Saturday, March 21, 2009

The forgotten angle

Our volunteer researcher Zaida Sonsona e-mailed us some very important items on the Dacer-Corbito case, which she picked up from 

The first, from April 2001, undoubtedly a high point of media frenzy over the alleged kidnap-murders, involved an exposé of parish priest Fr. Gabriel Baldostamon of the Our Lady of Rosary church in Sun Valley Subdivision--where the Dacers reside--that at a breakfast meeting with the Dacers around 10 days after their father’s disappearance, he heard FVR henchman Joe Almonte “consoling” the family that should they recover Dacer or “arrange” for his release, he would be spirited out to the US to make it appear that he was still missing. 

Strangely, eight years since that episode, Almonte has never reacted nor has this angle ever been properly looked into. According to the same item, “Almonte earlier came out with a letter in which Dacer wrote apprehensions over drawing the ire of Joseph Estrada and former PNP chief Panfilo Lacson.” But where did he get that letter? 

The next item was my Tribune column a few days after that exposé entitled, “Investigate Almonte,” which similarly saw print in Bishop Ted Bacani’s column. It echoed the calls we made for people to uncover mysteries behind other brutal incidents like the December 2000 “F-I-D-E-L” LRT bombing, where a security guard of the LRT and the father of bombing victim Crisel Acusin claimed that bomb-sniffing dogs were pulled out a week before the attack, which was also no different from the Al Ghozi murder under police custody, as with other unsolved cases by shadowy military and police operators. 

These questions become even more relevant because FVR was at the Manila Hotel, where he allegedly was supposed to meet Dacer for a breakfast meeting. Yet, only after an hour of waiting, he already announced that Dacer had disappeared and called police. Let me emphasize: After only an hour. 

What’s equally strange is that the announcement was made even before the Dacer family suspected of anything amiss. I then recall thinking that FVR should be a primary suspect because Dacer knew many of his secrets and it was well known too that Dacer had already reconciled with his “kumpareng” Erap, just days prior to that meeting. 

Such a suspicion is further bolstered by incontrovertible historical facts which point to their efforts at destabilizing and deposing the elected Estrada. The F-I-D-E-L bombings may have been blamed on the usual suspects--Muslim “terrorists”--but when one asks, Qui bono (or who benefits), the finger always points to Edsa II beneficiaries. 

The ruthlessness and sinister efficiency of these groups--powerful police and military individuals (and syndicates) over whom FVR has great “influence”--are now well known. However, we must not forget another big beneficiary of the destabilization of Estrada--the US corporatocracy. As we know, FVR has close links to the Carlyle Group, a chief purveyor of US imperialism today. 

Next on the list was Ninez Cacho-Olivares’ article of April 16, 2001, which raised a number of crucial questions: “First, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) announces to the public that the case has been solved… (but then) a bag of charred bones… still had to undergo DNA testing for positive verification… Then one witness showed the media a pair of brown loafers which he claimed belonged to Dacer… It was later discovered that (it) could not have belonged to Dacer or Corbito. And forensics still had not determined whether the charred bones were human bones… 

“But NBI chief Reynaldo Wycoco continued to peddle the story and came up with the ridiculous claim that in the case of Dacer, the corpus delicti was not the body but the killing itself. Duh!… It was clear that the Arroyo government, its Justice Department and the NBI were more than willing to frame their foes with a murder rap… Other questions (thus) arise: Why was the skull never found? Why weren’t other pieces of jewelry, which Dacer normally wears, found in the site where he and his driver were said to have been burned to a crisp four months ago?… 

“A priest suddenly surfaced and claimed he had overheard Fidel Ramos’ man, Jose Almonte (doing what we narrated above)… The same priest also went to the ‘murder’ site and concluded that given the report that Dacer and his driver were burned to a crisp, the site would have shown a bigger burnt area. Not too long after, the children of Dacer suddenly called a press conference claiming they have accepted the fact that their father is dead, as they had the bones and dentures checked by a private physician. They also claimed that found in the same murder site were the dentures as well as pieces of jewelry that belonged to their father… How is it possible for the family to have gotten another set of dentures and bones after the NBI had already been through the site with its ‘evidence’?… What does this make too, of the Dacer children who claim to have found the jewelry in the same murder site… (Were) the murderers… generous enough to give away a pair of shoes… (and) the jewelry Dacer was wearing?” 

Besides all these unanswered questions, we ask: Why has the US opened the way for the “return” of Mancao and Dumlao at this time? Of course, we know that the US has always meddled in our affairs. But why this particular case? 

Reliable military intelligence sources we talked to insist that the affidavits of Mancao and Dumlao will implicate Estrada, as what Michael Ray Aquino’s will later do. They are convinced that this campaign, which involves the US, vividly betrays Uncle Sam’s fear of Estrada as being the only serious obstacle to its 2010 plan of installing a new Gloria Arroyo puppet--in the guise of someone invited to Obama’s National Prayer Breakfast no less? (More next column…)