(The Philippine Star) | Updated February 7, 2013 - 12:00am
MANILA, Philippines - Lawmakers are set to hold another bicameral conference committee hearing in June – when Congress resumes session – to try to have the bill amending the juvenile justice law approved, Sen. Francis Pangilinan said yesterday.
The decision was made after senators failed to reach an agreement on Monday over the minimum age of criminal liability that they hoped to include as amendment to Republic Act 9344 or the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006.
The Senate’s version of the bill - contained in Senate Bill 3324 - opted to retain the current minimum age of 15 while the House of Representative’s version OR HB 6052 set it at 12.
Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III was pushing for the adoption of 12 as the minimum age provided the youth offender was involved in heinous crimes.
Pangilinan, principal author of the original law and co-sponsor of the current bill, said that the Senate panel is looking at the proposal of Sotto as a possible compromise.
“We will convene the bicam in June and in the meantime try and find a Solomonic decision during the recess,” he said.
Sotto noted that many heinous crimes such as rape and murder are committed by minors under the age of 15. The minor offenders easily get away with the offense and become repeat offenders.
Pangilinan cited a study by the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila, which considers 15 as the age of discernment.
Pangilinan said only 15 percent of the crimes committed by minors are serious and that 90 percent of those involved are first offenders. He said first offenders should be given a second chance.
He said the Senate panel is still working on a compromise based on the amendment proposed by Sotto.
The bill also provides that minors convicted of a crime be placed in an intensive juvenile intervention and support center within the Bahay Pag-Asa and not in regular jails.
Sotto, meanwhile, rejected the proposal of Sen. Pia Cayetano to bring the matter back to the technical working group, saying it was uncalled for.
Sotto also criticized what he described as meddling of the Commission on Human Rights in the bicameral conference. With Helen Flores
Marantan insists on ‘shootout’ but ready to face murder raps
By Marlon Ramos
Philippine Daily Inquirer
1:08 am | Friday, February 8th, 2013
The ground commander of the police operation in Atimonan, Quezon, that led to the killing of 13 alleged criminals on Jan. 6 continued to insist on Thursday.
But Supt. Hansel Marantan said he would respect the findings of the National Bureau of Investigation and face the murder charges that the agency reportedly would bring against him.
Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, who oversaw the NBI investigation ordered by President Aquino, has told reporters that based on the testimony of eyewitnesses, what happened in Atimonan was “definitely not a shootout.”
On Thursday she countered Marantan’s statement in a television interview about the first shot coming from the group of alleged illegal gambling lord Victor “Vic” Siman.
“That’s not what the eyewitnesses say. That’s not what the evidence says. That is explained clearly and detailed in the report,” De Lima said.
De Lima submitted the NBI’s investigative report on the Atimonan killings to Malacañang on Thursday.
She said the report was “very exhaustive” and ran to more than 70 pages, not including voluminous annexes.
De Lima declined to discuss the contents of the report with journalists but said she had ordered an investigation into leaks to the press.
The Inquirer reported on Wednesday that the NBI recommended murder charges against Marantan and all the policemen and members of the Army Special Forces who took part in the operation that led to the killing of Siman and 12 other people at a checkpoint in Atimonan.
“If the NBI is going to file 13 counts of murder against us, we will respect that. We have respected [the NBI] from the very start of the investigation,” Marantan said in an interview with ABS-CBN reporter Gus Abelgas on Wednesday.
“We participated in the investigation… [and] submitted our sworn statements. We also submitted some of our men for questioning,” he said.
“But in the same manner, we maintain our position that it was a shootout, given all the circumstances and the statement of our witness,” he said.
Marantan, who was taken to St. Luke’s Medical Center in Quezon City on Thursday to undergo a medical procedure on his wounded left arm, said the witness testified that the group of Siman fired the first shot, which “triggered the firefight.”
Siman, an alleged operator of the illegal numbers racket “jueteng” in Laguna and Batangas, was supposedly the lone target of the police operation called “Coplan Armado.”
Philippine National Police Director General Alan Purisima doubted the police report of a shootout, pointing out that Siman’s group was wiped out while only one, Marantan, was wounded on the police side.
Relatives of the victims demanded an investigation, claiming that there was no shootout and charging that the victims were summarily executed.
Marantan said the statement of the lone witness would be corroborated by the statements of the Army soldiers who provided assistance to his team during the operation.
“I would like to believe that the slug taken from me came from the firearm of one of those onboard the vehicles,” Marantan said.
“The policemen had no choice but to ‘cover fire’ to extract me from the line of fire,” he added.
Marantan said the operation was not launched because of Siman’s alleged involvement in jueteng but because of his supposed role in gun crimes, robberies and hijackings in the Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon) region.
He said it was part of the security preparations of the Calabarzon police for the midterm elections in May.
“He (Siman) is the missing link in the RCBC massacre,” he said, referring to the killing of 10 people during a robbery at the Cabuyao, Laguna, branch of the Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. on May 16, 2008.
Marantan, however, did not elaborate on Siman’s supposed role in the RCBC case.
He noted that some of the 13 people slain in Atimonan had arrest warrants, including Leonardo Marasigan and Maximo Pelayo.
He said Siman’s group was also involved in the ambush-slay of two police officials in Laguna.
“Imagine how many innocent people will be killed if they were not neutralized by the PNP,” he said.
Marantan did not hide his disappointment at what he described as “character assassination” against him.
He lamented that some people “made a monster” out of his name.
Marantan complained that some government officials had already issued statements against him and the other policemen involved in the incident even before the NBI could finish its investigation.
Asked if he thought De Lima’s statement preempted the NBI’s report, he said: “Yes, that’s right. It’s really sad hearing those kinds of statements.”
“Although we feel bad, we’re not angry with the justice secretary. She might have had some wisdom [in issuing] that statement. But for us accused, we feel that it’s unfortunate that those statements were made pending the investigation,” Marantan said.—With a report from Philip C. Tubeza
MANILA, Philippines—The National Bureau of Investigation will investigate the leak to the press of its report on the police killing of 13 alleged criminals in Atimonan, Quezon, on Jan. 6.
NBI Director Nonnatus Rojas said Thursday the leak embarrassed the bureau, as President Aquino had given strict orders to keep the results of the investigation confidential.
Rojas did not say whether heads would roll but Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, who submitted the report to Malacañang Thursday, said the source of the leak faced penalties ranging from suspension to dismissal for insubordination and misconduct.
“Suspension can be one day, one week, one month, six months, one year or two years and the maximum penalty is, of course, dismissal,” De Lima told reporters.
She said that while the government recognized the right of the press to access to information, as well as the reporters’ right to access to sources, she was leaving it to the NBI to decide whether to summon journalists who reported information leaked from the investigative report.
Were leaks correct?
Asked whether the leaks were faithful to the report, De Lima said “certain portions” that were published tended to show someone leaked the report.
“But I’m not confirming that’s contained in the report,” she said.
De Lima reiterated an earlier statement that the leak could be aimed at undermining her and Rojas’ leadership.
It was just an “impression,” she said, but added: “What does that mean, they want to embarrass the leadership of the NBI? Or they just want to give information despite repeated instructions from superiors [not to prematurely disclose the report’s contents]?”
“We will do our investigation and the negligence of our people and we will address this concern as we go on,” Rojas said.
The scope of the investigation has yet to be determined, he said.
Rojas said several units of the NBI were involved in the investigation and in the preparation of the report.
Actual pages from report
Measures were laid down to ensure confidentiality, including a ban on cell phones in closed-door discussions, De Lima said.
Still, images shown on television on Wednesday and Thursday indicated a leak of actual pages from the report.
“This is something very unfortunate. I am sad and really angry about how things have developed,” Rojas said.
“Despite our efforts to keep this probe [confidential], a leak still occurred and the media got some info,” he said.
“It is sad, it puts the NBI in an embarrassing situation,” he added.
A source in the bureau told the Inquirer that drafts of the report were shredded and moving copies of the report even inside the NBI complex was done under escort.
But an agent involved in the investigation questioned the investigation of a supposed leak.
“We could not understand what kind of leak they are talking about. It was an open investigation, all the people involved and their names were already known even before the NBI started its investigation,” the agent said.
All the agents involved in the investigation and in the preparation of the report are demoralized, the source said.
“It’s demoralizing because after working so hard this past month, and now instead of focusing our energy on other cases or the next phase of the investigation, which is the filing [of charges] and preliminary hearing, we have to face a probe that will also sap our time and energy,” the agent said.
But Virgilio Mendes, NBI deputy director for regional services and head of the Atimonan investigation, said the investigative group would respect De Lima’s order.
Rojas made it clear that there was no news blackout on the Atimonan investigation.
“It’s just that we did not want to disclose the results prematurely,” Rojas said.
Dr. Gerry Ortega’s incessant radio commentaries against then Palawan Gov. Joel Reyes’ involvement in the alleged misuse of billions of pesos of the province’s share from the Malampaya gas project resulted in his death, fellow journalists told the Senate blue ribbon committee on Thursday.
Sen. Teofisto Guingona III, chairman of the Senate panel that looks into the accountability of government officials, called on the Court of Appeals (CA) after the hearing to make “the proper discernment” on the government’s appeal of its dismissal of the murder case against Reyes.
“I’d like to point out that right after [Ortega] was killed, I was told by government officials, [Puerto Princesa] Mayor [Edward] Hagedorn among them, that I might be well-advised to take security precautions,” Inquirer Palawan correspondent Redempto Anda told the committee.
Anda said he and Ortega had been working on reports about corruption attending billions of pesos worth of projects funded by royalties from the Malampaya gas project. He said Ortega had received death threats especially when their coverage started uncovering more than enough evidence.
“Several people were casing my house six, seven days after he was killed. This was in correlation with the testimony of the state witness that originally there were two journalists who were in their contract for the hit job,” Anda said.
Anda, who is also an officer of the National Union of Journalists in the Philippines, thanked the Inquirer for providing him with security “until now.”
Exposé on P3.9 billion
Anda said there was no other reason for the threats other than the exposé by provincial media and civil society of the misuse of P3.9 billion from the Malampaya gas project.
“My situation… I’d like to stress is a very typical situation of what threats are posed to journalists, not just to journalists, but civil society participants in Palawan who are very active in this issue [of corruption in the provincial government],” Anda said.
“I firmly believe… that this has no other reason other than the exposé on the Malampaya corruption. I was speaking with Dr. Gerry Ortega when he was under serious threat already and this was only his topic at the time,” Anda added.
Guingona suspended the hearing until the committee received documents from relevant government agencies in connection with substandard infrastructure projects, whose multibillion-peso funding was disallowed by the Commission on Audit (COA).
“We would also wait for the steps that would be taken by the COA, Ombudsman, Department of Public Works and Highways, National Bureau of Investigation, Department of Justice (DOJ), Bureau of Immigration and even the Court of Appeals,” Guingona said.
Reversal of DOJ finding
He said the case was of primary importance, just like the case of the Maguindanao Ampatuan massacre. “This is a case about grave injustice done to one man, Doc Gerry, who spoke the truth,” Guingona added.
The appellate court late last year reversed the DOJ finding of probable cause to charge Reyes and his brother with murder in connection with Ortega’s murder.
The decision is now the subject of a motion for reconsideration in the appellate court.
“I challenge the justices of the CA to make the proper discernment in upholding the law and dispensing justice for everyone,” Guingona said.
The senator said the committee had so far established that Palawan’s funds were indeed misused.
“It’s clear from the testimony of [Public Works and Highways] Secretary [Rogelio] Singson that the quality of projects funded by the Malampaya funds was unacceptable,” Guingona said.
“One could also note that the projects were located in inappropriate places and that there were multiple funds and projects all in the same place,” the senator said.
Guingona said that aside from the P3.9 billion from Malampaya, there was a release of P6 billion from the Arroyo administration’s so-called State-of-the-Nation-Address (Sona) funds—or projects mentioned in the Sona in 2009.
“The COA also clearly said that the projects funded by the Malampaya funds were disallowed because of violations of the bidding process,” he said.
Guingona said pronouncements of the DPWH and the COA seemed “to give credence to the corruption using Malampaya funds as alleged by Bishop [Pedro] Arigo and other [nongovernment organizations and people’s organizations].”
Aside from establishing the relationship between Ortega’s death and the corruption in the Palawan government during Reyes’ term, Thursday’s hearing also found vulnerabilities in the system of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and Bureau of Immigration (BI) regarding the travel of persons linked to crime.
“We saw holes in the DFA’s system of issuing passports and the huge one in the BI’s net in screening the coming and going of persons in the country. These were used by the suspected masterminds in the death of Doc Gerry,” Guingona said.
Reyes slipped out of the country using a fake passport.
Guingona said there also appeared to be a problem with the country’s witness protection program marked by the death of one of the witnesses in Ortega’s case who was found lifeless in a Lucena City jail.
“There are many recommendations that need to be made to improve different agencies of government after our hearings in the past three weeks,” he said.
But the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) on Thursday played down insinuations that there was foul play in the death of a key witness in the murder of Ortega.
Chief Supt. Serafin Barretto, BJMP Calabarzon director, maintained that Dennis Aranas, who served as a lookout in the January 2011 assassination of Ortega in Puerto Princesa City, committed suicide by hanging himself in his cell at the Quezon District Jail (QDJ) in Lucena City.
Supt. Annie Espinosa, QDJ warden, said an autopsy done by the National Bureau of Investigation showed that Aranas had died of “asphyxia by hanging.”
“There were no signs of bruises, hematoma or wounds on the body,” Espinosa told reporters over the phone.
Barretto had requested the Philippine National Police and the NBI to look into the death of Aranas to dispel allegations that he may have been killed, the BJMP said.
Quarrel with partner
A few days before he was found dead on Tuesday, Barretto said Aranas had a quarrel with his supposed live-in partner, a certain Cris Allen.
Barretto said it appeared that Aranas had long been estranged from his wife, Marilyn.
“His fellow inmates said (Aranas) looked depressed. According to them, Aranas learned that his girlfriend was already living with another man,” Barretto said.
“When the woman visited him (last Sunday), they had a fight. Aranas was also heard saying that he could not bear being in jail,” he added.
Asked why the jail guards did not immediately report the incident to the police, Barretto said the BJMP was not required to submit its report to the PNP “because we are not under the police.”
“There is also no basis for us to investigate. The warden should report it to the BJMP regional office. Then we will inform the police and the family. But it does not mean that the PNP was required to investigate because we have our own investigator,” he said.
But the PNP spokesperson, Chief Supt. Generoso Cerbo Jr., said the jail guards should have reported the incident to the local police as a matter of standard procedure in suicide cases.
“When the policemen arrived at the detention cell, the body was no longer there. The scene was already clean,” Cerbo told reporters.
“The BJMP has a lot of investigating to do… (on the) administrative aspects (regarding) the procedure,” he added.
Ombudsman dismisses 2 PNP officials in armored vehicle repair anomaly
By Tetch Torres
1:35 pm | Thursday, February 7th, 2013
MANILA, Philippines–Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales dismissed from services the officials of the Philippine National Police Officers (PNP) involved in the anomalous repair and maintenance of 28 units of V-150 PNP Light Armored Vehicles (LAVs) in 2007 worth P400 million.
In a 10-page Supplemental Joint Resolution released Thursday, Morales dismissed Antonio Retrato, Accounting Division Chief; and Eulito Fuentes, Supply Accountable Officer after they were found guilty of Grave Misconduct and Serious Dishonesty. Aside from dismissal from public service all their benefits are forfeited and they are perpetually disqualified from holding public office.
The Resolution stated that “[i]f the penalty of dismissal from the service can no longer be served by reason of resignation or retirement, the alternative penalty of fine equivalent to one year salary is imposed, in addition to the same accessory penalties of forfeiture of retirement benefits and perpetual disqualification to hold public office.”
However, the Ombudsman absolved Chief Superintendent Mario San Diego, a member of the PNP National Headquarters Bids and Awards Committee as “there is no substantial evidence to hold him administratively liable for Grave Misconduct and Serious Dishonesty.”
Retrato and Fuentes are already facing a case for violation of the Anti-Graft Law, the Government Procurement Act and Malversation through Falsification before the Sandiganbayan.
On Aug. 14, 2007, then PNP Chief Director Gen. Oscar Calderon initiated the request for repair and refurbishing of 10 V-150 LAVs in connection with the PNP Special Action Force’s (SAF) capacity build-up program for P275,365,000. Subsequently however, former PNP Chief Gen. Avelino Razon requested for a supplemental budget for the repair and refurbishing of remaining 18 LAVs.
The Ombudsman’s fact-finding investigation, in its complaint said there were irregularity in the “bidding process, awarding of contracts and utilization of funds intended for the repair/refurbishment of 28 V-150s of the PNP.”
Morales said the “public respondents circumvented the provisions of the Government Procurement Act to take private firms Serpenair, Enviro-Aire, Evans, RJP, Dex-Lan and RKGK Enterprises as the direct suppliers.” It also said that “the government suffered injury in the amount of P409,740,000, representing the cost of the highly irregular transactions, and that the said companies were given unwarranted benefit, undue advantage or preference as the contracts were awarded to them despite non-compliance with law and without actual delivery of goods and services at the time of payment.”
(The Philippine Star) | Updated February 8, 2013 - 12:00am
MANILA, Philippines - It was all about jueteng.
Thirteen people were murdered in Atimonan, Quezon on Jan. 6 because of a turf war between jueteng operators, one of whom was among the dead and the other a woman with links to police Superintendent Hansel Marantan.
Control of jueteng operations was cited as the most likely motive for the killing, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) concluded in its probe of what Marantan’s team had described as a shootout.
The 56-page final NBI report was submitted to President Aquino yesterday. It said Marantan and his men appeared to have set up an ambush to eliminate alleged jueteng lord Vic Siman for encroaching on areas in Southern Luzon controlled by a rival identified as Tita Dinglasan.
Marantan’s links with Dinglasan have been established but the exact nature was not clear, the report said.
Marantan has denied that his siblings are involved in jueteng. Earlier reports said he grew up in the care of a jueteng operator named Tita.
The report was not immediately released to media pending a review by the President, but a reliable source privy to the NBI probe confirmed to The STAR the turf war angle.
“It was a jueteng rivalry that later on became a personal feud between Marantan and Siman,” the insider explained.
The source, however, admitted that this angle would have been solidly proven had NBI investigators been able to talk to Siman’s aide Fernando “Pandoy” Morales before the latter was killed last Jan. 14 or just eight days after the Atimonan bloodbath.
The insider said Siman, supposedly a known jueteng operator in Laguna and Batangas, was on his way to Daet town in Camarines Norte on a convoy with 12 companions, supposedly to expand his gambling operations, when his convoy was blocked by Marantan’s team.
Investigators also found that Tirso Lontok Jr., the environmentalist who was among those killed, also had links to jueteng operations in Laguna and Quezon.
It was discovered that there had been two previous attempts to kill Siman’s cousin Victorino Atienza. Atienza’s group was also known to be involved in the gun-for-hire business in Southern Tagalog and the Bicol regions.
Justice Secretary Leila Lima refused to confirm this, along with earlier reports that the NBI had recommended the filing of 13 counts of murder against Marantan and his team.
She instead ordered an investigation aimed at identifying the source of the leaked findings reported in the media despite her gag order.
“Once we determine if there was indeed leakage and identify from whom it came, we will charge whoever is found responsible,” she said.
A visibly irked De Lima warned of possible administrative sanctions – either suspension or dismissal – against the source of the leaked information from the NBI report.
“It would depend on the gravity of the offense. The usual charges for that are insubordination and misconduct,” she explained. But she would not directly confirm the accuracy of the reports.
“In the past few days, based on what we see from certain newspapers, there are certain facts there, certain disclosures there that would tend to show there was indeed leakage,” she stressed.
De Lima admitted she was “pissed off” by the leakage, believing it was done by those who wanted to undermine her leadership in the department, which has supervision over the NBI.
“Assuming there was indeed leakage from NBI, why do they still do that despite our repeated orders? What do they want to achieve – to embarrass our leadership? What is that all about?” she asked.
The STAR earlier reported that the NBI, in its report, has recommended the filing of 13 counts of murder against Marantan and members of his team, which included 22 policemen and 25 soldiers from the 1st Special Forces Battalion based in Candelaria town in Quezon province.
De Lima had earlier concluded the incident was “not a shootout” based on accounts of three civilian witnesses, even before Marantan’s team was able to present its own witness, who claimed it was Siman’s group that fired first and initiated the shootout.
NBI Director Nonnatus Caesar Rojas said they are investigating the alleged leak, including the possibility that it came from other sources.
“We are also checking how did it (leak) happen. But, I also want to assure that insofar as the final report is concerned, I believe that no one has gotten a copy of this before we did,” Rojas told a news conference.
“You know this is something very unfortunate and I’m sad and really angry on how things have developed. Despite all our efforts to keep this probe within the confines of the investigators and those involved, there was a leak, so to speak, and the media got some information,” said Rojas.
“It is our report to the President and it’s rather awkward for us announcing to the public, although we know that the public wants to know what is in our report. But prudence dictates that we wait for the President to decide whether or not our findings will be divulged to the public,” he said.
Rojas also said that he has not seen the GMA-7 news report which aired portions of the supposedly leaked report.
“I haven’t seen it. I don’t want to confirm also what’s in there for obvious reasons,” he said.
“We will do our investigation and see the extent of the negligence and liabilities of our people and we will address these concerns as we go on,” he said.
Rojas also expressed belief that the leaked document may have come from other sources.
“I am not also discounting the fact that some reporters would have obtained their information from other sources, not the NBI. That’s possible. Call it the abilities of some press people in obtaining information. But insofar as leaks coming from the NBI, that’s something serious also to consider. We will be addressing this,” he said.
The Atimonan investigating team is headed by NBI Deputy Director for Regional Operations Services Virgilio Mendez.
“It was a big effort because so many people were working on so many things, our technical people, our ballisticians, our chemists, and our people in photography. They have their own tasks. And it took a lot of effort,” he said.
“And we have a team who crafted the final report. It’s composed of persons from different divisions. We all worked on it. I, myself, made sure and went through almost all the aspects of the report. The secretary (De Lima) was not involved in the report. We were giving her progress of our investigation. Of course the justice secretary had no hand in the crafting of our report. The report was our own,” he said.
“Frankly, we have not really yet gone into the details on the probe of the supposed leak. But we are going to have an investigation into this in order to find out why this happened. And for us to be able to address similar concerns in the future,” Rojas said.
“It’s not also healthy for the NBI and for all government agencies when they work, leaks went into the media, to know the supposed results or progress even before it is officially announced and made known to the people. Maybe if I am to be asked, it’s prudent also for everyone to maybe wait for the official results instead of getting snippets here and there, so that people will not speculate. Anyway, the results will be coming out sooner or later,” said Rojas.
“There was no news blackout. Progresses were seen. It was always what we were doing. It’s just that insofar as the results were concerned, of course we can’t release it prematurely,” he said. With Sandy Araneta
PO1 Jonathan Castro, a cop-turned- detainee had to be transferred to another jail after inmates whom he maltreated in the past ganged up on him inside their cell at the Pasay City jail.
The policeman’s safety could not be assured by the Pasay City jail warden as some inmates wanted to exact revenge on him.
Castro is an example of a very, very bad cop.
A woman had charged him with rape. Not content with abusing the woman, he allegedly extorted money from her boyfriend.
Castro’s past misdeeds have caught up with him after the woman he allegedly raped complained.
Since rape is a nonbailable offense, Castro had to be detained while the case is pending.
He was put in a cell where—of all places—some of the inmates whom he had thrown in jail were also confined.
“He is known to hurt and force arrested suspects, like snatchers, into admitting the charges against them,” said a jail insider.
Persons like Castro should take this maxim to heart: Greet the small people on your way up because these are the very same people you will meet on your way down.
Here’s another saying that applies to Castro and his ilk: You reap what you sow.
* * *
The Philippine National Police (PNP) is probably suffering from collective bad karma.
Many of its leaders, like the present, have good and noble intentions.
But why does the PNP attract to its ranks the likes of Castro and Supt. Hansel Marantan?
If you recall, Marantan is the leader of the police and military contingent who allegedly executed 13 persons gangland-style in Quezon province.
* * *
Speaking of karma, I was once a witness to how poetic justice played out.
A Manila police officer, whom I covered when I was assigned to the police beat, had an excellent record of killing notorious criminals.
But on the side, he also killed—“salvaged” in police parlance—persons who were not criminals but who had crossed him.
He was not punished for these cases of unjustified killings as they were made to appear that these were undertaken “in the line of duty.”
This police officer had a daughter whom he doted on. He would often take time out from his duties to fetch her from school.
The daughter eventually graduated from dental school.
Several years after he retired from the police service, she had put up her own dental clinic that later became the scene of a crime.
Two robbers had barged into the clinic, one of them shooting her dead even after she had given them everything.
My friend, the ex-cop, was devastated. The Universe apparently wanted him to experience the feeling of losing a loved one in a case of senseless killing. He died a very lonely, bitter man.
* * *
I heard a rumor about a group of cops who don’t dispose of notorious criminals, but their own.
Policemen involved in kidnapping, robbery, car theft, gun-for-hire, rape and drugs are targets of this group, so the rumor goes.
The group, composed of cops imbued with idealism, has adopted the modus operandi of motorcycle-riding killers who ride tandem, approach a target and shoot them.
The group’s most prominent victim was reportedly a Manila policeman who robbed his victims in their homes.
The cop, who was with a female companion, had just come from the Southern Police District headquarters, where his administrative case was being heard, when two men on a motorcycle shot him in the head.
His female companion was spared.
As most rumors go, this one cannot be confirmed. But I was told the public will be hearing more from this group soon.
Families of ‘Atimonan 13’ grow impatient over probe findings
By Maricar Cinco
Inquirer Southern Luzon
7:11 am | Tuesday, February 12th, 2013
SAN PEDRO, Laguna, Philippines—The families of at least two of the victims in the Atimonan, Quezon shooting are getting impatient with Malacañang’s decision to go slow in reviewing the recommendations that the Department of Justice and the National Bureau of Investigation submitted to the Palace over a week ago.
“I am also getting impatient. It has already been over a month now since the incident happened,” said Susan Consemino, the widow of Supt. Alfredo Consemino.
Consemino was among those killed in the questionable police-military operation in Atimonan,Quezon on January 6.
Malacañang, through deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte, asked the public to give them more time to review the “exhaustive report” submitted by Justice Secretary Leila de Lima last week.
The report, described to be five inches thick, contained the results of the investigation of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).
Presidential Legal Counsel Benjamin Caguioa and Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr. are reviewing the NBI report.
The Atimonan operation, which targeted alleged crime-and-gambling lord Victor Siman, but which ended up killing not just Siman but 12 others, was partly funded by the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission (PAOCC), according to the now suspended operation”s ground commander, Supt. Hansel Marantan.
“We hope (for the results) to come out within this week. We’ll just keep on praying and hoping that it turns up in favor of (the families),” Susan said in a phone interview on Monday.
The family of real estate broker and casualty Paul Quiohilag was also starting to grow impatient over the delay in the release of the results.
They also expressed their misgivings about Ochoa dipping a hand in the NBI report.
“The way they are handling it, parang sinasala (it seems the report is being filtered),” said Quiohilag’s sister, Rodelia Claridad.
“Why is this taking too long? Was the NBI report not good enough?” she asked.
The media earlier reported that the NBI recommended the filing of murder charges against those behind the Atimonan, Quezon, operation.
Earlier reports also said the NBI indicated that there was no shootout and that the crime scene was tampered with.
An officer who has been charged with graft in connection with a P1.2-billion firearms deal of the Philippine National Police has been named director of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG).
In simple rites held at Camp Crame on Thursday, Chief Supt. Francisco Uyami Jr. took the helm of the CIDG from Director Samuel Pagdilao Jr. who stepped down last week after reaching the mandatory retirement age of 56.
Uyami, a member of Class ’82 of the Philippine Military Academy, was one of several police officers charged last year in the Office of the Ombudsman in connection with supposed irregularities in the bidding for 59,904 service pistols for policemen. The case remains pending with the Ombudsman.
Uyami also served as chief of police of Pasig City after the raid on a “shabu tiangge,” a big drug den discovered in the city in 2007.
Uyami’s designation, however, came as a surprise to a number of officers since he was the youngest of those who were considered for the job.
Sources told the Inquirer Uyami was Interior Secretary Mar Roxas’ choice because the latter wanted to give the CIDG post—considered one of the “juiciest” in the PNP—to someone who had never been assigned to the group.
“Secretary Roxas wanted to give the position to the official who least wanted it,” a ranking police officer told the Inquirer.
PNP spokesman Chief Supt. Generoso Cerbo Jr. said Uyami was endorsed to President Aquino by PNP Director General Alan Purisima on the recommendation of the Senior Officers Placement and Promotions Board.
Noy in no hurry to read NBI report on Atimonan shooting
By Delon Porcalla (The Philippine Star) |
Updated February 15, 2013 - 12:00am
MANILA, Philippines - President Aquino has yet to act on the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) report on the killing of 13 people in Atimonan, Quezon last Jan. 6.
In a recent interview, the President said he presently has his hands full, citing the appointments to the 15-man Transition Commission tasked to craft a measure that will be sent to Congress for the creation of a Bangsamoro region.
The President also noted that the NBI report, which was submitted to him last Thursday, is five inches thick and the report brief alone is 64 pages.
Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr., Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa and the Palace legal team were tasked to review the NBI report.
“The Office of the President would be part of the group that would be digesting the report,” said Communications Secretary Ricky Carandang.
“I hope you give us some time. This is a long investigation. It is a complicated case. And it’s better to fully digest all of the details before we begin to speak publicly about it,” Carandang earlier said.
Earlier reports, quoting unnamed sources, said the NBI recommended the filing of multiple murder charges against policemen and soldiers involved in the incident.
The President had ordered the relief of Calabarzon police director Chief Superintendent James Melad over a spate of violent incidents in his jurisdiction, including the Atimonan “shootout” and the killing of a suspected former gambling administrator, Fernando “Pandoy” Morales, a week after the Atimonan shooting.
Chief Superintendent Federico Castro Jr., deputy chief for operations of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, said the report of the fact-finding body led by Superintendent Keith Singian included affidavits of witnesses, like that of Morales’ family.
Castro, however, refused to reveal details of the report, leaving it up to Philippine National Police chief Director General Alan Purisima to officially announce the findings.
A ranking police official confirmed to The STAR that Singian’s committee report “points to the fact that Morales did not fire his gun.”
Meanwhile, PNP doctors advised Superintendent Hansel Marantan, the only police officer wounded in the Atimonan shooting, to do administrative jobs instead of actual police work in the field.
Chief Inspector Dorothy Baltazar of the PNP Health Service said the wound in Marantan’s left arm damaged the nerve in his forearm.
“With his damaged ulnar nerve, his agility will not be as good as before the injury,” said Baltazar in a briefing. “The nerve cannot regenerate.”
Baltazar said the damage was diagnosed after Marantan had an electromyogram nerve conduction velocity at the St. Luke’s Medical Center in Quezon City as recommended by his attending physician Martin Sison.
She said Marantan will undergo another test after three weeks of therapy.
Chief Superintendent Ma. Angela Vidal, director of the PNP Health Service, earlier said doctors observed the slow healing of Marantan’s wounds on his left arm so they recommended further tests.
Vidal added that Marantan could not walk on his own and had to be assisted by his father due to the wounds in his legs. With Cecille Suerte Felipe