Who is the real mastermind in the Dacer-Corbito twin murder case?

FORMER Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Task Force (PAOCTF) officer Col. Michael Ray Aquino dreads the idea of being extradited to the Philippines from the United States where he is serving prison sentence of three years eight months after pleading guilty of unauthorized possession of stolen US defense documents.

As much as he can, he would exert all legal efforts to prevent US and local authorities from allowing him to return home where he would face bigger problems, to pinpoint later on who is the real  mastermind in the November 24, 2000 Dacer-Corbito abduction with murder case.

If he returns and compelled to testify in Court, he will have no choice but to pick only one of two – either former bosses and wedding godfathers deposed President Joseph Estrada or former PNP chief and now fugitive Sen. Panfilo Lacson – as the one who ordered him to do the twin murder job.

Former Senior Supt. Cesar Mancao, the former chief of the PAOCTF for Luzon, and his deputy for operations, Superintendent Glen Dumlao, have said Col. Aquino ordered them to commit the two killings.

While Mancao and Dumlao were still in the US in 2009 and being held by local authorities, Aquino wanted to confront them in a US court. But the US government opposed the latter’s attempt, arguing that the Philippine efforts to extradite him does not give him the right to do so.

Aquino and Mancao, at the instance of Sen. Lacson, fled to the US in 2001 reportedly to escape prosecution from the Dacer-Corbito double murder case. Dumlao later followed them there.

Mancao and Dumlao returned to the country early this year. Mancao says it was Sen. Lacson who ordered the killing of Dacer and Corbito.

Dumlao, on the other hand, stuck on his position that Dacer and Corbito was snatched and killed by PAOCTF agents on orders of Aquino. He does not know from whom Aquino got his orders to do so.

Aquino, the then PAOCTF deputy chief for operations and Mancao’s and Dumlao’s superior, had been in a US prison since his arrest in 2005for accepting stolen US documents from Leandro Aragoncillo, a Fil-am and ex-US Marine who once worked as an aide to Vice Presidents Al Gore and Dick Cheney.

Aquino is currently detained in a US jail serving sentence of three years and eight months after pleading guilty in July 2006 of unauthorized possession of US defense documents. He did it to avoid the heavier espionage charge that is punishable by life imprisonment.

In a recent news article, Aquino reportedly would do all he can to avoid being extradited back to the Philippines where he would again face another case, the Dacer-Corbito murders, and confront in court his subordinates Mancao and Dumlao who both have testified in court that the former was the one giving them instructions to kill “Delta.”

If Aquino won’t admit in court on who is the superior officer who ordered a highly-compartmentalized “special operations” to liquidate Dacer, then the buck stops at him.

During Sen. Lacson’s days at the PNP, it was a well-known policy at the PAOCTF that no operation, particularly sensitive ones, could be undertaken without the knowledge of “71.” Going against that policy would be a “mortal sin.”

I think that Sen. Lacson, before a warrant could by issued by a Manila court against him for the Dacer-Corbito murder case last February, had earlier gone in hiding purportedly to avoid being  jailed pending the serving  of a three year and eight months jail term in a US jail and extradition of Col. Aquino to the Philippines.

At the height of their popularity and power after Estrada won in the 1998 presidential elections,
Lacson and his subordinates thought their “happy days” and abuses will never end. They all thought that Sen. Lacson will succeed Erap as the next
President in 2004. But as they say, “talagang marunong ang Diyos.” Romie Evangelista

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