Dumlao Files Notice of Appeal

by Joseph G. Lariosa

CHICAGO (May 12) – The lawyer for former Philippine Senior Superintendent Glenn Galapon Dumlao has filed a notice of appeal for the denial of his petition for habeas corpus before the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York.

Felix Q. Vinluan filed the notice on behalf of Dumlao’s wife, Merlyn Cejo, against Eugene J. Corcoran, U.S. Marshal of the Eastern District of New York and Captain Larry Brown, Warden of San Bernardino Central Detention Center in California.

The notice of appeal was dated May 6, exactly one month to the day when Judge Thomas Platt of the U.S. Eastern District Court of New York in Central Islip denied the amended petition for habeas corpus filed by Ms. Cejo, seeking his release.

In that order, Judge Platt also voided his previous order, staying Dumlao’s extradition.

On May 8, Magistrate Judge Esther Salas of the United States District Court of New Jersey in Newark denied the issuance of writs of Habeas Corpus ad testificandum, securing the presence and testimony of Dumlao and his colleague, Cesar Ochoco Mancao II at the extradition trial of their colleague, Michael Ray B. Aquino, on July 1st.

However, Judge Salas allowed Aquino’s lawyer, Mark A. Berman, to depose Mancao and Dumlao in the presence of Assistant United States Attorneys.

The three-page order by Judge Platt being appealed “takes no position on whether Mr. Dumlao should be allowed to remain in the United States during the pendency of his asylum petition as that issue is not before this Court.”

The filing of the notice of appeal by Dumlao will set back the timetable of the Philippine prosecution to hold preliminary investigation to determine if probable cause exists to include in the indictment their superiors, then Philippine National Police Chief now Sen. Panfilo Lacson and then President Joseph Estrada as conspirators in the kidnapping and murder of publicist Salvador “Bubby” Dacer and Dacer’s driver, Emmanuel Corbito in 2000.

Although, both Dumlao and Mancao will be issuing depositions to be used in the extradition trial of Aquino, only Mancao appears to be leaving early for the Philippines to testify in the preliminary investigation.

In filing the petition before Judge Platt, Cejo said that her husband, Dumlao, 45, should be released from detention because her husband has been detained by the U.S. government beyond the two months allowed by the Philippine-U.S. extradition treaty after he was certified for extradition.

Dumlao was scheduled to be picked up and transported by agents from the Philippines on March 20, 2009 when his wife filed a habeas corpus petition.

Vinluan earlier assured Judge Platt that 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, Vinluan added, 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.

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, Vinluan said.

Another argument against Dumlao’s extradition is his pending asylum application and withholding removal before an Immigration Judge. Vinluan also 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.

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