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LACSON MUST FACE THE MUSIC--ATTY.VALERA

by Echo Park Community Coalition (EPCC) Sunday, Feb. 07, 2010 at 7:33 PM
epccla02@yahoo.com 818-749-0272 1740 W. Temple St. Los Angeles, Ca 90026

The US-based lawyer of Dacer-Corbito murder case star witness Cezar Mancao today lauded the arrest order against Senator Panfilo Lacson but urged the government to focus on the bigger conspiracy and expand indictments on all suspects identified in Mancao’s testimony. “This is good for our justice system and to the families of Bubby Dacer and Emmanuel Corbito,” lawyer Arnedo Valera said in a statement. He urged Lacson to surface and submit himself to the Philippine justice process.

EPCC NEWS

February 6, 2010

LACSON MUST FACE THE MUSIC--ATTY.VALERA



FAIRFAX, Virginia - The US-based lawyer of Dacer-Corbito murder case star witness Cezar Mancao today lauded the arrest order against Senator Panfilo Lacson but urged the government to focus on the bigger conspiracy and expand indictments on all suspects identified in Mancao’s testimony.

“This is good for our justice system and to the families of Bubby Dacer and Emmanuel Corbito,” lawyer Arnedo Valera said in a statement.

He urged Lacson to surface and submit himself to the Philippine justice process.

“Senator Lacson is presumed innocent,” Valera stressed.

But in a follow-up interview with ABS-CBN North America News Bureau, he added that there are still people already identified by his client as playing a role in the kidnapping, torture and murder of Dacer and Corbito, and the subsequent government cover-up, who remain free.

“They shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that this was a conspiracy,” Valera averred, adding that the temptation for the government and media to concentrate on Lacson could open the efforts to prosecute the Dacer-Corbito case to accusations that the government was merely out to score political points for the November presidential elections.

He said the “timing of the issuance of the warrant of arrest is suspect” because of the looming polls.

Nonetheless, Valera stressed that the arrest order against Lacson “is good for truth and justice”.

Valera helped broker the deal between the government and Mancao for the latter to turn state witness.

Mancao was part of the inner group in the elite Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Task Force (PAOCTF) headed by then national police chief Lacson, that was implicated in the murders and attempted cover-up.

He tried to escape arrest by fleeing to the United States but was subsequently arrested and he volunteered to be deported back to the Philippines to testify against his former comrades.

Mancao is seeking a local government post in the coming elections.

Lacson himself left Manila January 5 after it became evident that he would be arrested for the murders and cover-up.

Estrada Implicated in The Murder Case

In his testimony, Mancao had indirectly implicated former President Joseph Estrada because he allegedly knew about the top-secret police operation against Dacer.

Dacer was reportedly killed to prevent him from exposing an alleged multimillion-peso stock market manipulation by a wealthy businessman with links to the former president.

Estrada is one of the presidential candidates in this November’s elections.

Another key PAOCTF officer implicated in the murders, former Chief Supt. Michael Ray Aquino is detained in New Jersey and is fighting his extradition.

There have been speculations where Lacson has taken refuge. The Australian government has denied reports the opposition lawmaker was hiding there.

Valera said he would likely go to a place where the Philippine does not have an extradition treaty. “The region that has the fewest extradition treaties with the Philippines is Africa,” he said.

“This warrant should be served to him and he should face his accusers as a Senator and as a former office of the military who graduated from the distinguished Philippine Military Academy,” Valera emphasized.

He said successfully enforcing the warrant will go a long way to proving to the world that in the Philippines “no is above the law whether you are a Senator or even the President of the country.”

##########

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