DoJ plans not to discharge former police colonel Michael Ray Aquino as accused in Dacer-Corbito case

March 5, 2010 11:14 pm 

MANILA, March 5 –The Department of Justice (DoJ) said on Friday that it has no plan to discharge former police Sr. Supt. Michael Ray Aquino as an accused in the killing of publicist Salvador “Bubby” Dacer and his driver Emmanuel Corbito in November 2000.

Justice Undersecretary Ricardo Blancaflor said the approval of the extradition of Aquino by a New Jersey court has yet to be posted at the US Justice Department and had only learned the information from the media coordinating council.

He said the DOJ had not yet talked to Aquino and had no plan to discharge him as accused to become a state witness. “As of now, we had not talked to him and we have no plan to discharge him as an accused at this time,” he said.

Blancaflor said Aquino could still appeal the decision. “He can still appeal the decision. If he has money to hire a lawyer, then he still bring his plea to the US Supreme Court (SC) if the court denied his plea with finality,” he said.

Blancaflor said usually it takes between seven to 10 days to have decision of the court declared with finality like in the case of former Sr. Supt. Cezar Mancao II and former Supt. Glenn Dumlao.

“Once the extradition becomes final, then he can be turned over to Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE). The communication is between the Philippine DOJ and US DOJ, then our National Bureau of Investigation (NB) Interpol Division can be tapped to fetch him there,” he said.

Asked to comment on the impact of Aquino’s testimony on double murder case before the Manila regional trial court handling the double murder case, Blancaflor said “I really don’t know as of this time. But the testimonies of Mancao and Dumlao are leading up to Aquino,” he said.

Both Mancao and Dumlao were extradited to the Philippines from the US. Dumlao was discharged as an accused by a Manila court while Mancao’s application to be discharged as an accused to become a state witness is yet to be resolved by the Manila RTC Branch 18. (PNA) RMA/JES

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