his only source for his intelligence report was Ador Mawanay, who turned out to be a fraud.

The Inquirer sincerely apologizes for the published articles based on testimonies of persons that turned out later to be false.


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