MANILA, Philippines—Former police officer Cesar Mancao has escaped from the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), Justice Secretary Leila De Lima said Thursday.
De Lima said Mancao, one of the accused in the killings of publicist Bubby Dacer and his driver Emmanuel Corbito, was scheduled to be turned over to the Manila City Jail Thursday morning.
Dacer was a publicist whose clients involved public figures in the government. He and his driver were abducted on Roxas Boulevard in 2001. Their charred bodies were found in Cavite.
“Nalaman nya siguro [na he will be transferred] so he escaped (Perhaps he got wind that he will be transferred…),” De Lima told reporters.
She said initial investigation showed that there were two NBI guards who helped him escape.
Mancao was a former intelligence officer of the Philippine National Police who, along with Michael Ray Aquino, has been charged with two counts of murder for the death of Dacer and Corbito in 2001.
He escaped to the United States and extradited to the country in 2009.
Mancao was admitted as government’s witness against then principal accused Senator Panfilo Lacson. However, he remains as one of the accused.
In the lower court, accused Senior Police Officer 4 Marino Soberano, SPO3 Jose Escalante, and SPO3 Mauro Torres through their lawyer Dante David asked the Manila Court to transfer Mancao to the City Jail where his clients and 21 others are detained.
Lawyer Dante David, in his motion, said Mancao should be considered as an ordinary inmate.
David said the Constitution provides for equality, therefore no special treatment should be accorded to him.
The Court of Appeals branded Mancao’s testimony as inconsistent prompting them to drop the two counts of murder against Lacson.
Then, the Manila Court ordered Mancao’s transfer to City Jail.