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Berroya: Lacson wanted Dacer dead

Over ‘stock manipulation’ documents

By Thea Alberto
First Posted 19:19:00 03/13/2009

Filed Under: Police, Murder, Crime

MANILA, Philippines -- Senator Panfilo Lacson allegedly wanted Salvador "Bubby" Dacer dead, supposedly afraid the publicist might make public documents on stock market manipulation, a former police general said.

Some documents na hawak ni Dacer, natatakot kasi sila Ping [Lacson?s nickname] na ilabas ni Dacer. Doon, billions ang kinita nila Lacson [Some documents held by Dacer, Ping and his companions were afraid that Dacer would make public. The documents showed Lacson was earning billions]," Transportation Undersecretary Reynaldo Berroya told INQUIRER.net in an interview at his office Friday morning.

Berroya, who was chief of the PNP Intelligence Group chief at the time the Dacer-Corbito slays were being investigated, also said two other former police officers -- former senior superintendent Glenn Dumlao, who is set to return to the country from the United States, and superintendent Teofelo Viña, who was gunned down during a party, before he could execute an affidavit about what he knew -- had admitted being part of the operations to "liquidate" Dacer. They were

INQUIRER.net has been trying to get Lacson's side but he has yet to respond as of this posting.

The senator was the chief of the Philippine National Police at the time of the celebrated murders.

Berroya also said he learned from Dumlao that he himself was the target of an assassination plot, supposed to coincide with the plot to kill Dacer.

This was also the information Justice Secretary Raul Gonzales earlier claimed was in the affidavit of former senior superintendent Cesar Mancao, another suspect in the slay who is to be extradited from the US and has said he is willing to name the mastermind of the crime.

"They [Dumlao and Viña] said they were bothered by their consciences, that's why they didn't push through" with the plot to kill Berroya, the LTO chief quoted Dumlao as telling him.

Berroy said he was supposed to be killed at the Capitol Golf Club in Quezon City in 2000.

Berroya added that Dumlao admitted taking orders from then senior superintendent Michael Ray Aquino, who, like Mancao, was a former aide of Lacsonand is also charged for the Dacer-Corbito murders. Aquino is jailed in the US where he was convicted of espionage.

Dumlao, who supposedly headed the surveillance against Dacer, admitted there were plans to bomb the Manila Hotel, where Dacer used to hold office.

"Instruction daw sa kanila, kung hindi makuha [si Dacer] sa kalye, tapunan ng granada yung mezzanine floor or sunugin yung Manila Hotel [The instructions were, if they could not get Dacer in the street, to hurl a grenade at the mezzanine floor or set fire to the Manila Hotel]," Berroya said.

Before he was killed, Viña supposedly admitted to heading the team that burned the bodies of Dacer and Corbito after the two had been killed.

A number of current government officials were present when Viña made his "confession" at the Shangri-La Plaza hotel, Berroya said.

Viña was set to execute an affidavit but asked Berroya to make it appear it was not voluntary, allegedly so Lacson would not get back at him.

"So we filed a case against Viña so he could take the witness stand. Months later, he was gunned down at a party in Cavite," Berroya said.

Meanwhile, despite admitting enmity with Lacson, Berroya said he was not being used by Malacanang to get back at the senator, a staunch critic of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and her husband Jose Miguel.

"When it comes to Lacson, ano pa sisirain sa kaniya [what else is there to destroy]?" Berroya asked.

Dacer and Corbito were abducted the morning of November 24, 2000 on the boundary of Makati and Manila while on their way to the Manila Hotel.

Investigation later showed the two were interrogated and tortured in Dasmariñas, Cavite. They were later taken to nearby town Indang where they were strangled to death and their bodies burned.

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