says fight for justice in PH not yet over
WEEHAWKEN, New Jersey – Carina Dacer was among the millions of people who came out to watch the Fourth of July fireworks in New York from the Weehawken, New Jersey side last Tuesday.
But last night was extra special for Dacer as she is now a naturalized American citizen, having taken the oath just last week.
“I feel like finally, I have a government that I know will protect me, or give me justice when I need it,” Dacer said. “So different from the government I used to have.”
Dacer added that she has lost faith in the Philippine justice system that she says has denied her and her family justice.
But she said that she is not turning her back on her homeland, just on the people that run it.
“Yung mga nangyayari ngayon sa Pilipinas... justice is almost like a total joke,” she said. “Mabuti na dito sa America.”
Clearing his name
Michael Ray Aquino, a suspect in the murder of Carina’s father, was recently extradited to stand trial in the Philippines for allegedly carrying out the Dacer-Corbito double murder.
After fighting his extradition for years, Aquino said he finally came home to clear his name.
When he arrived in the Philippines, Aquino maintained that he received no orders from Senator Panfilo Lacson, who has been accused of masterminding the murder of Salvador Dacer and his driver.
“I think ginagawa niyang tanga ‘yung mga Pilipino. To clear his name, he shouldn’t have left. Kasi kung talagang wala siyang kinalaman, he shouldn’t have left,” Dacer said.
Aquino left the Philippines in June 2001 after Lacson’s supposed instructions for him and two others to flee the country for fear of being implicated in the double murder case by then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s administration.
Lacson himself also fled the country and was a fugitive for some time until the warrant for his arrest was dropped. He then mysteriously re-appeared in the Philippines.
“The act of evading arrest itself is a crime, and the fact that the justice system in the Philippines did not impose a punishment... It shows to me na ang justice system natin is applied only kung kanino lang nila feel i-apply,” Dacer said.
Fight for justice
Dacer said her fight for justice for the death of her father will not end.
“The family deserves to know the truth. I think the government of the Philippines has an obligation to give justice to our father’s death,” she said.
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