Dumlao asks to be released; vows to testify at Aquino’s extradition

by Joseph G. Lariosa

CHICAGO (Apr. 6) – The court order for former Philippine Senior Superintendent Glenn Galapon Dumlao to appear for the extradition hearing of Dumlao’s colleague Cesar Ochoco Mancao II was not a “sufficient cause” to delay Dumlao’s extradition and prolonged incarceration.

This was one of the arguments raised by Dumlao’s lawyer, Felix Q. Vinluan, asking Judge Thomas Platt of the United States Eastern District Court of New York in Central Islip, Long Island to order the release of Dumlao from detention because the two calendar months of Dumlao’s detention had lapsed thru no fault of Dumlao before Dumlao could be conveyed out of the United States.

If Mr. Mancao’s writ of habeas corpus ad testificandum issued by Judge Lurana S. Snow for Dumlao stands, Vinluan said, then, “detainee might stay in jail for as long as there are third-party individuals who would require detainee’s presence to testify in their separate proceedings.”

Vinluan cited Dumlao’s another colleague, Michael Ray B. Aquino, who is requiring Dumlao’s presence and testimony in his (Aquino’s) extradition hearing.

Such a situation is not the “intent of Congress when it passed (Title 18 U.S.C.) Section 3188” and it would be a violation of Dumlao’s constitutional right, Vinluan argued.

The only instance that Dumlao could be continuously held under detention is when Mr. Dumlao has a “pending or new domestic criminal charges,” which Dumlao does not have.

Vinluan assured Judge Platt that if Mr. Dumlao is released as prayed for under Dumlao’s petition for habeas corpus, the Court may issue Mr. Dumlao a “writ of subpoena ad testificandum” so he can appear and testify in Aquino’s extradition hearing or in any request by other third parties.

If Mr. Dumlao cannot appear in person in court, he can always sign a deposition, Vinluan suggested.

He assured Judge Platt that Mr. Dumlao will not be a flight risk because “he fears returning to his home country, the Philippines,” as Dumlao has “reasonable grounds to believe he (Dumlao) will be tortured again by Philippine Security officers.”

Dumlao does not even have his Philippine passport that was taken away from him by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers who filed removal proceedings against him. He intends to stay in the U.S. with his U.S. citizen spouse, the petitioner, Merlyn Cejo.

Vinluan also said contrary to the claim of the U.S. government that he did not notify the Secretary of State about his motion, he cited a certified mail receipt and registry return card that showed that he sent a copy of petitioner’s affidavit and memorandum of law to the Secretary of State on Feb. 24, 2009.

Vinluan said Dumlao was also prejudiced by Dumlao’s loss of his freedom and separation from his American wife, which is an “irreparable harm.”

He said his argument is uncontested that the U.S. is duty-bound not to extradite Dumlao under both the U.N. Convention Against Torture and the U.S.’s Foreign Affairs Reform and Restructuring Act because Dumlao will be tortured if returned to the Philippines.

Another argument against Dumlao’s extradition is his pending asylum application and withholding removal before an Immigration Judge. Vinluan said this is a proof that Dumlao’s fear of returning to his home country is not raised for the first time in his habeas corpus petition.

Dumlao, along with Cesar Mancao and Michael Ray Aquino, left the Philippines in 2001 almost a year after they were implicated in the murder of publicist Salvador ‘Buddy’ Dacer and his driver, Emmanuel Corbito.
His two other co-accused police officers – Mancao and Aquino – are also subject to extradition to the Philippines.

Mancao and Dumlao had implicated Aquino, their former superior, now Sen. Panfilo Lacson and “Malacanang” to have conspired in the double murder of Dacer and Corbito.

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