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‘Not too bold’: Lacson recalls teaching Gokongwei how to talk to kidnappers

MANILA — Sen. Panfilo Lacson on Sunday recounted his encounter with the late John Gokongwei Jr. when the business magnate’s daughter was kidnapped.

Lacson, who was in the Philippine Constabulary’s Metropolitan Command at the time, led the team that rescued Gokongwei’s daughter, Robina, from a kidnap-for-ransom gang in 1981.

Following the business tycoon’s death late Saturday, Lacson, in a series of Twitter posts, recalled how he taught Gokongwei how to negotiate with Robina’s kidnappers.

“I instructed him not to sound intimidated while negotiating for Robina’s ransom snapped at her kidnappers, ‘10M? Do you know how long it’ll take me to count that much money? You can have my daughter!’” Lacson said in a tweet.

“I said, not too bold either Mr. John,” he added.

In a reply to another tweet, Lacson explained he was teaching Gokongwei not to sound “arrogant” or “antagonistic” while talking with the kidnappers.

“That was part of our negotiation technique – he shouldn’t project being too scared. Neither should he be arrogant and antagonistic,” he said.

Lacson, in another Twitter post, added that Robina was rescued without any ransom being paid.

Gokongwei offered P400,000 as reward money, which Lacson declined.

The businessman eventually donated 10 mobile cars to the Philippine Constabulary’s Metropolitan Command.

Gokongwei, whose eponymous conglomerate controls the country’s largest airline, died peacefully on Saturday at age 93.

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