CA dismisses double murder case against Ping Lacson, voids arrest warrant
24 Oras report
The Court of Appeals (CA) junked the double murder case against Sen. Panfilo "Ping" Lacson yesterday, reports GMANews.tv. The CA’s decision reversed two rulings by a lower court that found probable cause to indict Lacson for the murder of publicist Salvador Dacer and his driver Emmanuel Corbito in 2000.
The appellate court also ordered the warrant of arrest issued against Lacson "nullified and set aside." Inquirer.net reports that the Senator, who went into hiding in January 2010, might come out "soon," according to his lawyer. President Noynoy Aquino said yesterday, "We will guarantee him a fair trial and we will protect all of his rights."
According to Inquirer.net, part of the CA’s 80-page decision reads: "(Since there was no probable cause) to justify the filing of two separate information for murder against petitioner, consistent with his constitutional right to be presumed innocent and in consonance with existing jurisprudence, he should be relieved from the pain and agony of trial."
The CA’s Special Sixth Division also found the star witness, former Senior Superintendent Cezar Mancao II, "not credible and trustworthy." The court said, "Under oath, he contradicted himself on material points. Inconsistencies and material contradiction affect the credibility of Cezar Mancao and the veracity of his statements."
State Prosecutor Hazel Valdez told Inquirer.net, "I am very sure we will file a motion for reconsideration." If the motion is denied, Valdez said, "We still have the Supreme Court."