SC denies with finality Dacers' case vs Lacson

by Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 25 2011 04:24 PM | Updated as of Nov 26 2011 09:57 PM

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) - The Supreme Court (SC) has junked with finality a plea by the daughters of slain publicist Salvador "Bubby" Dacer which sought the reinstatement of Sen. Panfilo Lacson in two murder cases in connection with Dacer and his driver, Emmanuel Corbito's death in November 2000.

Carina Dacer, Sabina Dacer-Reyes, Emily Dacer-Hungerford and Amparo Dacer-Henson filed a petition for review on certiorari before the high court last April seeking a reversal of the Court of Appeals' (CA) March ruling that junked the murder informations against Lacson and nullified arrest warrants against him.

In June, the high tribunal's 3rd Division denied the Dacers' petition for review stating that they are not parties-in-interest to file a petition for review. The high court said that in this case, the State is the offended party, thus, it should have been the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG)  that filed the petition.

The SC said the Dacers, without the conformity or participation of the government lawyer, could not file the petition for review.

University of the Philippines (UP) Law Professor Theodore Te had earlier told ABS-CBN News that private complainants have no independent personality when it comes to the criminal case, only as to the civil aspect of the case. He said then that if the private complainant appeals but the SolGen does not, the general rule is that the appeal will not be allowed.

For his part, SolGen Jose Anselmo Cadiz had maintained that his office opted not to file an appeal before the high tribunal because of a reinvestigation ordered by the Department of Justice into the Dacer-Corbito murders, which, he thought, would yield better results. 

The Dacers filed a motion for reconsideration (MR) in an effort to obtain a reversal of the high court's ruling.

In denying the motion for reconsideration, the high court held that "there is no substantial argument to warrant a modification" of its earlier resolution. 

The high court also ordered that an Entry of Judgment be made on the case and that no further pleadings shall be entertained.

In February, the appellate court ordered the dismissal of cases agaist Lacson mainly because it found his co-accused and  former subordinate, police officer Cezar Mancao,  an incredible  and untrustworthy witness. Mancao is applying for state witness in the cases, pending before a Manila trial court.

Before the high court, the Dacers maintained that they were deprived of the opportunity to prosecute and prove their case when the appellate court junked the cases against Lacson without the benefit of a full-blown trial.