Where’s the $100,000 cash bond?, Dumlao’s lawyer asks

by Joseph G. Lariosa

NEW YORK (March 24) –  Glenn or Glane Galapon Dumlao’s lawyer Felix Q. Vinluan said Tuesday (March 24) that there was no such $100,000 cash bond posted to seek the release of his client.

In an email, the visibly upset lawyer is peeved by reports from the Philippine media that there were “three media men” who left the Philippines on March 8, 2009 and descended to New York, carrying $100,000 as filing fee for the petition of habeas corpus to secure the release of Mr. Dumlao.

If these reports are true, the money might not have been meant for his client because it was as early as Feb. 24, 2009 when he wrote a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, requesting the stay of the extradition of Mr. Dumlao to the Philippines, Mr. Vinluan said.

This letter should belie “insinuation that I filed the petition only after some media men allegedly sent by Senator (Panfilo) Lacson gave away funds to file the same.

“Well, I notified the Office of Secretary Clinton as early as Feb. 25, 2009. I filed the habeas corpus petition as early as March 4, 2009. And most importantly, I never received any instructions to file the habeas corpus petition from any senator or from any media man, but only from my client and her spouse.”

Vinluan said he is challenging “whoever is reporting in the Philippine media to show proof that Mr. Dumlao posted $100,000 cash bond for his release or for his stay of extradition.

“This is just a dirty politics at work again, as said $100,000 is insinuated to have come again from Senator Lacson. I don’t lawyer for the senator, and I am not defending him for whatever role, if any, he has on the Dacer-Corbito double murder case. But I just want the reports to come out truthfully and accurately.”

Mr. Vinluan clarified that Mr. Dumlao “is presently still in jail. He has not posted any cash bond for his release. We did not pay any single cent to secure the grant of the motion to stay his extradition. All I had to do was to make an oral argument.”

In his letter to Secretary Clinton, Mr. Vinluan said that his client, Mr. Dumlao, has been in federal custody since his arrest on Nov. 20, 2008 on account of an extradition request from the Philippines.

On Dec. 9, 2008, Judge A. Kathleen Tomlinson of the United District Court of Eastern New York in Long Island issued a certificate of extraditabiltiy and order of commitment of Mr. Dumlao.

“To date, Mr. Dumlao continues to be held in federal detention. Since it has been more than sixty days from the date of the judge’s order, our client has requested us to file a habeas corpus petition on his behalf pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 3188.”

Vinluan said regardless of the outcome of the habeas corpus petition, he also requested that Mr. Dumlao “be not extradited to the Philippines because he is more likely to be tortured again if returned.”

He cited the Foreign Affairs Reform and Restructuring Act of 1998 (FARR Act), which bars the United States from returning a detainee to a country if there are substantial grounds for believing that torture would result.

Mr. Vinluan also informed Secretary Clinton that before Mr. Dumlao was held in custody for extradition, he had pending applications for political asylum and withholding removal based on the Convention against Torture before the Immigration Court in Hartford, Connecticut.

In requesting for his extradition, the Philippine government used Mr. Dumlao’s hand-written affidavit signed on June 12, 2001 in the Philippines, detailing his part in the double murder of Messrs. Dacer and Corbito.

But Dumlao presented another affidavit, recanting the first affidavit “as a product of coercion and torture.”

Dumlao also presented a third notarized affidavit, dated March 2, 2007, where he reiterated before U. S. federal authorities that he had been tortured when he was invited for questioning by the Newark U.S. Attorney’s Office in the espionage cases involving former U.S. Marine Leandro Aragoncillo and former Philippine police officer Michael Ray B. Aquino.

In that affidavit, Dumlao said that the Dacer-Corbito murders are being used by the Gloria Macapagal Arroyo government to pin “the blame on an opposition politician, under whose command Mr. Dumlao once served.”

Dumlao also criticized the Philippine government for misrepresenting a decision of the Philippine Supreme Court in Soberano v. People when Dumlao was included in the Amended Information on Sept. 17, 2001 even after the Supreme Court excluded him from the information.

Mr. Dumlao nor his lawyers were not even provided a copy of the Philippine Department of Justice’s Compliance submitted o the Manila Regional Trial Court, preventing them from objecting to the Compliance.

This would be the basis of the Manila RTC to issue a warrant of arrest for Dumlao, which supported the request for Dumlao’s extradition.

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