Lacson, 37 others given until June 5 to answer Kuratong raps
- Delon Porcalla () - May 23, 2001 - 12:00am
Opposition senatorial candidate and former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Panfilo Lacson and 37 police officers were given until June 5 by the Department of Justice (DOJ) to answer allegations that they liquidated 11 members of the Kuratong Baleleng robbery gang six years ago.

State Prosecutor Peter Ong, head of a three-man DOJ panel, said Lacson and his co-respondents would have more than enough time to file their rebuttals prior to the submission of the case for resolution.

Those charged include Chief Superintendents Jewel Canson and Romeo Acop, Senior Superintendents Francisco Zubia, Cesar Mancao III and Michael Ray Aquino, and brothers Senior Superintendent Rodolfo Caisip and SPO4 Lito Caisip.

"After the deadline, as agreed upon by respondents’ lawyers and of complainants, the case will be submitted for resolution," Ong told reporters, adding the case will be decided on the testimonies of three prosecution witnesses.

He said it was unfortunate that the respondents – except for Mancao and the Caisip brothers – failed to appear in four preliminary investigation hearings.

"All the respondents were informed of the affidavits of the three witnesses. They were given copies of these from the very beginning," Ong said.

Hearings were conducted on April 27, May 4, May 16 and yesterday.

Ong and panel members State Prosecutors Ruben Zacarias and Conrado Jamolin will no longer be sending subpoenas to the respondents because the case has been pending for a long time.

The new witnesses in the case include Senior Inspectors Ysmael Yu and Abelardo Ramos, who admitted they were part of the raiding team that arrested and executed the gang members.

Lawyers of the Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG), headed by Arno Sanidad, presented the two witnesses in April in an effort to revive the case that was junked in 1999.

Sanidad said Ramos narrated in a sworn affidavit that he shot the suspected bank robbers on "direct orders" from Zubia, a former chief of the Traffic Management Command.

Yu, on the other hand, claimed he was among those who raided the house of gang leader Wilson Soronda in Parañaque.

On May 18, 1995, police raided the safehouse and seized four duffel bags of money and pieces of jewelry before proceeding to Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City with the gangmen aboard a van. Witnesses said they saw policemen shoot down Soronda and his five men while they were handcuffed inside the van along Commonwealth Avenue.

Sanidad said he and other FLAG lawyers expect the Arroyo administration to show its political will in giving justice to the families of the slain men.

The case against Lacson and his men was junked in March 1999 by Quezon City Judge Wenceslao Agnir, who was promoted as Court of Appeals justice the following week.

ARNO SANIDAD CASE CESAR MANCAO CHIEF SUPERINTENDENTS JEWEL CANSON AND ROMEO ACOP COMMONWEALTH AVENUE COURT OF APPEALS DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE KURATONG BALELENG LACSON LAWYERS OF THE FREE LEGAL ASSISTANCE GROUP ONG
  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

SIGN IN
or sign in with
Read and share the latest news
whenever and wherever you are.
Top Stories
Features the most relevant stories,
exclusive content, analyses and special reports.
As It Happens
Get bite-sized highlights and up-to-date
information as the news breaks.
Latest
View the most recent
stories of the day.
Log-in
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet,
consectetur adipiscing elit.
Quisque justo est, auctor vel ullamcorper.
Log-in
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet,
consectetur adipiscing elit.
Quisque justo est, auctor vel ullamcorper.
How to follow As It Happens stories
STEP 1
Click the story in the As it Happens section.
How to follow As It Happens stories
STEP 2
Click "Follow Story" for updates on the news.
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Aliquam eu metus vitae felis tincidunt finibus ut id sapien. Integer volutpat dui eu malesuada dignissim. Sed varius justo nulla, fringilla convallis sem porta sed.
How to follow Author
STEP 1
Click on the author's name in the article.
How to follow Author
STEP 2
Once you click on the author's name, you will be
brought to the Authors page. Click "Follow Author"
to stay updated on the author's works
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Aliquam eu metus vitae felis tincidunt finibus ut id sapien. Integer volutpat dui eu malesuada dignissim. Sed varius justo nulla, fringilla convallis sem porta sed.
How to follow Tags
STEP 1
Click on a tag in the article.
How to follow Tags
STEP 2
When you click on a tag, it will take you to the
dedicated tag page where you'll see the article
viewed, along with other stories with that tag.

Click the "follow tag" button to stay updated on
the topic.
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Aliquam eu metus vitae felis tincidunt finibus ut id sapien. Integer volutpat dui eu malesuada dignissim. Sed varius justo nulla, fringilla convallis sem porta sed.