Mancao Escapes; His Wife Fears For His Safety

by Joseph G. Lariosa

CHICAGO (FAXX/jGLi) —  The wife of Cezar O. Mancao II said Friday (May 3) she fears for the safety of her husband, who had “come home (to the Philippines) to tell the truth. Now, it (the Philippine government) has abandoned him and discredited him. (The) [g]overnment is duty-bound to keep him safe.”

In a statement from her United States-based lawyer Arnedo S. Valera, U.S.-based Maricar Mancao was quoted as saying that her “family fear for her husband’s life. Her husband has refused to be transferred to the Manila City jail for fear of his life. He was out of NBI custody after the government delisted him as state witness to the murders of Salvador ‘Bubby’ Dacer and his driver Emmanuel Corbito.”

 

Valera, of Fairfax, Virginia, said he is appealing to President Aquino to immediately protect Mancao and let the process of truth and justice take its
course.”Mancao, 51, a former Superintendent of the Philippine National Police, who was discharged from the government’s Witness Protection program, reportedly escaped Thursday (Manila time) after learning that he was being transferred from the custody of the National Bureau of Investigation to the Manila City Jail.

Mancao was placed under arrest when he was declared as an incredible witness by the Philippine Court of Appeals. He testified that his former superior officer, then General now Senator Panfilo Lacson, had ordered his fellow superior officer Michael Ray Aquino to conduct surveillance operation on Filipino publicist Salvador “Bubby” Dacer, who had a falling out with then President Joseph “Erap” Estrada.

Aquino’s subordinates subsequently caught up with Dacer and Dacer’s driver while Dacer’s SUV was on a traffic stop, waiting for a green light at the
intersection of South Expressway at the boundary of Manila and Makati on Nov. 24, 2000 and abducted them at gun-point and took them to Cavite where they were murdered.

Mancao was one of the three ranking police officers, who were later charged with double murder conspiracy of Dacer and Corbito, who were chocked with wires before being burned on top of a pile of wood. The two others were his immediate superior, former Superintendent Michael Ray Aquino, and his subordinate officer, former Superintendent Glenn G. Dumlao.

Both Aquino and Dumlao were likewise later discharged from the murder conspiracy and are now free men. Mancao named Lacson as the one who ordered Aquino to ask Dumlao to tail Dacer at Dacer’s office in the Manila Hotel. Based on Mancao’s testimony, an information was filed against Lacson and a warrant of arrest was issued, causing Lacson to turn fugitive from justice.

INFO, WARRANT VS. LACSON QUASHED

Lacson, however, gave up after a few months only after the Court of Appeals dismissed the information against him and his warrant of arrest was lifted. Some 22 others, including several policemen under Aquino’s command, were also named in the murder conspiracy and their case is still pending before the Manila Regional Trial Court. Former Superintendent Teofilo O. Vina, one of the ranking officers, who reportedly handpicked the killers, was also later killed under mysterious circumstances. Vina was from Cavite, like Senator Lacson.

Another defendant, Dumlao’s assistant, Chief Inspector Vicente “Boy” Arnado, is still at large and is believed hiding in the United States. Valera said that Mancao is the “least of the suspected guilty parties to the crime among the former officers of under Lacson’s Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Task Force.” According to court records, it was Aquino at the behest of Lacson, who ordered Dumlao to place Dacer under surveillance in his office at the Manila Hotel.

Dacer reportedly drew the ire of then President Joseph “Erap” Estrada, who had ignored Dacer’s advice. Dacer reportedly ran a media campaign that would allegedly discredit Estrada’s good name by exposing a scandal of the stocks owned by Dante Tan’s BW Resources at the Philippine Stock Exchange linked to
Estrada.

In hindsight, Valera recalled that Lacson had been issued a warrant of arrest on the case but “something happened along the way, he got away with it.”

Mancao, Dumlao, and Aquino left the Philippines for Hongkong and for the U.S. for their safety shortly after the murders to escape the brunt of the new government of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, who succeeded  Estrada, who was overthrown from power.  Estrada, who has since denied any part in the Dacer-Corbito murder conspiracy, is running for Manila mayor in the May 13 mid-term elections.

In 2010, Mancao went back to the Philippines to stand as a state witness and implicated President Estrada to the crime and named Senator Lacson as the mastermind. Valera, an international human rights lawyer, has asked for a Senate probe into the 12-year-old celebrated case.

The surviving children of Dacer have filed a $120-M civil suit against Estrada, Lacson, Dumlao, Estrada’s Pagcor big boss Reynaldo “Butch” Tenorio and Dante Tan before Judge William Alsup of the U.S. District Court of Northern California in San Francisco, where the case is pending.
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Photo caption:

Cezar O. Mancao II. (FAXX/jGLi Courtesy of Atty. Arnedo S. Valera)

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