After ten years, former Senior Superintendent Michael Ray Aquino is back in the country. He’s tagged as one of the principal suspects in the killings of veteran publicist Salvador "Bubby" Dacer and driver Emmanuel Corbito before.
Families of the victims were hopeful that Aquino will tell nothing but the truth. But shortly after he arrived from United States, he cleared Senator Panfilo Lacson and former President Joseph Estrada who are said to be the masterminds of the twin killings.
In his statement, Aquino said Lacson and Estrada Estrada never gave him any order to abduct, harm or kill Dacer or his driver Corbito.
Bago po ang lahat, gusto ko pong pasalamatan ang Poong Maykapal, ang aking pamilya at ang lahat ng taong tumulong at sumuporta sa akin for the ten most trying and challenging years of my life. You know who you are. Maraming salamat po sa inyong lahat.
At that particular point, I knew I had to make some very painful decisions in life. I sacrificed my career in exchange for freedom; uprooted my family and went on self-exile; and pursued other goals. I feared not the prosecution but the persecution, and for the safety and security of my family.
I was interviewed by the media ten years ago and I categorically denied any knowledge of, and participation and involvement in, the alleged Dacer-Corbito case. That’s the truth and nothing has changed since then. Then and now, I still maintain my innocence.
Moreover, gusto ko pong malaman ng sambayanang Pilipino na wala pong utos sa akin si President Joseph Ejercito Estrada o si Senator Panfilo M. Lacson to kidnap, harm and/or murder anyone specifically Mr. Salvador Dacer and Mr. Emmanuel Corbito. Wala na po akong maidaragdag, dahil wala po akong karagdagang kaalaman.
Finally, I would like reiterate to everyone that I am now ready to face my accusers and to prove my innocence. I just hope and fervently pray that this time around, my guaranteed constitutional rights to due process — to have an honest-to-goodness preliminary investigation, to a speedy and public trial, to have the compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in my favor, to present controverting evidence, to have the assistance of a counsel of my own choice, to enjoy my rights to remain silent, and to exhaust all available legal remedies — would be respected and safe-guarded by the authorities concerned.
Salamat po ng marami. Diyos ti agngina kanyayo amin. Daghang salamat sa inyong tanan.
I will not be surprised if one day, Aquino will be set free. This is how justice system in the Philippines works. So unfortunate for the familiies of the victims. Who ever behind and responsible for the crime, he maybe celebrating now.