Pacing Velasco now a free man

BACARRA, Ilocos Norte, June 28– Indicted with graft, tried, sentenced and jailed, now he is a free man.

A brief stay in jail was the bitter prize for former vice mayor, mayor and provincial board member Pacifico “Pacing” Velasco. He was faulted before the Sandiganbayan court in connection with an anomalous multi-pass rice mill project for farmers in his hometown here in 1999.

He had no regret saying that the project, so far the best in Ilocos Norte being the “peasants’ dream and aspiration”, had benefited many farmers until today.

Looking jolly and in good shape, he arrived home here this morning after he was granted a presidential pardon together with 23 inmates of the New Bilibid prison in Metro Manila.

Many relatives, friends and political supporters gave him a rousing welcome at his residence.

Though septuagenarian, he hinted he has no intent yet to retire from politics.(tsg/kl)