A MANILA Regional Trial Court, hearing the double murder charges against fugitive Senator Panfilo Lacson, denied the lawmaker's petition, seeking the reinvestigation of the cases filed against him.
In a 15-page order, Judge Thelma Bunyi-Medina of the Manila RTC Branch 18 also turned down Lacson’s plea to quash the warrant of arrest issued by the court against him on February 4, 2010.
“After a judicious evaluation of Senator Lacson’s allegations and arguments in support of his motion, this Court finds the said motion to be unmeritorious,” the Court ruled.
The court likewise directed the National Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Foreign Affairs for pursuit operations so that the lawmaker may be brought back to face the charges.
“This court, instead of granting the motion filed by the prosecution, shall direct said agency of government and NBI to take the proper steps in order that Lacson may be brought back to the Philippines so he may be dealt with in accordance with law,” Medina said in his ruling.
Lacson’s lawyer Alex Avisado filed the motion for reinvestigation of the case on the ground that his client was not accorded due process when prosecutors found probable cause to indict him for the Dacer-Corbito murders.
According to Avisado, the reopening of the investigation will allow Lacson the fullest opportunity to submit evidence, which he claimed would alter the outcome of the investigation and would erase the finding of probable cause against him.
Among the evidence that Lacson’s lawyer would want to present during the reinvestigation were the November 19, 2009 and January 28, 2010 testimony of former policeman Glenn Dumlao exonerating him.
But the trial court said the motion was filed more than five months after the murder charges had been lodged in court on January 7, 2010.
Thus the Dumlao testimony, which Lacson claimed would be exculpatory evidence for him, was already on hand and had been considered by the court in arriving at the order to proceed with the trial.
“Aside from said testimonies of Dumlao, no specific mention was made by Senator Lacson as to the other evidence he intends to present which could probably alter the findings of the DOJ in its determination of probable cause against him,” the judge said.
The senator literally took flight last February 5, two days before a criminal information for two counts of murder was filed against him before the Manila court. (JCV/Sunnex)