Palace welcomes Biazon’s word of caution on Mancao’s affidavit

June 5, 2009 1:50 pm 

MANILA, June 5 — Malacanang today welcomed Senator Rodolfo Biazon’s reminder for authorities to proceed with caution in the filing of cases against those mentioned in P/Supt. Cesar Mancao’s affidavit in connection with the killing of publicist Salvador “Bubby” Dacer and his driver, Emmanuel Corbito in 2000.

“After all, the charges against all the people mentioned in Mancao’s affidavit are very serious so we really need to go slowly and carefully on this,” Cabinet Secretary Silvestree Bello III said in a briefing with Malacanang reporters today.

Bello said Mancao’s affidavit must be investigated by an independent, competent investigating body.

He said Justice Secretary Raul Gonzales had formed a panel of five prosecutors to evaluate the document and evidences that might be presented.

After the evaluation, the panel would determine if there were probable cause or not and then file cases in court if warranted, together with supporting evidences, he added.

Bello served as Secretary of Justice under former President Corazon Aquino and Fidel V. Ramos.

“In the meantime, what Senator Biazon said is true. We must not rush things. We should also not rush to conclusions and we should not unnecessarily involve (or drag) people in the case. This involves life, liberty and honor of people, so we really must proceed cautiously,” Bello said.

He, however, skirted questions about his possibly replacing Secretary Gonzalez at DOJ.

Gonzales has announced in a radio interview that he would shortly quit the Cabinet to attend to his own political plan to run for the Iloilo City mayorship.

On the issue of his taking over the DOJ from Gonzalez, Bello said he had not been offered the job. “Besides I am too monotonous for that position as I have been there during the time of Presidents Aquino and Ramos,” he said.

“Qualification-wise I could be (his replacement), but that is not part of my plan as I am not as young as I used to be when I became Secretary of DOJ under Cory Aquino and Fidel Ramos. I have been there twice. It will be monotonous if I go back. Besides it has not been offered to me,” Bello said.

“I have neither been offered a slot as senatoriable but if you will endorse me, why not,” he joked. (PNA)

RMA/OPS/ssc

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