Lacson forgives ‘weak’ Mancao

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Former Sen. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson had forgiven former police superintendent Cesar Mancao for implicating him to the killing of publicist Salvador “Bubby” Dacer and his driver Emmanuel Corbito in 2000.

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“More than the persecution of innocent people, what Ceasar Mancao did four years ago spoke of his weak character. Surely, I know all those who committed incriminatory machination, even subordination of perjury by the assigned prosecutor herself and I will never forget their names,” Lacson, who also headed the Philippine National Police, said.

“Regardless, I have already forgiven them. In a way, I thank them for letting me know who my true friends are,” he added.

The Department of Justice filed double murder charges against Supt. Michael Ray Aquino of the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Task Force which was then headed by Lacson.

In February 2009, Mancao claimed that Lacson masterminded the killings, prompting Dacer’s family to move for a reinvestigation of the case. Lacson was included as one of the respondents.

However, in 2011, the Court of Appeals dismissed the case against Lacson, saying Mancao was an unreliable witness.

On Saturday, Mancao said he implicated Lacson to the double murders because he was pressured by officials under the Arroyo administration.

He admitted that he had no knowledge about the former senator’s involvement in the crime and apologized to Lacson.

Mancao, who had been in hiding for two years after escaping from the National Bureau of Investigation where he was detained in 2013, said he wanted to surrender because he feared for his life.

But Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said Mancao should tell the truth this time.

“If he does in fact want to resurface, he has to come clean. He has to tell us the plain and naked truth,” she said, noting that Mancao has issued inconsistent affidavits since the beginning.

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