GOVT HANDLERS DISCREDIT MAWANAY

Manila, April 5, 2003 -- After touting Angelo Mawanay as its best and most 
credible witness to pin down Sen. Panfilo Lacson on drug trafficking, 
kidnapping and money laundering last year, his government handlers 
yesterday were unanimous in saying Mawanay was never credible.

NBI Director Reynaldo Wycoco said nobody believes Mawanay "because he has a 
big credibility problem."

Col. Victor Corpus, chief of the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces 
of the Philippines (ISAFP), presented Mawanay as one of the key witnesses 
against Lacson during an investigation conducted by three Senate committees 
between July and December 2001.
Wycoco said the NBI wrote off Mawanay as an "official witness" in May 2001 
after he flunked three consecutive lie detector tests.

The NBI chief also denied Mawanay's allegations that he, together with 
Corpus and President Arroyo's husband Mike, pressured Mawanay to implicate 
Lacson in drug trafficking and other criminal activities.

Wycoco also denied he asked Mawanay to go to the NBI office to execute an 
affidavit implicating Lacson in the kidnapping and murder of public 
relations practitioner Salvador Dacer and his driver.

"The only time I allowed Mawanay to set foot in the NBI was for him to 
undergo a lie detector test. After the test I never believed him," Wycoco 
said. He failed to mention that Mawanay was once enrolled in the witness 
protection program on the basis of his allegations against Lacson.

Mike Arroyo described Mawanay's exposť as an "April Fool's joke that came 
two days late." The President's husband said he would not sue Mawanay 
because it would just be a waste of time.

Arroyo added: "Iyang taong iyan, sinungaling po iyan. Mismong si Senator 
Lacson sinabi 'Mawanay is an incredible witness and a congenital liar.'"

He reiterated that he does not personally know Mawanay but admitted that a 
certain "Fuentes" contacted him through text supposedly to provide 
information about a certain Chinese national involved in drug trafficking.

Anselmo Avenido Jr., director general of the Philippine Drug Enforcement 
Agency (PDEA), said Mike Fuentes was an alias used by Mawanay.

Avenido said a PDEA intelligence agent met with Mawanay to verify 
information on the existence of a clandestine shabu laboratory in Quezon 
City. The meeting place took place in the second week of March in a coffee 
shop in Ermita, Manila.

Mawanay allegedly told the PDEA agent that he was a courier of the drug 
group and used the name "Mike Fuentes." Avenido said PDEA tried to validate 
the information given by "Fuentes" but it did not produce positive results. 
Nevertheless, PDEA continued to meet with Mawanay.

Avenido said PDEA denied Mawanay's request for a digital camera and a 
mission order to authorize him to carry a gun.

Presidential spokesman Ignacio Bunye said Mawanay has more comic and 
entertainment value than evidentiary value, and should join the circus 
"because he is such a good acrobat."

ISAFP said it is contemplating on filing criminal charges against Mawanay.

"He's definitely lying. It's not true that he was coerced, told what to do 
or that we prepared what he is going to sign," ISAFP spokesman Pedro H. 
Davila said.

Davila presented to the media photocopies of Mawanay's supposed handwritten 
drafts of his earlier affidavit. (Malaya)

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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