Mar offers 'custodial arrangement' for Mancao
Camille Diola, Cheryl Arcibal (The Philippine Star) - May 3, 2013 - 11:33am

MANILA, Philippines - Interior Secretary Manuel "Mar" Roxas II on Friday offered former police superintendent Cezar Mancao a custodial arrangement that would give the latter security from any possible security threats.

"If he's in custody, we can place him in a secure (place) either in the the NBI (National Bureau of Investigation) or  Camp Crame (the Philippine National Police headquarters). We can give him a custodial arrangement so he would not fear for his life," Roxas said in a television interview.

Mancao escaped from the NBI custody on Thursday dawn following a court order directing the government to turn him over to the Manila City jail. Mancao said Sen. Panfilo Lacson, whom he identified as behind the murder of publicist Salvador "Bubby" Dacer and his driver Emmanuel Corbito in November 2000, pressured the court to order his transfer. Lacson denied Mancao's allegation.

Roxas said as a fugitive, Mancao places himself in worse danger as "anybody who wants to harm him can do so".

He also urged the former police officer to refrain from "unnecessary dramatics" following Mancao's statement about a "shoot to kill" order.

"All law enforcers know that they must shoot only when they are in danger or  the lives of others are in danger so these dramatics are unnecessary," said Roxas.

Meanwhile, Roxas said the Department of the Interior and Local Government is closely coordinating with the NBI and the Department of Justice (DOJ) to provide any support that they need to re-capture Mancao.

"The PNP and our intel services are on alert and on the lookout for Mancao," he said.

Safer with NBI

DOJ Secretary Leila de Lima admitted that she cannot assure Mancao's safety if he is detained at the Manila City Jail.

De Lima promised that if Mancao is re-arrested said that once Mancao is re-arrested, he will not be sent directly to city jail.

"We will get to him. We will really look for him and pursue him to return. When that happens, I will place him under NBI first," De Lima said in a radio interview.

She added that she herself will advice Mancao's lawyer to petition before the Manila Regional Trial Court to reverse its order to transfer Mancao to the city jail.

"But if the court decides to let him remain with the NBI or any other facility that the DOJ can monitor, then I can assure Mr. Mancao [of his safety]," De Lima said.

Mancao, a former police senior superintendent, escaped from his detention cell on Thursday upon learning of the lower court's order to have him detained at the city jail.

In a letter he left in his detention cell as well as in interviews he granted with the media that afternoon, Mancao said he fled fearful for his life and that he is only a "victim of injustice." Related story: Mancao escapes NBI custody; manhunt on

De Lima also convinced Mancao several times since Thursday to "surrender" as he is only making his problems worse.

"The manhunt was already placed since yesterday. He said he won't give up. I told him, sorry but we'll continue with the manhunt," the official said.

Mancao is a former official in the defunct Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Task Forces led by Lacson, who was then the chief of the Philippine National Police.

The former police superintendent who fled the country after the 2001 ouster of former president Joseph Estrada, whom he also accused of having involvement in the murders. He returned to the Philippines in June 2009 with hopes of being turned into a state witness, which was turned down by the courts that led to his arrest and eventual detention at the NBI.

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