Will the Murder Raps Against Senator Ping Lacson Stick ?

They will if Cezar Mancao II testifies in open court as to the existence of a conspiracy to kill P.R. man Salvador “Bubby” Dacer and that the instigator of such conspiracy was Senator Panfilo Lacson y Morena, alias “Ping“. But there has to be corroborative evidence and/or testimonies from other witnesses.

Eight years after the abduction and gruesome murders of publicist Bubby Dacer and his driver Emmanuel Corbito in November 2000, Dacer’s children sought yesterday the indictment of Sen. Lacson for the murders.

In a nine-page affidavit of complaint filed before the Department of Justice, Dacer daughters Carina, Sabina, Emily and Amparo said it was Lacson who “ordered the killing of our father” based on a recent affidavit executed by another principal suspect and alleged co-conspirator, former Police Senior Superintendent Cezar Mancao II, who is expected to be extradited from the United States on March 31. At the time of the killings, Mancao was working under Lacson in the defunct Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Task Force (PAOCTF), a special law enforcement unit then reporting directly to deposed President Joseph “Erap” Estrada. According to Mancao’s testimony given in in Broward County, Florida, where he is detained pending repatriation to the Philippines, he personally heard Lacson order former Police Superintendent Michael Ray Aquino, then operations chief of the PAOCTF, to kill Dacer sometime in October 2000. Aquino fled to the U.S. after things got too hot and is also presently facing extradition charges. Continue reading “Will the Murder Raps Against Senator Ping Lacson Stick ?”

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Upholding the Right of Reply Part II

Another argument against the Right of Reply is that it’s equivalent to “censorship” and “prior restraint” on the constitutionally guaranteed freedom of the press.

Prior restraint is a form of censorship. It is a legal term referring to a government’s actions that prevent materials from being published. Censorship that requires governmental permission in the form of a license or imprimatur before anything is published constitutes prior restraint every time permission is denied. Prior restraint is an official restriction of speech before publication. The U.S. Supreme Court has rightfully found it to be “the most serious and the least tolerable infringement on First Amendment rights“. Continue reading “Upholding the Right of Reply Part II”

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Upholding the Right of Reply

There are many arguments against the proposed Right of Reply bill, Senate Bill 2150, all finely articulated, high-minded and most, perfectly valid. Read today’s Inquirer editorial and Amado Doronila’s column for recent and lucid examples.

Opposition against it is snowballing, and senators who previously endorsed the measure, like Chiz Escudero, the Chair of the Committee on Justice and Human Rights and one of the bill’s authors, are flip-flopping. President Arroyo, never one to miss an opportunity to butter up to the media, is saying she is ready to veto the bill.

Everyone seems to be taking the side of traditional media which, predictably, has draped itself in the Constitution. Just to play devil’s advocate, being of a diabolical bent, allow me to argue for the adoption of the a law which allows the Right of Reply. Continue reading “Upholding the Right of Reply”

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