Mancao Due in Manila Thursday, June 4

CHICAGO (June 2) – Cezar Ochoco Mancao II, the former Philippine police officer, who was accused in the conspiracy to kill Filipino publicist Salvador “Bubby” Dacer and Dacer’s driver, Emmanuel Corbito, will be arriving on Thursday, June 4, in Manila at 6 a.m. (Manila time), according to his lawyer, Arnedo S. Valera.

Valera said Mancao is currently detained at the Santa Ana County jail in the suburb of Los Angeles, California. Mancao is going to take the Philippine Airlines Flight No. PR 102, leaving Los Angeles International Airport Tuesday (June 2) at 10 p.m. (June 3, Wednesday 2 p.m. Manila Time) and arriving in Manila on Thursday, June 4, at 6 a.m.

Valera, who is not in the flight, is appealing to President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and Justice Secretary Raul S. Gonzalez to provide Mr. Mancao “the maximum security.”

Valera said, “in my conversation with Cezar and (his wife) Maricar, they would like to emphasize the fact that Cezar has agreed to be a state witness to help resolve judiciously the Dacer-Corbito double murder case.   He wants the Filipino people to know that he is doing this because he strongly feels that he has a duty to inform the Filipino people of what he knows to help resolve this case.   He is asking again the Philippine government and the DOJ to provide him maximum security and guarantee his safety until his testimony is completed.

“As counsel, I would like to appeal to our government and to all freedom and truth loving Filipinos to be vigilant and to guard the truth so that justice can be best served. Surely, Mancao’s testimony will hurt very powerful people, but as Mancao said, ‘the truth will set us free.’”

He also appealed to the media to have “eagle eyes to deter any untoward incident that can happen because of the deep political impact of his testimony.

“His sworn declaration when authenticated is prima facie evidence of sustaining the criminal charges against those implicated in these heinous crimes.” Valera added, referring to the Dacer-Corbito double murder.

Valera said those “who will be implicated will have their day in court. In the meantime, what is important for now is the physical safety and security of Mr. Mancao when he arrives in the Philippines. It is the responsibility of President Arroyo and Secretary Gonzalez to provide him maximum security.”

Valera added, “Mancao’s sworn revelation has a deep impact not only in the Dacer-Corbito double murder case but in all media killings and hundreds of extra judicial killings in our country pinpointing to involvement of military and police in its planning and execution.

He said Mancao’s wife, Maricar, had personally delivered Cezar’s luggage to Atty. Ricardo Diaz of the Philippine National Bureau of Investigation last Friday.

He said the United States Marshals had called Mrs. Mancao, “asking if there are special medications for Cezar and [she said] there was none.”  However, Maricar wanted him to wear the same color suit as what his NBI escorts are wearing.

Valera said, “Maricar and their children may not be able to join him at this time.  We will be flying separately. We do not have word yet if the complimentary tickets are extended to the children.”

There was no word either if media men would be going to accompany Mancao in the trip.

Mancao’s trip came after he executed a deposition in the presence of Eric T. Kanefsky, Assistant U.S. Attorney representing the Philippine government, Mark A. Berman, attorney for Michael Ray B. Aquino, a clerk stenographer, and Valera last Thursday, May 21, in Miami, Florida.

Valera said at the deposition, “Mancao confirmed and reaffirmed the truth of the facts stated in his affidavits of March 1, 2007 and Feb. 14, 2009, pinpointing the involvement of his colleague, Michael Ray B. Aquino, in the double murder of Salvador “Bubby” Dacer and Dacer’s driver, Emmanuel Corbito. He also affirmed that these affidavits were done voluntarily, freely and without undue influence or intimidation from any party. He also maintains his innocence in these crimes.”

Valera added: “According to Cezar Mancao, what is important to him right now is: Tell to the best of his personal knowledge what he knows about those who are involved in the Dacer-Corbito case and the direct involvement of Michael Ray Aquino and Dumlao.

“I am a decorated police officer who served my country and helped solved difficult cases involving drug lords and organized syndicates, engaged in kidnapping for ransom.

If given the opportunity to serve my country again, I will do it.  This is my legacy that I would like to leave my wife and my children [with]”.

“Cezar, who has been engaged in deep Bible and Koran readings, has always affirmed that truth will set him free.”

When Mancao returns, a preliminary investigation will start in earnest to determine if there is probable cause that his former superior, General-turned-Senator Panfilo Lacson and former President Joseph Estrada, had conspired in the Dacer-Corbito double murder.

Senator Lacson and former President Estrada had denied involvement in the murders.

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