Mancao set to be deposed May 21

by Joseph G. Lariosa

CHICAGO (May 15) – Cesar Ochoco Mancao II will be breaking ranks with his long-time colleagues in uniform.

If his former fellow Philippine police officers Michael Ray B. Aquino and Glenn G. Dumlao would like to mark time, former Police Superintendent Mancao is going to march forward.

In an email to this reporter Mancao’s lawyer, Arnedo Valera, said that Mancao, 47, “is thankful to the order of Judge (Esther) Salas ordering his deposition and he hopes that after this, his extradition will be expedited.”

Valera said Mancao is going to give his deposition next Thursday, May 21, at 9:30 a.m. at the office of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Miami, Florida in his presence and Assistant United States Attorneys.

“This is a good news for Cesar. Hopefully, after the deposition, he will be scheduled to leave for the Philippines.”

Valera said that Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric T. Kanefsky, the government prosecutor in the extradition case of Aquino at the United District Court of New Jersey in Newark informed him about Mancao’s schedule of deposition.

He said he had a six-hour face time with Mr. Mancao Thursday (May 14) in Miami in preparation for the deposition.

Valera said “based on his declaration to me, he (Mr. Mancao) is looking forward to giving his deposition.

“He will, in fact, attest based on his personal knowledge that Aquino is directly involved in the double murder of Mr. (Salvador “Bubby”) Dacer and (Dacer’s driver, Emmanuel) Mr. Corbito and Cesar is maintaining his innocence.

“Cesar said that he will affirm his affidavits of March 1, 2007 and Feb. 14, 2009, stating Mr. Aquino’s involvement in the double murder case.

“He is thankful to the order of Judge Salas, ordering his deposition and he hopes that after this, his extradition will be expedited.”

Valera also said “if Mr. Aquino and Mr. Dumlao are not willing to go home to shed light on this (double murder) case for which they are directly involved, then, I am. He does not want to be dragged into their dilatory game because all his statements, stating Aquino’s involvement are done freely and voluntarily without duress and intimidation by anybody.”

Valera added, “as counsel for the Mancao family, we look forward to him going home and help resolve the double murder case so that justice will be met to the families of Dacer and Corbito and for the sake of the Filipino people, whom he (Mr. Mancao) has obligation to tell the truth.”

Last Friday (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 Mancao at the extradition trial of their colleague, 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.

In an email message to Felix Q. Vinluan, lawyer for Mr. Dumlao, inquiring on the schedule of deposition of Mr. Dumlao, was not returned.

Mancao waived his extradition while Aquino and Dumlao are fighting it.

They were all indicted in the double murder of Dacer and Corbito.

If Mr. Mancao is finally extradited to the Philippines, the Philippine prosecutors can re-open a preliminary investigation to establish probable cause if his superior, former General-turned-Senator Panfilo Lacson, and former President Joseph Estrada, had conspired in the double murder.

Aquino had opposed his extradition during a trial that starts on July 1, 2009. The depositions of Mancao and Dumlao are going to be introduced as evidence during the trial.

At the same time, Dumlao, who also opposed his own extradition, was already certified for extradition but his wife, Merlyn Cejo, filed a petition for habeas corpus before the U.S. District Court of Eastern New York that denied the petition and voided the stay of extradition. Dumlao has now elevated his appeal to the denial of his petition to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York.

Vinluan, Dumlao’s lawyer, told this reporter earlier that Dumlao instructed him to put a vigorous defense of Dumlao’s case by appealing it at every turn. Dumlao also has a pending separate asylum petition before an immigration court.

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