Latest Stories

3 more eyed in Dacer-Corbito slays

By , ,

Former Senior Supt. Michael Ray Aquino’s return to the country may open a new chapter in the decade-long investigation into the Dacer-Corbito double murder case.

Justice Secretary Leila de Lima on Monday said an impending reinvestigation of the case would include “two to three big names” who were not previously indicted for the November 2000 killings of publicist Salvador “Bubby” Dacer and his driver, Emmanuel Corbito.

“They are big names but they were not included in the previous investigation,” De Lima told reporters a day after the former police senior superintendent returned home after being extradited from the United States.

De Lima declined to identify the personalities, saying the Supreme Court had yet to make a final ruling on Sen. Panfilo Lacson’s alleged involvement in the case. She nodded when asked if the unnamed individuals were former police officials.

Asked why they were not included in the original complaint, she said: “It’s because there was no clear or concrete evidence against them and there was no investigation pursued against them.”

She said the motives for the killing “seem to be intertwined… seem to be related, but involving different personalities.”

Possible Dacer appeal

She said Dacer’s children could still appeal the June 14 ruling of the high court which threw out their petition seeking to nullify an earlier Court of Appeals decision exonerating Lacson.

“So we have to wait for the Supreme Court’s final ruling. The [prosecution] panel said there are others who could still be indicted,” De Lima said.

She said the new development showed the need for the Department of Justice (DoJ) to reinvestigate the killings.

She said a reinvestigation of the case “is really needed because it is becoming unclear. So we are back to square one, back to zero.”

De Lima also said the DoJ would go after another personality who “is already an accused” but who has been hiding in the United States. “That person could be extradited,” she said.

“There had actually been a previous coordination with the US but his exact location could not be ascertained so his extradition could not be pursued then,” she said.

Other side of law

For his part, Aquino must now know what it’s like to be on the other side of the law.

His lawyers on Monday asked Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 18 to keep him at the National Bureau of Investigation headquarters on Taft Avenue, instead of detaining him at Manila City Jail or any other prison.

They said keeping Aquino at the city jail “or any other facility will imperil (his) life and personal safety” because he had been instrumental in capturing many of the criminals now in jail.

“The accused Aquino will be a veritable ‘sitting duck’ for these ruthless and vindictive syndicates and hardened criminals,” the lawyers said in an urgent motion.

Safer at NBI

Aquino said upon his return that he had nothing to do with the murders in 2000 and denied prosecution allegations that he had received orders from then President Estrada and from Lacson to kill Dacer.

Aquino was operations chief of the now defunct Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Task Force (PAOCTF) and Lacson its head when the double murder occurred.

Since his return, he has been held at an NBI detention cell with 21 other detainees charged with murder, robbery and estafa.

In their motion, Aquino’s lawyers said that as a former officer of the PAOCTF, Aquino “caused the capture and imprisonment of numerous criminals.”

They included “members of the dreaded Red Scorpion Kidnap for Ransom Gang, the Kuratong Baleleng Gang, the Waray Waray Gang, the Baleng-Baleng/Surigao KFR Gang, the Abu Sayyaf terrorist group, et al.,” the motion said.

“To protect him from these criminal syndicates and their cohorts, accused Aquino respectfully requests that this honorable court allow and order his continued detention in the detention facility at the NBI headquarters where security is adequate,” it said.

Simonette Sibal-Pulido, an Aquino lawyer, told reporters there was no specific threat on Aquino’s life but she and other lawyers were not discounting the fact given that Aquino was a former police officer.

Judge Thelma Medina scheduled a hearing on the motion on July 1.

Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Philip Kimpo said the court might issue a warrant of arrest to acquire jurisdiction over Aquino and allow him to plead guilty or not guilty.

Little sleep

Aquino hardly slept during his first night as the newest NBI inmate, said NBI Director Magtanggol Gatdula, a former colleague of Aquino’s at the PAOCTF.

“Apparently he has yet to adjust with our time zone since he had been in the US for the last 10 years,” Gatdula said at a news briefing.

Aquino’s mother, sister, uncle and mistahs (classmates) from the Philippine Military Academy Class of 1988 visited him at the tightly guarded facility, Gatdula said.

No favors

The NBI director said Aquino and his former PAOCTF colleagues had not asked for any favors and the bureau said it was not giving Aquino special treatment.

Before the press conference, Gatdula apparently got irked when a television reporter asked him for comment about the supposed VIP treatment for Aquino.

“Why are you insisting that there’s special treatment for him? There’s no truth to that. Since he arrived, he had been staying in a prison cell here with other detainees,” Gatdula said in a raised voice.

After the briefing, Gatdula clarified he was not angry and that he was just trying to douse speculation that Aquino was being treated differently from other detainees.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Dacer-Corbito double murder case , Former President Joseph Estrada , Former Senior Supt. Michael Ray Aquino , Justice Secretary Leila de Lima , new suspects , Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Task Force (PAOCTF) , re-investigation , Sen. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  2. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  3. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  4. Massive infra spending set
  5. OFW brings MERS virus to Philippines
  6. DOJ to NBI: Arrest Cedric Lee, 4 others
  7. Cardinal Tagle to faithful: Join politics to clean it
  8. Estrada, Gigi Reyes denied access to evidence from other respondents
  9. Lacson’s wife loses diamond earring to thieves but recovers jewelry quickly with police arrest
  10. DOJ orders arrest of Cedric Lee
  1. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  2. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  3. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  4. MH370 co-pilot made mid-flight phone call – report
  5. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  6. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  7. ‘Wife of Jesus’ theory papyrus not fake – Harvard study
  8. Gay college instructor arrested for oral sex with student
  9. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  10. Palace: We can’t blame increase in population on Vitangcol
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Pork payoffs to newscasters Erwin Tulfo, Del Prado, others bared
  4. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  5. Model Helena Belmonte wished ‘to slash her wrist and hope to die’
  6. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  7. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  8. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  9. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’
  10. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct


  • Anti-gay demo in Ethiopia cancelled
  • Obama launches measures to support solar energy in US
  • Nebraska toddler gets stuck inside claw machine
  • Philippine eagle rescued by Army turned over to DENR
  • Gunmen attack Iraq military base, kill 10 soldiers
  • Sports

  • Vietnam says it will not host Asian Games
  • Nadal passes clay landmark with 300th victory
  • Wawrinka waltzes through with Monte Carlo walkover
  • Power Pinays smash India in Asian Women’s Club volleyball opener
  • PH youth boxers off to stumbling start in AIBA World tilt
  • Lifestyle

  • Ford Mustang turns 50 atop Empire State Building
  • Pro visual artists, lensmen to judge Pagcor’s photo contest
  • ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  • This is not just a farm
  • Clams and garlic, softshell crab risotto–not your usual seafood fare for Holy Week
  • Entertainment

  • Cannes film festival launches race for 2014 Palme d’Or
  • Jones, Godard, Cronenberg in competition at Cannes
  • Will Arnett files for divorce from Amy Poehler
  • American rapper cuts own penis, jumps off building
  • Jay Z to bring Made in America music fest to LA
  • Business

  • Total says makes ‘very promising’ oil find off Ivory Coast
  • ‘Chinese Twitter’ firm Weibo to go public in US
  • World stocks subdued, Nikkei flat on profit taking
  • Asia stocks fail to match Wall Street gains
  • Fired Yahoo exec gets $58M for 15 months of work
  • Technology

  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Filipinos #PrayForSouthKorea
  • Taylor Swift tries video blogging, crashes into fan’s bridal shower
  • DOF: Tagaytay, QC best at handling funds
  • Smart phone apps and sites perfect for the Holy Week
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 17, 2014
  • A humbler Church
  • Deepest darkness
  • ‘Agnihotra’ for Earth’s health
  • It’s the Holy Week, time to think of others
  • Global Nation

  • Malaysia quarantines 64 villagers over MERS virus
  • DFA: 2 Filipinos survive Korean ferry disaster
  • PH asks airline passengers to check for MERS
  • Syria most dangerous country for journalists, PH 3rd—watchdog
  • Japan says visa-free entry still a plan
  • Marketplace