PHILIPPINE NEWS SERVICE — Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez suspects an “unseen hand” is behind the delay in the return of former police officers Cesar Mancao and Glenn Dumlao to shed light on the disappearance of publicist Salvador “Bubby” Dacer and his driver Emmanuel Corbito.
“It’s obvious that somebody is orchestrating to prevent their return because their return might be adverse to somebody’s interest,” Gonzalez told reporters.
The extradition of Mancao and Dumlao hit a snag when they were asked to testify in a case involving a former police officer, Michael Ray Aquino, who is now imprisoned in the United States for federal offenses.
He admitted that Mancao may get killed upon his return.
“He might get killed, unless the people from La Salle can protect him. However, we can protect him,” Gonzalez said.
He expressed confidence that Mancao will be eventually extradited.
“Mancao will definitely come back. Sooner or later he will be expelled by the American authorities by virtue of his extradition.”
At the same time, Gonzalez described as strange the “persistence” of Sen. Panfilo Lacson to include former President Joseph Estrada in the Dacer-Corbito double murder case.
“I am surprised that the good senator is trying to implicate Erap in the case,” he said.
He downplayed Lacson’s claim that the recent filing of the case against him by the children of Dacer was politically motivated.
“The complaint was prepared by the Dacer family. I have nothing to do with the preparation of the complaint. These are private people, they have their own counsel,” the DoJ chief said.
“Does it mean I have to disregard the case just because a politician is involved? The good senator stated himself that the truth is his best defense. Everyone will have a chance to present his evidence,” he said.