Who is the real mastermind: Was it Ping, Erap or both?

THE long arms of the law may again soon catch up with former Police Col. Michael Ray Aquino, convicted and now detained at a US detention facility for stealing US defense documents, for the November 2000 Dacer-Corbito murder case.

Aquino faces extradition to the Philippines after a US appellate court issued a ruling last February 22 upholding a lower US court’s decision that there was basis for him to stand trial for the twin murders.

If extradited and compelled to stand trial in the Dacer-Corbito murder case, Aquino will very soon join the band of local whistleblowers and “spill the beans” on who really ordered or masterminded the abduction, killing and burning of the bodies of Dacer and Corbito.

He will have no recourse but to point to either fugitive Sen. Panfilo Lacson, convicted but pardoned plunderer former President Joseph Estrada or both as the mastermind/s in the gruesome twin murders.

In open court, former Police Col. Cesar Mancao, ex-chief of Lacson’s notorious Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Task Force’s (PAOCTF’s) Task Force Luzon, and his deputy, former Police Supt. Glenn Dumlao, have admitted that Aquino, their immediate boss, was the one who ordered them to carry out the killings.

But Mancao says that it was Lacson who masterminded the killings while Dumlao says he does not know for sure who Aquino got his orders from.

During their days at the PAOCTF, both Mancao and Dumlao are subordinates of Aquino, the unit’s deputy chief for operation. Aquino is a long-time protégé of Lacson and a wedding godson of Estrada.

Justice Secretary Leila De Lima is very enthusiastic about the developments in Aquino’s case in the US saying the latter’s return to the country to stand trial is “almost inevitable.”

Aquino had appealed the decision of District Court Judge Stanley Chester that denied his petition for habeas corpus and affirmed a lower court judge’s ruling that there was probable cause for him (Aquino) to stand trial in the Philippines for the Dacer-Corbito murders.

Aquino is presently serving a three years eight months prison sentence in the US after pleading guilty of unauthorized possession of stolen US defense documents.

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.

Soon, Aquino will have the chance to confront Mancao and Dumlao in a Philippine court and the scenario seen is that they will all try to save their respective necks and at the same time pull each other down. Somebody told me it was just a plain case of karma.
For feedback and comments, please email me at buonggiliw@yahoo.com-Romie Evangelista

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