MANILA, Philippines—A “higher” official has helped former police officer Cezar Mancao escape from the National Bureau of Investigation, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima hinted Monday.
Mancao escaped from the NBI custody early morning Thursday. He has been granting interviews to the media and said he would not be captured by the NBI.
De Lima said they are puzzled that Mancao was transferred from an ordinary jail to a special jail Wednesday evening.
“Nung late evening, ang pinagtatakhan ko, bakit sya inilipat sa special jail niya. Ang sabi somebody ordered. (Late Wednesday evening, I was wondering why he was transferred to his special jail. I was told somebody issued the order). Why was he transferred?” De Lima asked.
Mancao denied that he got help from NBI insiders.
“I refused to believe na wala siyang kasabwat sa NBI (I don’t believe he didn’t get help from somebody in the NBI),” De Lima said.
The DOJ already sacked the two security personnel in charge of Mancao and suspended the head of the NBI’s security division.
De Lima expressed dismay that the Mancao escape has added to the problems of the government.
“Hindi pa nga nakikita yung top 5 fugitives tapos dahil sa ginawang ito ni Mancao, lalo pa niyang pinapahiya ang DOJ (The top 5 fugitives have not been found yet, then what Mancao did has embarrassed the DOJ more),” De Lima said.
In August last year, President Benigno Aquino IIl issued a directive raising the reward money for the capture of the “Big Five Fugitives.”
On the Big Five list are former Palawan Governor Joel Reyes and his brother, Coron Mayor Mario Reyes, as well as former General Jovito Palparan, Globe Asiatique owner and property developer Delfin Lee, Dinagat Rep. Ruben Ecleo, and New People’s Army leaders Benito Tiamzon and Jorge Madlos.
The Reyes brothers and the NPA leaders are counted as one case each, hence the Big Five list.