Judge orders Dumlao’s stay of extradition

by Philippine Daily Mirror

NEW YORK (March 19) –  In a sudden twist of fate, former police Senior Supt. Glenn Dumlao, one of the principal suspects in a double murder, will not be returning to the Philippines soon to the disappointment of Philippine Department of Justice prosecutors.

In a court order issued March 16, 2009, District Judge Thomas Platt of the Eastern District Court of New York in Central Islip, Long Island, has granted his lawyer’s motion to stay his extradition and actual removal from the United States.

Earlier, Judge A. Kathleen Tomlinson of the United District Court of Eastern New York in Long Island has issued on December 10, 2008, a Certificate of Extradition.  A Warrant of Surrender has also been issued by the U.S. Department of State on February 26, 2009.

In anticipation of the accused extradition to the Philippines this week, two top officials from the National Bureau of Investigation were dispatched to the U.S. and arrived in Los Angeles Monday, March 16.  They were to meet up with Dumlao and escort him on his return trip to the Philippines.  To their dismay, however, they have been informed of Dumlao’s Motion of Stay and cancellation of his flight on Friday, March 20.

According to Felix G Vinluan, who is representing Dumlao, the Motion to Stay raised two arguments.  First, the United States is barred from extraditing an individual if there are substantial grounds for believing the person would be in danger of being subject to torture.  This is based on the Foreign Affairs Reform and Restructuring Act of 1998 (FARR Act), which implements Article 3 of the UN Convention Against Torture.

“Glenn had claimed in [his] two previous affidavits that he was physically and psychologically tortured by Philippine security officers to implicate other people in the Dacer-Corbito double murder case,” he said. “He [Dumlao] fears being tortured again were he to be returned.”

Vinluan also noted that the Philippine Department of Justice prosecutors had “willfully misrepresented the Soberano versus People decision.”  “Dumlao was ‘re-included’ as an accused when in fact he was already ‘excluded’ as an accused by virtue of the Supreme Court decision,” he said.

Secondly, Vinluan said his client has been detained for more than two calendar months from the time Judge Tomlinson issued the Certificate of Extradition.

“Under 18 U.S.C. 3188, he [Dumlao] has to be conveyed out of the country within two calendar months.  But this did not happen,” noted Vinluan.  “So we contend that the writ of habeas corpus lies.”

In a phone interview with Vinluan, he also said “Glenn continues to express his willingness to talk about what he knows about the Dacer-Corbito case.”

“But,” he emphasized, “not under the circumstances by which the Philippine prosecution had re-included him as an accused, [even] when the Philippine Supreme Court already excluded him as an accused.”

Vinluan also claims the Philippine prosecution officers “railroaded the issuance of a warrant for his [Dumlao] arrest, even if they knew about the Supreme Court decision.”

“Glenn’s Philippine-based lawyer (in the Dacer case) had just confirmed to me that he was never notified about any prosecution request to have Glenn testify in the case yet. And yet, they misled the RTC Court to issue the warrant of arrest, which served as the basis for their request for extradition.”

Vinluan dismissed a news report in a Philippine-based newspaper which said Dumlao posted a $100,000 cash bail bond to the court. “All I paid was a $5.00 filing fee,” he said.

Dumlao, along with Cezar 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 — Cezar Mancao and Michael Ray Aquino — are also subject to extradition to the Philippines.

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