Three days after fugitive Sen. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson slipped back into the country, he visited President Benigno “P-Noy” Aquino III at his residence, Bahay Pangarap (Dream House). Their tête-à-tête went like this:
Ping: Good evening, Mr. President.
P-Noy: Hoy, ikaw pala, Ping. Tuloy ka. Long time no see! Where have you been hiding?
Ping: I hope I didn’t interrupt your siesta time, Mr. President.
P-Noy: Not at all, I’m just playing with my XBOX 360. How’s life on the lam, Ping?
Ping: It sucks! That’s why I decided to return home and face the music.
P-Noy: That’s very good. You know it’s hard to be a fugitive from justice, di ba?
Ping: Well, it’s more like I was a fugitive from injustice. Its all Gloria’s doing that I was forced to leave the country to avoid persecution.
P-Noy: Very good, then. At least Gloria’s no longer in power. She’s not in a position to hound you like a daschund wagging its tail. He he he…
Ping: Actually, she was more like a pesky chihuahua. Ha ha ha…
P-Noy: Well, you’re back and out of harm’s way, my friend. You can now go back to your job in the Senate. Let me know if there’s anything I can do to make your life easier as you adjust to the demands of your job.
Ping: Since you mentioned it, I just want to bring up a touchy issue, Mr. President.
P-Noy: Just call me P-Noy. After all we’ve been together fighting in the same trenches when I was in the Senate, di ba? What’s your problem, amigo?
Ping: Well, there is this crazy pit bull that has been hounding me ever since I got back.
P-Noy: If it’s one of Merci’s prosecutors, just say the word. Just to let you know how serious I am in cleaning up the mess in the Office of the Ombudsman, I fired Deputy Ombudsman Emilio Gonzalez for neglect and gross misconduct in handling the case of the former police captain who murdered eight Hong Kong tourists at the Luneta Park last year.
Ping: Hey, that’s great Mr. Pre… ah… P-Noy. That should really send a clear message to these incompetent prosecutors.
P-Noy: Yep, just like this… ping, ping, ping. (Pointing his finger at him like a gun)
Ping: Hoy, don’t point your finger at me like that! It makes me nervous.
P-Noy: Ping, ping, chitty chitty, bang, bang! Gotcha! Ha ha ha…
Ping: Gee, I’m gonna have a heart attack. Whew!
P-Noy: Relax ka lang. Ha ha ha… Okay, let’s get back to serious business… oh, before I forget, did you hear about my twin-turbo Porsche 911 Carrera?
Ping: Of course! It’s was hot news among the OFWs in Portugal. He he he…
P-Noy: Portugal? Is that where you stayed while you were on the lam?
Ping: I shouldn’t have mentioned that. Yes, it was Portugal. You see, Portugal doesn’t have extradition treaty with Pinas. I was safe there, you know.
P-Noy: Hmm… Where did you stay in Portugal?
Ping: This is just between the two of us, P-Noy. A friend of mine, a former police superintendent who worked for me when I was National Police Chief, is now working in Portugal as the caretaker of a huge vacant estate owned by a prominent Filipino couple who still lives here. This couple bought the estate for their safe haven if they go into exile should it gets too hot for them here. (silence)
P-Noy: And… come on, and…?
Ping: Well, the caretaker let me stay there.
P-Noy: Is the owner’s first name start with a “G”?
P-Noy: And her last name starts with an “A”?
Ping: Yes!! But she didn’t know that I stayed there. He he he…
P-Noy: Hey, that’s good intel, Ping! Thank you, my friend. I’ll pass this on to my spymaster so he can send his crew to plant a few bugs in her estate. You have the address, right?
Ping: I think I still have it. I have to look for it, though.
P-Noy: Oh, by the way, the 2011 budget allocated a P200-million pork barrel for each senator. Do you want your entitlement now?
Ping: No, no, P-Noy. I am sticking to my position of not taking my pork barrel. What I need though is for you to rein in that crazy pit bull that’s been gnawing on my back since I came back.
P-Noy: And who is this crazy pit bull?
Ping: Well, it’s your Justice Secretary.
P-Noy: Ha ha ha… Listen, my friend. I could easily transfer her to Tawi Tawi or Maguindanao… or fire her if you want me to. But let me talk to her first and maybe she’ll calm down, okay? But let’s talk first about a potential problem in the Senate, my friend.
Ping: What is it, P-Noy?
P-Noy: You see, the Senate will soon be constituted as a trial body to vote on the articles of impeachment against Merci… (silence)
P-Noy: And… uh… well… I just want you to be impartial and fair in judging Merci. Remember, she is being prosecuted, not persecuted… mind you. Like you said, you were once a “fugitive from injustice,” so I don’t want to crucify Merci the way Gloria crucified you. No sireee! However, personally I’d like to see Merci impeached cuz I believe that she really betrayed the public’s trust, big time! Yes sireee! However, you’re the judge, my friend. It’s your decision, if you know what I mean.
Ping: Well, Mr. President, I’ve always been impartial and fair. I’ll presume Merci innocent until I’m done weighing all the evidence and then decide whether she’s guilty as hell… or not.
P-Noy: I hope she’s guilty as hell! Ah… but be fair to her, though.
Ping: Yes, I certainly will be fair to her. Yes sireee!
P-Noy: Very good! My dear friend, you are a man of honor… and respect! Rest assured that crazy pit bull is not going to chase you around anymore… not to a very good friend of mine. No sireee!