Gonzalez may help Mancao

PHILIPPINE NEWS SERVICE — NEWLY-APPOINTED Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Raul Gonzalez yesterday expressed confidence that Solicitor General Agnes Devanadera, who replaced him at the Department of Justice, will handle the Dacer-Corbito double murder case properly, lest he will resign from his influential post and offer his legal services to soon-to-become witness Cesar Mancao.

“If the case is not treated properly, I can resign as presidential legal adviser and offer to Mancao my services as private lawyer. But that is far fetch already. I am not expecting that because the SolGen is competent, professional, and dedicated in this case,” Gonzalez told reporters in his last press conference as DoJ secretary.

Gonzalez stressed that a lot of people, especially Mancao, have come out in the open and risked their lives including their families’ sake to testify against the masterminds who ordered the execution of well-known publicist Salvador “Bubby” Dacer and his driver Emmanuel Corbito.

He said that it’s incumbent upon the government to “reward” brave people who blew the whistle on the high and mighty by affording them all the necessary help, legal and security wise.

Gonzalez said that he helped tremendously in building up the Dacer-Corbito case because of his firm belief that this case would open up wider horizon. He just failed to elaborate.

“If this case is not handled well, not because of incompetence, but because of some other reason, I can always resign and offer myself as lawyer,” Gonzalez vowed.

Mancao remains an accused because he has not yet been discharged as such.

This was learned from sources at the Manila Regional Trial Court who said that a motion for Mancao to become a state witness has yet to be filed before the court and that otherwise, Mancao remains an accused.

This, even as the prosecution is said to be readying a motion that would schedule the arraignment of Mancao in connection with the Dacer-Corbito double murder case.

The case, which is pending before the Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 18, has Mancao as a suspect and as such, he will have to be subjected to hearings.

Mancao only recently came back to the country after staying in the United States for eight years.

He is expected to shed light on the celebrated murder of public relations man Dacer and his driver Corbito on November 4, 2000.