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Home Sections MiscellaNEWS Evidence Sufficient to Extradite Aquino, U.S. Tells Court
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Written by Joseph G. Lariosa   
Wednesday, 04 November 2009 06:18

By JOSEPH G. LARIOSA

(Journal Group Link International)

 

C HICAGO, Illinois (JGLi) – The United States government said Monday (Nov. 2) “the government of the Philippines has provided both direct and circumstantial evidence that is sufficient to support a finding of probable cause” against former Philippine police officer Michael Ray B. Aquino.

 

In a 16-page letter to Magistrate Judge Esther Salas of the U.S. District Court in Newark, New Jersey, supporting Aquino’s extradition, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman enumerated 18 pieces of evidence “sufficient to establish probable cause” that is needed to extradite Mr. Aquino to face double murder charges in the Philippines.

 

Among others, U.S. Assistant Attorney Eric T. Kanefsky alleges that the 43-year-old Aquino was the Chief of the Operations Division for the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Task Force (PAOCTF), a law-enforcement organization formed by Joseph Estrada, the former President of the Philippines.

 

The letter said the PAOCTF performed investigations into political opponents of President Estrada and, on at least one prior occasion, murdered a political opponent of Estrada as part of a special operation.

 

Mr. Aquino initiated and oversaw an investigation into Salvador “Bubba” (sic) Dacer, a media figure who had made public comments against President Estrada. Former Police Superintendent Aquino tasked former Police Superintendent Glenn G. Dumlao, a subordinate member of the PAOCTF assigned to a group known as Task Force Luzon, to investigate Mr. Dacer beginning in or about January 1999.

 

As part of this investigation, Superintendent Aquino ordered Mr. Dumlao to surreptitiously enter Mr. Dacer’s office in the hotel rooms at the Manila Hotel and take whatever documents he could get. When Mr. Dumlao hesitated in carrying out the job for fear of “being detected, Mr. Aquino instructed Dumlao to burn [the hotel] down, bomb it, just as long as their documents and computers are destroyed.”


Instead of following the order, Mr. Dumlao just continued with his surveillance of Mr. Dacer until his attention turned to other matters.

 

As a result, Mr. Aquino tasked Police Chief Inspector Vicente Arnado, also of Task Force Luzon headed by Police Superintendent Cezar O. Mancao, II to take over from Mr. Dumlao the investigation of Mr. Dacer.

 

In October 2000, Mr. Mancao overheard Mr. Aquino tell then General Lacson that he intended to “liquidate,” i.e., kill Dacer because President Estrada was “peeved at him.”

 

At the direction of Mr. Aquino, on Nov. 24, 2000, Mr. Dacer together with his personal driver Emmanuel Corbito were abducted at gunpoint.

 

Mr. Aquino, then, texted Mr. Dumlao that Dacer had been abducted and ordered Dumlao to interrogate Dacer. Arnado also headed to Dacer’s location. Another officer, former Police Superintendent Teofilo Vina, was also directed by Aquino to interrogate Dacer.

 

Having failed to “elicit any useful information from Dacer,” Dumlao was ordered by Aquino “to secure any documents” in Dacer’s possession.

 

SPO4 Marino Soberano, another PAOCTF member, “involved in the strangulation and killing of Dacer and Corbito,” was told by Arnado and Dumlao that Dacer and Corbito “were criminals who committed kidnappings and carnappings and then ordered him to ‘exterminate’ them.”

 

After Dacer and Corbito’s disappearance, General (now Senator Panfilo) Lacson (the head of the PAOCTF) asked Mancao to lead the investigation into their disappearance to allow “PAOCTF to control the situation by covering up the involvement of PAOCTF personnel.”

 

Mr. Mancao was informed by Vina that “he had been tasked by Michael Aquino to get Bubby Dacer.” Mancao “understood this to mean that Aquino has tasked Vina to neutralize Dacer.” During Mancao’s interview with Dumlao, “Dumlao blamed Aquino for illegal orders.” Mancao “understood the illegal orders to be conspiring in the abduction and murder of Dacer and Corbito.”

 

In May 2001, Lacson instructed Aquino to flee the Philippines to avoid prosecution for the Dacer and Corbito murders and Aquino did so.

 

On or about Aug. 3, 2001, Mancao and Aquino were staying with Butch Tenorio, the former head of Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation under President Estrada, when Mancao heard Tenorio and Aquino discussing the Dacer and Corbito murders. According to Mancao, Tenorio told Aquino that when Aquino had informed Tenorio that Dacer had been “neutralized, Tenorio informed President Estrada.”

 

While staying in a Las Vegas, Nevada, hotel with Aquino in August 2001, Mancao heard Aquino, blaming Teofilo Vina for sloppily dumping Dacer’s car into a ravine in Cavite, where it was discovered. Mancao said this “sloppy work” led to the implication of Aquino in Dacer and Corbito’s disappearance.

 

Mr. Aquino stayed in the U.S. in order to avoid prosecution for the murders of Dacer until he was arrested on federal charges, including espionage, and was subsequently convicted of unlawful retention of U.S. documents by the U.S. District Court in Newark.

 

Mr. Aquino has until Nov. 9 to file his reply, opposing his extradition.

 

The extradition hearing is set on November 23.

Both former President Estrada and Senator Lacson had denied any part in the Dacer-Corbito murders. (lariosa_jos@sbcglobal.net) # # #

 

 

C opyright 2009 The Journal Group Link International. The contents provided by the JGLi may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of the Journal Group Link International.

 

(Editor’s Note: Watch out for the upcoming outlet-oriented, subscription-based website of Journal Group Link International that guarantees originally sourced stories, features, photos, audios and videos and multi-media contents.)

 

 



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Last Updated on Wednesday, 04 November 2009 06:25
 

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