DOJ may appeal Michael Ray's release

Posted at 12/20/12 11:30 AM

MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Justice is mulling seeking relief from the Court of Appeals after a lower court ordered the release of former police officer Michael Ray Aquino.

Justice Secretary Leila de Lima was surprised at the turn of events, saying she has yet to receive a copy of the court order.

She said she has asked state prosecutors to get a copy of the court order and for the panel in charge to immediately meet and consider their options.

De Lima said the case against Aquino hinged on the testimony of former colleague Cezar Mancao over the death of public relations man Bubby Dacer and driver Emmanuel Corbito.

Mancao's testimony tagging Aquino was rejected by the court because Mancao was rejected as a state witness.

This became the basis for the apellate court to reverse the finding of probable cause against Aquino and Senator Panfilo Lacson.

De Lima said the court order was served late afternoon at the National Bureau of Investigation and she only heard of it from media inquiries.

She said they may file a motion for reconsideration or a certiorari with the apellate court.

She also said the panel will also study if the release order was immediately executory.