Letter to the Editor: Reply to Vergel Santos [Rappler]

October 10, 2021 - To Rappler: We wish to disabuse the minds of your readers of the malicious claims made by Vergel Santos against Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson in his Oct. 8 "opinion piece" - where among other things, he cited Sen. Lacson's sponsorship of what is now the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 to bolster his accusation that the Senator helped further President Rodrigo Duterte's "authoritarian designs."


October 10, 2021


THE EDITORS

Rappler

Ortigas Center, Pasig City


Dear Sir/Ma'am:


We wish to disabuse the minds of your readers of the malicious claims made by Vergel Santos against Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson in his Oct. 8 "opinion piece" - where among other things, he cited Sen. Lacson's sponsorship of what is now the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 to bolster his accusation that the Senator helped further President Rodrigo Duterte's "authoritarian designs."


Nothing could be further from the truth.


If Santos bothered to read the contents of the law instead of forcing a square peg into a round hole, he would have realized that the measure has a detailed definition of terrorism - and the proper safeguards against abuse, to boot.


Also, it bears pointing out that Sen. Lacson, being the Chairman of the Senate Committee on National Defense and Security, Peace, Unification and Reconciliation, acted as the sponsor of the Anti-Terrorism Act. As one of the authors of the measure, he saw the need to amend or repeal the Human Security Act of 2007 - which had become a dead-letter law - to give our authorities the much-needed legal tools to fight terrorism, an atrocity that knows no borders.


What Santos seems - or chooses - to forget is that Sen. Lacson has also called out and acted against wrongdoing and abuse under the Duterte administration as early as 2016, when he headed a probe into the killing of Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa. Sen. Lacson also headed the investigation into the killing of Kian delos Santos, with the policemen who killed Kian later found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment.


Meanwhile, it is ironic that Santos, a supposed advocate of press freedom, would pervert such a freedom by linking Sen. Lacson to abuses during Martial Law, without showing proof to back his insinuations.


We thus wonder if Santos' idea of press freedom includes freedom from responsible journalism.


Nevertheless, we hope this clears the issue. Thank you.



Respectfully yours


Joel Locsin

Media Relations Officer

Office of Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson

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