DOJ asked to take second look at evidence linking Lacson to Dacer-Corbito murder case PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 01 December 2010 10:54

The legal team of Senator Panfilo Lacson asked Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Leila De Lima on Monday to take a second look at the claims and evidence linking the lawmaker to the 10-year-old Dacer-Corbito murder case.

In their five-page letter to the DOJ chief, lawyers Alexander Poblador and Joseph Joemer Perez stressed that the new evidence includes the Aug. 2, 2010 affidavit of former SPO4 Reynaldo Oximoso Jr. and the Aug. 9, 2010 affidavit of former Senior Supt. Michael Ray Aquino.

Poblador and Perez said they were forced to write to Secretary De Lima because of former police Col. Cezar Mancao II's request that former Col. Glenn Dumlao act as a state witness in the case or have charges against him refiled.

They disputed Mancao's insinuation that Dumlao's exoneration of Lacson was a turnaround from his previous testimony allegedly implicating Lacson, and that this exoneration was contrary to the terms of Dumlao's exclusion from charges.

"We are constrained to write to you directly to set the record straight and refute Mancao's allegations, which are obviously targeted not only at Dumlao but also at our client. The truth is that while Dumlao has implicated others, he has never implicated Senator Lacson in the Dacer-Corbito case," they said, adding nowhere in Dumlao's affidavits contained any statement implicating Lacson in the Dacer-Corbito case.

Thus, they said Dumlao's Jan. 28, 2010 statement that Lacson had nothing to do with the case was not a reversal of his previous statements.

Moreover, Lacson's lawyers said the affidavits of Oximoso and Aquino support Dumlao's exoneration of Lacson.

They contradict Mancao's Feb. 13, 2009 affidavit that he overheard Lacson and Michael Ray Aquino discussing an "Operation Delta" to "neutralize or liquidate" Dacer.

While Mancao claimed those in the car included himself, Lacson, Aquino and Lacson's then driver Reynaldo Oximoso Jr., Aquino and Oximoso declared under oath that no such conversation inside a car ever took place.

These new affidavits as well as Dumlao's Aug. 2, 2010 affidavit are important pieces of exculpatory evidence that demolish whatever credibility of Mancao's allegation has with regard to the alleged conversation inside the car.

At the very least, they said these established that Mancao's allegation cannot be corroborated and his plea to be discharged as a state witness will have to be denied.

"What is more, these new exculpatory evidence warrant, at the very least, a reinvestigation of the case. We have in fact requested the Regional Trial Court of Manila, Branch 18, to order a reinvestigation of the case based on these new evidence ... As we have told the court, there is a compelling need to conduct a reinvestigation so that these new evidence can be properly considered at the soonest possible time, instead of waiting for the trial proper," they said.

"The crime charged in this case is a non-bailable offense, in which the accused stands to be arrested and incarcerated without bail. It would be unjust to require the accused to languish in jail waiting for his turn to present evidence to indict him or to order his arrest. After all, the purpose of preliminary investigation is 'to relieve the accused from the pain of going through a trial once it is ascertained that the evidence is insufficient to sustain a prima facie case or that no probable cause exists to form a sufficient belief as to the guilt of the accused,'" they said.

"It is our hope that the DOJ will take a second look at the significance of these new evidence and accordingly withdraw its objection to the said pending Motion for Reconsideration," Lacson's lawyers concluded.