Friday, January 25, 2008

Kumander Bucay Finally Free After 23 Years

Norberto Manero, Jr. aka Kumander Bucay has been set free at 5:35 p.m. today following the signing of his release papers by Justice Secretary Raul Gonzales. Manero and two of his brothers were convicted in 1987 for the killing of Italian priest Fr. Tulio Favali in 1985.

The infamous Manero brothers were former members of the Integrated Civilian Home Defense Force (ICHDF), a defunct paramilitary group. However, they became infamous (somehow a legend in Mindanao) as members of the Ilaga Group who fought Muslim insurgents in the 1970s .

Manero's prison term was commuted by then President Fidel V. Ramos from 40 to 24 years. Former President Joseph Estrada granted him a conditional pardon in December 1999 but was quick to revoke it in March 2000 after he was accused of the 1977 killing Ali and Mambawatan Mamalumpong. The Sarangani Regional Trial Court however dismissed the case in 2002, making him eligible for the commutation.

Manero's two brothers were released in 2003 after serving 18 years of their sentence while Norberto served a total of 23 years.

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