MANILA – Malacañang will leave the hunt for Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) following recent reports that the senator was spotted in Rome, Italy.

Presidential spokesperson Ricardo Saludo said the NBI has already relayed the case of Lacson to the Interpol and other embassies and consulates in the world to help locating the fugitive official.

Lacson, the prime suspect in the Dacer-Corbito double-murder case, left the country on January 7 on board a Cathay Pacific flight bound for Hong Kong.

Saludo said the Interpol should first locate the exact location of Lacson before the local authorities and justice officials could step in.

He said there has to be extradition treaty in the country where Lacson is hiding for him to be extradited to the Philippines.

Saludo said that he is not sure if there is extradition treaty in Rome but assured that the Philippines and Rome has a good diplomatic relationship.

If there is no extradition agreement, the government could still appeal for a diplomatic request to deport Lacson, he said. (Jill Beltran/Sunnex)