CHICAGO (FAXX/jGLi) – In a surprised motion, the children of Salvador “Bubby” Dacer told the court that the “plaintiff shall serve (former) Senator (Panfilo) Lacson a courtesy copy of the (default) motion,” according to documents filed in court Friday (Oct. 4) but made public only Monday (Oct. 7).
At the same time, according to civil pretrial minutes, Judge William Alsup of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California in San Francisco continued the motion for the default judgment hearing of Lacson’s subordinate Michael Ray Aquino at 8 a.m. on Nov. 17, 2013 and vacated Aquino’s jury trial last Monday (Oct. 7)
Judge Alsup also set the jury trial of Aquino on Nov. 18, 2013 at 7:30 a.m. to hear the plaintiffs’ claims against Aquino for $10-M compensatory and $50-M punitive damages for the double murder of Dacer and his driver, Emmanuel Corbito, based on the Alien Tort Statute (ATS), 28 U.S.C. Sec. 1350.
In plaintiffs’ pre-trial conference statement last Sept. 30, Dacers’ lawyer Rodel E. Rodis told the court that because “no other named defendants were served (in the case) other than Defendant Glenn Dumlao but the case will be voluntarily dismissed,” “(p)laintiff shall serve Senator Lacson a courtesy copy of the motion.”
Nearly two years ago (Dec. 7, 2011), the surviving children of Dacers told Judge Alsop that “process servers in the Philippines are afraid to serve Lacson with the (civil) complaint and summons for fear of being killed.” That was also the time when Lacson was still in power as a senator.
The plaintiffs did not elaborate how they will “serve Senator Lacson a courtesy copy of the motion” now that Lacson is no longer a senator.
Aside from former General Lacson, Aquino and Dumlao, the other defendants in the double murder are former President now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada, Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation chief Reynaldo “Butch” Tenorio, businessman Dante Tan, and Chief Inspector Vicente Arnado, believed hiding in the U.S., and “Does 1-100, inclusive.”
The complainants in the case are Carina Dacer, Sabina Dacer-Reyes, Amparo Dacer-Henson and Emily Dacer-Hungerford, mostly, if not, all residing in the United States.
In his order, Judge Alsup told the Dacers’ lawyers that based on the Sept. 30 (2013) pretrial conference, “plaintiffs’ (complainants) forthcoming default judgment motion should address the issue of jurisdiction on the Alien Tort Claims (Statute) Act (ATS) in light of Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum Co., 133 S. Ct. 1659 (2013).”
In a unanimous ruling this year, the U.S. Supreme Court in Kiobel held, “The presumption against extraterritoriality applies to claims under ATS, and nothing in the statute rebuts that presumption.”
JUDICIARY ACT OF 1789
Citing the Judiciary Act of 1789, Chief Justice John Roberts, writing for the court, said, “ATS is a jurisdictional statute that creates no causes of action. It permits federal courts to ‘recognize private claims [for a modest number of international law violations] under common law.’ In contending that a claim under the ATS does not reach conduct occurring in a foreign sovereign’s territory, respondents rely on the presumption against extraterritorial application which provides that ‘when a statute gives no clear indication of an extraterritorial application it has none. The presumption serves to protect against unintended clashes between our laws and those of other nations which could result in international discord.’…
“When ATS was passed, ‘three principal offenses against the law of nations” had been identified by Blackstone: violation of safe conducts, infringement of the rights of ambassadors, and piracy.”
If Judge Alsup gives due course to Dacer claims, Alsup is going to add “double murder” that would be covered by ATS.
Kiobel and her late husband, both Nigerian nationals residing in the U.S., filed suit in federal court under the Alien Tort Statute, alleging that respondents – certain Dutch, British, and Nigerian corporations – aided and abetted the Nigerian Government in committing violations of the law of nations in Nigeria” in 1990’s to brutally crush peaceful resistance to aggressive oil development in the Ogoni Niger River Delta.
During the pre-trial conference, it was disclosed that only Aquino filed an answer on the case “but has not responded to communications from Plaintiffs’ counsel.”
The actions for compensatory and punitive damages are for cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, torture and extrajudicial killing of the father of the Plaintiffs by the named Defendants.”
Dacers are invoking their claims under the Alien Tort Claims Act, 28 U.S.C. Sec. 1350 (the “ATCA”), the Torture Victim Protection Act, 106 Stat. 73 (the “TVPA”), Art. 2, Sec. 2, Clause 1 and Art. 6, Clause 2 of the Constitution of the U.S. 8 U.S.C. Sec. 1252©, the United Nations Charter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights the UN Declaration Against Torture, the American declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man.