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Home Sections MiscellaNEWS RP Gov’t Might Have “Difficulties” Arresting Dacer-Corbito Suspects—Secretary Teodoro
RP Gov’t Might Have “Difficulties” Arresting Dacer-Corbito Suspects—Secretary Teodoro PDF Print E-mail
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Sections - MiscellaNEWS
Written by Joseph G. Lariosa   
Sunday, 13 September 2009 07:37

By JOSEPH G. LARIOSA

(Journal Group Link International)

 

 

C HICAGO, Illinois (JGLi) – When President Joseph Estrada was arrested for plunder several years ago, arresting him appeared to be no problem.

 

But if and when, a warrant ensues when probable cause is established in the re-opened preliminary investigation of Dacer-Corbito murders, the government of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo may run into “political difficulties” in effecting the arrest if Mr. Estrada happened to be a presidential candidate in the 2010 elections.

 

This was the response of visiting Philippine Defense Sec. Gilberto “Gibo” C. Teodoro, Jr. last Thursday (Sept. 10) at the Allison Auditorium of the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C., when asked by the United States-based lead counsel of Cezar O. Mancao II of his opinion on the matter during the open forum. The Heritage Foundation is a public-policy research institute.

 

Arnedo S. Valera asked Mr. Teodoro if the Philippine government has a “political will” to “arrest Sen. Panfilo Lacson and former President Estrada” if warrants of arrest are issued based on “probable cause” in the double murder.

 

Mr. Teodoro answered that “should warrants of arrest are issued, there will be an arrest. Although (the) election season is coming, if one of the potential suspects is running for President, (serving the warrant) will face political difficulties.”


Secretary Teodoro, however, did not elaborate in his answer during the forum captured in  streaming
video. 

 

Mr. Valera raised the “political will” issue to Mr. Teodoro because the second witness in the murder of publicist Salvador Dacer and Dacer’s driver, Emmanuel Corbito, “had been killed and my client (Mancao) is in fear of his life that he might be next.”

 

The Melissa Roxas Case

 

Mr. Valera is also the lawyer for Filipino American Melissa Roxas “who is the first to be abducted and tortured under the Obama administration.” The Filipino-American lawyer tangled with Mr. Teodoro when Mr. Valera asked if he (Secretary Teodoro) can investigate the participation of the “7th Infantry in Nueva Ecija” in the Roxas abduction and torture.

 

Citing the ruling of the Philippine Court of Appeals, Mr. Teodoro, who is also a lawyer, said “there was torture (in the Roxas case) but there was no evidence pinpointing a place or a person that did it (torture).

 

“It ordered us to investigate the torture. (But) I am at my wit’s end to find out about it in a credible manner. Can you help me on this for no fee?”

 

Mr. Valera offered to extend pro bono assistance to help.

 

In an email to this reporter, Mr. Valera said, Secretary Teodoro was “very evasive and is lying. There is no investigation being done by the DND (Department of National Defense). I think, he is scared to investigate the 7th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army at Nueva Ecija. Where is the political will to solve this?”

 

Mr. Valera premised his question to Teodoro by saying, “The Philippines will be a stronger ally of the U.S, if it furthers American values, its democracy, individual rights and freedoms, respect for human rights, accountability and rule of transparency.

 

“How can the Philippine government further American values if it is one of the top three human-rights violators in the world and the most-corrupt nation in Asia? We have a government and leaders, who, instead of finding solutions to political crisis and scandals, simply wanted to manage these crises and scandals (out) to make everybody a participant.”

 

Secretary Teodoro, who is seeking the presidential nomination under the administration party, also fielded a wide range of issues from several newsmen.

 

The VFA Issue

 

A reporter from Bloomberg News, asked Secretary Teodoro about the biggest issue in the upcoming Philippine presidential campaign that will increase the cooperation and alliance between the U.S. and the Philippines.

 

The Defense Secretary mentioned “the hottest issue is the VFA (Visiting Forces Agreement). He said this is an international agreement that has to be respected by both countries until such time that it will be mutually renegotiated. Abrogating the agreement because of problems is not a solution.

 

He said there are mechanisms (that can be adopted).

 

It is a political issue because highly-militant organizations make their living researching this issue. They generate a lot of exposure when they ask if Filipinos benefited by this VFA issue and people have a positive answer.

 

He said one of the issues raised here is one of the challenges to introduce police operation into Armed forces personnel, whose primary duties are fighting. And if internal security operation and police operation are introduced into the Armed forces, therefore, Balikatan exercises are important because they can practice the essential joint operation of all security operations in the Philippines for counter-terrorism under the counter-terrorism council.

 

This is where the Philippines’ tracking sites and interdiction capabilities (experience difficulty), and United States and Australia have expressed interest in (solving) the problem, he said. (lariosa_jos@sbcglobal.net) # # #


 

 



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Last Updated on Sunday, 13 September 2009 07:40
 

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