crimes in the Philippines

Ex-cop tagged in Dacer-Corbito murder case arrested in Bulacan

Jairo Bolledo
Ex-cop tagged in Dacer-Corbito murder case arrested in Bulacan

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(1st UPDATE) William Reed is arrested through a warrant of arrest issued in 2001 in relation to the double murder case

MANILA, Philippines – A former police officer, who was among the cops tagged in the Dacer-Corbito murder case and has been in hiding for over two decades, was arrested by law enforcers in Bulacan.

A report issued by Central Luzon regional police on January 23 said William Reed, 57, was arrested in Poblacion in Pulilan town during a manhunt operation. The operation was carried out by cops from the regional office, as well as from the town.

According to the police, Reed was arrested through a warrant of arrest for “double murder under Criminal Case No. 01-191969 issued by Judge Rodolfo A. Ponferrada, dated May 25, 2001 with no recommended bail.”

The police added that Reed was part of the Department of the Interior and Local Government’s list of most wanted persons in the country. Reed carried P250,000 bounty, the police added.

The arrested former cop is only one in the long list of people implicated in the double murder case. He has been in hiding since 2001 – or for 22 years – since the charge was filed against him and his companions.

At the time of the murders, Reed held the rank of Senior Police Officer 1, or Police Master Sergeant in today’s classification of police ranks.

In the early 2000s, the murder of public relations man Salvador “Buddy” Dacer and his driver Emmanuel Corbito shocked the country after the names of some powerful politicians back then were dragged into the case. It included the likes of former president Joseph Estrada and former national police chief and senator Panfilo Lacson.

Dacer and Corbito were brutally murdered shortly after Dacer was summoned in Malacañang where he was accused of lobbying for the impeachment of Estrada, who was then the president. Dacer also served as publicist to Estrada prior to his murder. 

On November 24, 2000, the two were abducted in an intersection along Makati City. A few months later, in April 2001, their burned remains were found in a creek in Cavite. Their bodies were identified using dental records and personal items. 

The case ran for years, and some of the petitions even reached the Supreme Court.

Although the court later dismissed the case against Lacson, the former senator said he believed the double murder was a plot against him by former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. Lacson had accused the ex-president of corruption.

Back then, Lacson was among Estrada’s favorite generals.

Meanwhile, in 2020, one of the former cops tagged in the case, Cezar Mancao II, was appointed by former president Rodrigo Duterte as head of the Cybercrime Investigation and Coordination Center. Mancao, who used to be under the Witness Protection Program, testified against Estrada and Lacson during the trial. – Rappler.com

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Jairo Bolledo

Jairo Bolledo is a multimedia reporter at Rappler covering the police, crime, military, and security.