Mancao’s escape dims chances for closure on Dacer-Corbito slays, says DOJ
MANILA, Philippines — The public cannot expect closure to the Dacer-Corbito murders if those who claim to have knowledge of the 12-year-old case would make themselves scarce as in the case of Cezar Mancao who left protective detention at the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), according to Justice Secretary Leila de Lima.
De Lima said ex-police officer Mancao and former colleagues Glen Dumlao and Michael Ray Aquino were considered “the keys” to the resolution of the December 2000 disappearance and murders of publicist Salvador “Bubby” Dacer and his driver, Emmanuel Corbito.
Mancao has been in hiding over two weeks now after slipping out of the NBI office in Manila where he had been detained for his alleged participation in the Dacer-Corbito double murder. Mancao left the NBI after the Manila court trying his case ordered his transfer to the Manila City Jail. Mancao, a former police officer who worked in anti-crime unit, feared he could be killed in the city jail.
De Lima said the mastermind behind the killings remained unknown, although Mancao had implicated Sen. Panfilo Lacson.
“That’s why I told him (Mancao) that if he was telling the truth, he could always prove it,” she said.
Mancao’s accusation was denied by Lacson, who himself went into hiding for over a year to avoid arrest in connection to the case. He had since been cleared by the Court of Appeals in the murders.
“There will be no closure to this case if those who are involved in the killings will either be fugitives or will be acquitted. We have to face the case,” De Lima said in Filipino.
Otherwise, she said, only the minions or those ordered to do the killings would be brought to justice.
De Lima said that from this group, one has since recanted his story, another had sought a demurrer to evidence, and in the case of Mancao, “who was pointing to someone, the court does not believe his story.”
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