CA junks murder case vs Lacson, drops arrest warrant

02/03/2011 - The Court of Appeals on Thursday granted the petition of Sen. Panfilo Lacson to dismiss the double murder case lodged against him for the Dacer-Corbito killings a decade ago.

In an 80-page ruling, the appellate court's Sixth Division reversed the two orders from the Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 18 that found probable cause to indict Lacson for the killings of publicist Salvador Dacer and driver Emmanuel Corbito in November 2000.

The CA also revoked the arrest warrant the Manila court issued against Lacson, who has been in hiding since January last year.

"The orders dated Feb. 4, 2010 and July 23, 2010 of public respondent court [Manila RTC Branch 18] finding probable cause for the issuance of warrants of arrest against petitioner [Lacson] are nullified and set aside. The informations in Criminal Cases Nos. 10272905 and 10272906 are hereby dismissed," said the CA.

The informations are the criminal cases filed by the Department of Justice before the Manila court.

Pressed for comment, Justice Sec. Leila de Lima sent this text message to reporters: "Let me read first the resolution before I issue a reaction."

Meanwhile, Sen. Lacson's lawyer Alex Avisado called on his client to come of out hiding following the CA's dismissal of the cases.

In an interview on dzBB radio, Avisado said, "Lumabas na ho sana siya ngayon na na-dismiss na yung kaso niya at maipagpapatuloy niya ang kanyang mga gawain."

When asked if he has communicated with the Senator recently, Avisado said, "Magmula noong January 2010, hindi na siya tumawag sa akin (Since January 2010, he has not contacted me yet.)"

Associate Justice Ramon Bato penned the CA ruling, with the concurrence of Associate Justices Juan Enriquez and Isaias Dicdican.

Lacson has been tagged as the brains behind the killings of Dacer and Corbito on Nov. 24, 2000. At that time, Lacson headed the Philippine National Police and the now defunct Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Task Force (PAOCTF).

The PAOCTF allegedly carried out the twin killings.
(GMA News)

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