Dacer-Corbito Murder Case

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The vehicle Dacer and Corbito were using when they were abducted.

The Dacer-Corbito Murder Case is a highly publicized criminal case in the Philippines concerning the unsolved death of publicist Bubby Dacer and his driver, Emmanuel Corbito, in Indang, Cavite in 2000. The case involves high-profile political figures such as former Presidents Joseph Estrada, Fidel V. Ramos and Senator Panfilo Lacson who, based on the affidavits submitted by principal suspects, Glenn Dumlao and Cesar Mancao of the defunct Philippine Anti-Organized Crime Task Force (PAOCTF), is allegedly the mastermind behind the killing.

Contents

History

BW Scandal: Stock Manipulation in PSE

Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) conducted investigations on the alleged manipulation of stocks involving the BW Resources, a newly-formed company where businessman Dante Tan, a close acquaintance of President Joseph Estrada, was the major shareholder. Both agencies later on found evidence implicating Tan and several brokerage houses in insider trading and price manipulation that rocked the market in 2000. Further investigations by the Philippine Senate reveals that Tan sold his shares to friends and clients at discounted rates to jack up the price of BW stocks, making the stock of BW Resources appear active.

Estrada's Involvement: The Calls for Impeachment

SEC chairman Perfecto Yasay revealed that President Estrada called him many times, asking him to clear Dante Tan of any wrongdoing in an insider-trading scandal the businessman was involved. Estrada denied that he interfered. Nevertheless, economists said that the insider-trading scandal contributed to a major loss of confidence in the Philippines among foreign and local investors that year on concerns that cronyism might have played a part. Opposition groups in the House of Representatives later on called for the impeachment of Estrada.

Dacer in the Picture

As Estrada faced impeachment trial before the Senate and amid mounting calls for his resignation, his close friend, Caloocan Rep. “Baby” Asistio, asked political publicist Salvador “Bubby” Dacer to help boost Estrada’s tarnished image. Dacer met with President Estrada at the Malacañang regarding a media campaign to clean his reputation. A few days after, Dacer and his driver were reportedly missing.

The Murder

On November 24, 2000, armed men along the Osmeña highway in Makati reportedly abducted Dacer and his driver Emmanuel Corbito. Dacer was said to be on his way to turn over to former president Fidel V. Ramos documents regarding the stock manipulation and insider trading done by the BW Resources. They are brought to Barangay Buna Lejos in Indang, Cavite where they were executed and burned afterwards.

A few days later, police found the abandoned vehicle said to have been used in the murder of Dacer and Corbito. Then National Bureau of Investigation chief Reynaldo Wycoco said that they had recovered bones and teeth in a creek in Cavite and were examining whether those were of Dacer's and Corbito's. After examination, forensic pathologists from University of the Philippines confirmed that the remains found from the creek in Indang, Cavite were Dacer’s dental plates and Corbito’s family ring.

Suspects

Two farmers, Alex Diloy and Jimmy Lopez, came out as eyewitnesses to the Dacer-Corbito murder case, revealing that Dacer and his driver were strangled by policemen using electric cords before their corpses were burnt. But due to conflicting accounts, they were instead arrested and tagged as suspects.

Police Supt. Teofilo Viña, former aide of Senator Panfilo Lacson and who was previously accused of being the brains behind the Dacer double murder case, turned over seven suspects, who were former civilian agents of PAOCTF, to Philippine National Police Director General Leandro Mendoza on April, 2001. They implicated Chief Inspector Glenn Dumlao of the PAOCTF as the leader of the abduction. Arrested, Dumlao submmited an affidavit in June 2001, narrating how he was given an order by then chief of Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Task Force (PAOCTF) Panfilo Lacson through his officers, Michael Ray Aquino and Cesar Mancao, to place Dacer under surveillance in January 1999. The affidavit stated that Dumlao was ordered to rent a room at the Manila Hotel so he could break in Dacer’s office in the building and steal or destroy whatever documents he could find in the office. Dumlao's superiors, according to the statements, were after documents pertaining to BW Resources which was under investigation for insider trading and stock manipulation at the PSE. Dacer reportedly got hold of the documents when Tan engaged in his services at the height of the probe being conducted by PSE and SEC. In July 2001, Mancao and Aquino fled to Hong Kong and then to America.

Dumlao and three other accused were discharged as state witnesses in 2002 but a year later he issued an affidavit that stated the government was pressuring him to pin down members of the opposition, noting Lacson, in the Dacer-Corbito double murder case. Dumlao then fled to America. That same year, Viña was gunned down in Tanza, Cavite by a certain Medar Cruz. Motive of killing was not established.

Suspects such as Michael Ray Aquino were just found last June 27 2011. And 2 to 3 new suspects unknown were said to be at the US.

Suspects Arrested in US

Aquino was arrested for overstaying and, after investigation, espionage case in the United States in 2005. A year later, Mancao was arrested, too, but as a material witness against Aquino by the US government. However, he was released on bail. A former US Marine who was military aide to US vice presidents Dick Cheney and Al Gore reportedly gave Aquino documents downloaded from FBI computers concerning observations on the political situation in Philippines. Aquino pleaded guilty to unauthorized possession of US Department of Defense documents.

In April 2008, an electronic copy of the memo containing proof of Tan transferring 300,000 shares of stocks to Sen. Lacson which Dacer was supposed to give to Ramos in the night of his abduction appeared under the name of F. Pancho Villaraza, a lawyer known to be a close adviser of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. Lacson, on the other hand, cried political harassment.

Mancao's Return

In November 22, 2008, the US Department of Justice approved the Philippine government’s request to extradite Aquino, Dumlao and Mancao to be tried for the murder of Dacer and Corbito. In June 2009, Cesar Mancao returned to the country to face the charges and become a state witness against the mastermind behind the killing.

On July 22, 2009, in a hearing on his status as state witness, Mancao testified before the Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 18 that he took direct orders from former President Joseph Estrada in connection with the case. His testimony was cut short by a motion from counsel for the other accused, seeking to inhibit the trial court judge for alleged irregular rulings.

Dumlao's Return

Glenn Dumlao also returned from the US to the Philippines on July 26, 2009 to testify against Lacson and, possibly, become a state witness. The Department of Justice issued a subpoena requiring the former national police chief to appear before justice department officials to submit a counter-affidavit to the complaint filed by Dacer's daughers.

References

Citation

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