By PERFECTO T. RAYMUNDO JR.
and PRIAM F. NEPOMUCENO
Philippine News Agency
THE four daughters of slain publicist Salvador “Bubby” Dacer filed double-murder charges before the Department of Justice (DOJ) on Friday against an opposition senator whom they perceived as one of the “brains” in the gruesome killing of their father and his driver eight years ago.
The complaint was filed by legal practitioners coming from Ongkiko Manhit Custodia & Acorda Law Office in behalf of Dacer’s daughters––Carina, Sabina, Emily and Amparo––who are all residing in the United States.
Named respondent in the 10-page complaint affidavit of Dacer’s daughters was Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson, a former chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP).
Others facing charges in connection with the case include former PNP and Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Task Force Force (PAOCTF) Sr. Superintendents Michael Ray Aquino, Glenn Dumlao and Cesar Mancao II.
“We are filing the complaint in view of the recent development where former PAOCTF Senior Supt. Cezar Mancao II, one of the accused in Criminal Case No. 01-1911969 entitled People vs. Michael Ray Aquino, et al, now pending before Branch 18 of the (Manila) Regional Trial Court, had executed last February 13, 2009 an affidavit disclosing his knowledge as to the participation of Senator Panfilo Lacson in the Dacer-(Emmanuel) Corbito double-murder case,” the complainants said.
The affidavit Dacer’s daughters were referring to was Mancao’s sworn statement “disclosing all that he knows of the circumstances that led to the killing of our father and Mr. Corbito (in November 24, 2000).”
Mancao, in his February 13, 2009 statement, positively said that Lacson ordered Aquino and other PAOCTF members to liquidate former PNP Supt. Reynaldo Berroya, the senator’s known nemesis, in October 2000.
“Aquino responded to Lacson that he intends to neutralize or liquidate Delta (Dacer) first because Erap (former President Joseph Estrada) was already peeved at him (the publicist),” the former PAOCTF senior officer further said.
“It is clear from the afore-quoted paragraph that Senator Lacson ordered the killing of our father. It also can be gleaned from the same paragraph that Senator Lacson ordered the killing of Berroya.
Moreover, it is apparent from Mr. Mancao’s affidavit that PAOCTF, which Senator Lacson headed, conducted ‘special operations’ that did not follow the normal channels of command and did not come under the purview of the (PAOCTF’s) mandate,” Dacer’s daughters 10-page complaint affidavit pointed out.
The complaint affidavit added that the complicity of Senator Lacson in the murder of Dacer and his driver could be further shown by the latter’s temerity in appointing Mancao as the head of the team tasked to investigate the abduction and subsequent killing of the two victims so that the crime could be covered up.
Dacer’s daughters also stated that Lacson’s guilt could be further attested by his order to Mancao and Aquino to flee the country shortly after the burnt remains of Dacer and Corbito were discovered in April 2001.
“Senator Lacson even consistently met with Mr. Mancao and Mr. Aquino in the United State from October 2001 to September 2003 and provided for them. This makes Senator Lacson criminally liable for violation of Presidential Decree (PD) No. 1829, Section 1 (harboring, concealing and facilitating the escape of any person he knows, or has reasonable grounds to believe or suspect, has committed any offense under existing penal laws),” the affidavit further said.
The slain publicist’s daughters also claimed that the former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief and now incumbent senator had an axe to grind against their father as the former (Dacer) strongly opposed the latter’s appointment as head of the national police force.
They also stated that their father even told them a few months before his abduction and death that “there should be no one to blame but (Senator) Lacson.”
“Based on the foregoing, and considering further that a new personality has been implicated in the murder of our father and Mr. Corbito, it is apparent that there is a need for a reopening and reinvestigation in order to determine whether probable cause exists to hold Senator Lacson for trial as a conspirator in the murders of our father and Mr. Corbito.
“In light, it is respectfully requested that the appropriate action be taken by this Honorable Office (DOJ) insofar as this newly-discovered evidence, i.e., Mr. Mancao’s affidavit dated February 13, 2009 is concerned,” they further stated.