REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – After almost two years in hiding former police officer Cesar Mancao has expressed his intent to surrender to authorities.
He says he was enlightened by the pope’s recent visit to Manila to correct his mistakes.
He has now decided to absolve former Senator Panfilo Lacson and former President Joseph Estrada in the 2000 murders of publicist Bubby Dacer and his driver Emmanuel Corbito.
“I really want to apologize to former Sen. Lacson for maligning his name and reputation, for the suffering I caused him,” said Mancao.
He says it was because of fear and threats to his life that he was force to implicate the political opposition during the arroyo regime.
“It was because of fear and threats to my life that I was forced to implicate the political opposition during the Arroyo regime,” said Mancao.
It was on November 2000 when Dacer and Corbito were abducted in Makati.
In April 20001their charred remains were found by a creek in Cavite.
That same year Philippine authorities filed double murder charges against Michael Ray Aquino, chief of operations of the presidential anti-organized crime task force then led by Lacson and other police officers like Mancao.
Another police officer, Glenn Dumlao says Aquino and Mancao were among those who planned the murders.
Aquino and Mancao fled to the United States in July 2001 and were charged in absentia.
After the Philippine government requested their extradition Mancao and Dumlao were arrested in the U.S. in 2008.
In 2009 Mancao accused Lacson of masterminding the murders. He also pleaded not guilty to the charges against him and agreed to turn state witness.
But the court deemed him an unreliable witness and he was once again considered a suspect in the case.
He escaped from authorities in May 2013.
Mancao is now appealing for fairness from the government forces that are after him.
Mancao has also apologized to the families of Dacer and Corbito. Dacer’s four daughters are now U.S.-based. Carina Dacer, one of the daughters, told Balitang America she plans to send a written statement on this development soon.
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