Monday, May 24, 2010

A Repost From GMA News.TV

Lacson has lost chance to reopen Dacer-Corbito probe

Panfilo Lacson, the fugitive senator who escaped before a Manila court ordered his arrest early this year, could no longer ask for a reinvestigation into the November 2000 killings of veteran publicist Salvador “Bubby" Dacer and driver Emmanuel Corbito.

The senator had exhausted all legal remedies by failing to show up when the department was still doing the preliminary investigation into the twin killings, Department of Justice assistant chief state prosecutor Richard Fadullon said Sunday.

“The period to file a petition for review [before the Justice Secretary] should have been done 10 days after the resolution was received by his lawyers. Otherwise the resolution becomes final," he said.

On Jan. 7, the department filed double-murder charges against Lacson before the Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 18, which was handling the pending Dacer-Corbito double murder case.

The senator, however, boarded a plane to Hong Kong two days earlier – according to Bureau of Immigration records – before authorities lost track of him.

Lacson has a standing arrest order from Philippine authorities.

The Interpol was tapped by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to help track him down.

On the other hand, Justice Secretary Alberto Agra said it is up to the court to order another preliminary probe into the Dacer-Corbito killings should Lacson seek one.

Judge Myra Garcia-Fernandez, who used to preside over the case, was appointed early this year to the Court of Appeals.

Her replacement is yet to be named.

“It’s up to the court now to proceed with the trial… I believe in the independence of the judiciary. Let the procedure take place," Agra said.

The senator fled the country on January 5, two days before he was charged with the double murder. About than a month later, Fernandez ordered Lacson’s arrest.

In an earlier statement, Lacson said he fled the country to escape what he called an evil conspiracy between MalacaƱang and the DOJ.

Lacson was a staunch critic of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s administration, and had exposed several alleged anomalies implicating members of her family. —VS, GMANews.TV

Reposted From GMA News TV

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