ON TARGET

Our twisted system of justice

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Former police Senior Supt. Cezar Mancao is an example of our twisted system of justice: From a principal witness in a twin murder case to an accused in the same case.

Mancao escaped from his cell at the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) jail for fear of his life.

He had earlier linked Sen. Ping Lacson, his former boss, to the abduction-murder of publicist Bubby Dacer and his driver, Emmanuel Corbito.

Now he stands as one of the accused in the abduction-murder case, while Lacson is off the hook.

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The Court of Appeals, which is notorious for deciding cases allegedly based on monetary considerations, said it found Mancao’s testimony against Lacson full of “inconsistencies.”

Because of the appellate court’s decision, the Manila regional trial court hearing the abduction-murder case threw out Mancao as a government state witness, making him an ordinary respondent.

As such, he was to be transferred to the Manila City Jail, where all the other accused in the grisly twin murders are detained.

Mancao allegedly got wind of a plot to kill him at the city jail and escaped.

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Can you blame Mancao for becoming a fugitive from justice?

He agreed to come back to the Philippines, forsaking a lucrative job as a real estate agent in Florida, after he was convinced that he would serve the ends of justice if he testified against Lacson and another former associate, Michael Ray Aquino.

Lacson was chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and a parallel organization, the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Task Force (PAOC-TF), when Dacer and Corbito were murdered.

Michael Ray Aquino, Lacson’s right hand at the PAOC-TF, carried out Lacson’s order to do in Dacer, who knew too much about the workings inside the Erap administration, according to Mancao.

Aquino has also been cleared of the charge.

Most of the PAOC-TF members who were implicated in the Dacer-Corbito case are from Cavite, Lacson’s home province.

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What Mancao has done—becoming a fugitive from justice—is not new in the Philippine justice system.

Lacson did that when he went into hiding after a warrant was issued for his arrest in connection with the Dacer-Corbito case.

The senator only surfaced after the Court of Appeals virtually acquitted him.

Lacson enjoys the friendship of President Noy who plans to make him a member of his Cabinet when the senator’s term expires in June.

With the President by the senator’s side, Lacson’s reputation as the epitome of a “law-abiding citizen” can no longer be questioned.

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