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Dumlao, Mancao extradition to be further delayed

MANILA, Philippines – The extradition from the United States of former police Senior Superintendents Glenn Dumlao and Cezar Mancao, who have been linked to the 2000 double murder of publicist Salvador “Bubby” Dacer and his driver Emmanuel Corbito, could be delayed further after a US court ordered them to file their depositions in the extradition case of ex-Senior Superintendent Michael Ray Aquino.

A source said yesterday that Mancao and Dumlao should first file their deposition although the US court has already ruled that American authorities may proceed with their extradition.

“The rational here is that although Mancao and Dumlao may no longer be asked to appear in court while Aquino’s case is pending, they have to file their respective depositions,” the source said.

Mancao’s extradition to the country was previously delayed due to the request of Aquino that Mancao and Dumlao testify on his case before the US court.

Mancao and Dumlao were arrested in Florida and New York, respectively, last year in connection with the Nov. 24, 2000 killings of Dacer and Corbito.

The case has not been promulgated since 2000 after the suspects fled the country and their former superior in the Philippine National Police, Panfilo Lacson, was elected to the Senate.

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Lacson has denied any responsibility in the killings.

NBI Anti-Terrorism Division (ATD) regional director Ricardo Diaz, also the bureau’s spokesman for the Dacer-Corbito case, said the US court denied last month the petition seeking to stop Dumlao’s extradition.  

“We were informed that the US court denied the petition filed by Merlyn Cejo on behalf of Dumlao. But we have to first wait for the advise by the US authorities,” said Diaz.

Cejo, who introduced herself as the wife of Dumlao, filed a petition with the US court to stay his extradition.

The petition for a writ of habeas corpus was filed last March 4 before the US court. Through lawyer Felix Vinluan, an Amended Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus was filed on March 15.

In his petition, Dumlao said he was in federal detention longer than the mandated “two calendar months pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 3188.” Diaz said the law cited was the one on extradition.

In his eight-page amended petition, Dumlao noted his extradition “might result to torture.” He said the United States is a state-party to the United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT).

Article 3 of CAT prohibits a state-party to extradite an individual where “torture is more likely to result,” the petition said.

Under the Foreign Affairs Reform and Restructuring Act of 1998 (FARR Act) that implements the CAT, “the United States is barred from extraditing petitioner’s husband (Dumlao) considering the substantial grounds to believe that torture would result.”

Diaz and lawyer Claro de Castro Jr., chief of the NBI Interpol Division, were sent to the US last March to escort Dumlao back to the Philippines, but Judge Thomas Platt of the U.S. District of Eastern District of New York ordered a stay of the extradition.

A Federal judge reduced recently the sentence of Aquino, who pleaded guilty to receiving classified U.S. government documents. Aquino will remain in US custody until he finishes his sentence and his extradition case is resolved.

May 21 deposition for Mancao

Mancao is reportedly set to give his deposition on May 21 in Miami, Florida in compliance with the order of Judge Esther Salas regarding the petition for habeas corpus that Aquino had filed.

This information was obtained from a Department of Foreign Affairs official closely monitoring developments of the case.

Judge Salas of New Jersey allowed Mancao to make his deposition in any notary public or the consulate office instead of having to testify in New York for the Aquino extradition case which will take much longer and further delay his return to the Philippines.

Aquino’s lawyer, Atty. Berman, Arnedo S. Valera, counsel for Mancao, and Atty. Kanefsy of the U.S. Attorney’s office will all be present when Mancao gives his deposition.

Salas specifically ordered that the deposition is for limited discovery on the “explanatory evidence doctrine” in connection with establishing probable cause for Aquino’s extradition hearing. Aquino’s lawyer is expected to go beyond the two affidavits which he had executed in March 2007 and February 2009.

Information reaching THE STAR says that Mancao will likely state that there is nothing that he can say that could help the extradition case of Aquino. He continues to maintain that he is eager to come back to tell everything he knows in the Dacer-Corbito murders.

When reached for comment regarding this development, Department of Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez said that he had also been informed by the Mancao family and lawyer about the scheduled deposition.

“Right after Mancao gives his deposition on May 21, he can go back to the Philippines to fulfill his desire to tell all in the Dacer-Corbito murders.

I will have to tell NBI Director (Nestor) Mantaring to tell his men to be ready to fetch Mancao right after May 21 and we can expect him to be back in the Philippines before the end of May. Security arrangements will have to be made because Mancao wants at least a dozen NBI men to protect him and his wife upon his return home,” Gonzalez said.

Lacson had repeatedly blamed the Palace for what he said was a demolition job in getting Mancao to testify against him because of his campaign against corruption.

Lito Banayo, a staunch supporter of Lacson, said in a television interview that Mancao’s real estate business in Florida was not doing well and that government men were always around promising him (Mancao) many things and this could be the reason why Mancao has decided to turn against his former boss Lacson and his colleague Aquino.

“Since December of 2008, Mrs. Mancao has been in constant communication with me through emails and it was Mancao and his wife who were practically asking for help so Cezar can clear his name and tell everything he knows in the double murder case. We did not approach him. It was Mancao who came to me. We expect Mancao to be back right after May 21,” Banayo stressed.

The return of Dumlao, on the other hand, is still uncertain because he had filed a Motion for Reconsideration on Judge Salas’ ruling. Dumlao stated that he wants to testify in Aquino’s extradition case in New York. – With Tony Calvento

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