Filing of murder raps vs. Lacson only proves it's not politically motivated — Remonde

January 8, 2010 10:46 pm 

By Perfecto T. Raymundo, Jr.

MANILA, Jan. 8 – A Malacanang official on Friday said that the filing of two counts of murder against Senator Panfilo "Ping" Lacson only proves that it is not politically motivated.

Press Secretary Cerge Remonde said that it was very clear that the filing of the murder charges against the good senator was purely based on testimonies and evidences and that politics had nothing to do with it.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) filed two counts of murder against Lacson on Thursday in connection with the slaying of noted publicist Salvador "Bubby" Dacer and his driver Emmanuel Corbito in November 2000.

The charred remains of the two victims were found later in a ravine in Indang town, Cavite province.

Justice Undersecretary Ricardo Blancaflor expressed doubts on the timing of Lacson's questions on the statements made by former police Sr. Supt. Cesar Mancao II since the murder charges have been filed already.

Mancao was a former member of the defunct Presidential Organized Crime Task Force (PAOCTF), headed by then Philippine National Police (PNP) chief and now Senator Lacson, during which time, Dacer and Corbito were abducted and subsequently executed.

Lacson immediately filed a "motion for judicial determination of probable cause" before Manila Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 18 Presiding Judge Thelma Bunyi Medina.

The hearing on the motion was set on Jan. 15, 2010.

In his counter-affidavit, Lacson claimed that he was in the United States from Sept. 4 to 14, 2000 to attend a United Nations Summit, together with then President Joseph Ejercito Estrada, Trade and Industry Secretary Manuel "Mar" Roxas II and Press Undersecretary Michael "Mike" Toledo, during which time, the so-called "Operation Delta" took place.

Mancao claimed that Lacson had a hand in "Operation Delta", which refers to the hatching of the execution on Dacer and the then Chief Supt. Reynaldo Berroya.

The Department of Justice recommended no bail for the temporary liberty of Lacson. "This is murder case and non-bailable," Devanadera said.

The Justice department said that Lacson also had no "immunity" from the lawsuit as the criminal offense committed was punishable by more than six years imprisonment.

Manila RTC Branch 18 Presiding Judge Thelma Medina has 10 days within which to determine whether there is "probable cause" to indict Lacson on the murder charges and may subsequently issue an arrest warrant against the senator. (PNA)



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