Monday, April 14, 2014

Hansel Marantan's -- DISMISSED AND DISSED

It's almost 9 years since FX's death.  I wonder what his life would be right now if he was still around today.  A lot has changed in all our lives this past 9 years.

I haven't updated this blog much, but I'm reminded of FX and the entire case every time I hear about cops murdering citizens.  Was it a "rubout" or a "shootout" -- the new words I learned from Nov 5, 2005.  How truthful were the media reports?  I always wonder now.

My most recent posts talked about Hansel Marantan, the cop who finalized FX's death.  Marantan was able to keep his job and live the following years without disruption or consequence of what he did to my friend.  He continued to commit more injustice,  betraying the Filipino citizens, the police enforcement, and our country's justice system.  Early last year, he did it again -- killing Vic Siman's group in Atimonan, the same way he killed FX in Ortigas.

This time around, Marantan hid behind his gunshot wounds to avoid jail and court time.  C'mon, how long does it take to heal from a gunshot wound?!   What a coward!  Today, I learned he attempted to sue the families of FX and Anton (and their lawyer!) for stating that they were waiting for justice.  How dare Marantan he?!  How crazy was that?!   It's a good thing our new Supreme Court will not stand for this non-sense and had dismissed Marantan's petition.  There goes Marantan's delay tactics... down the drain.  Way to go, Supreme Court!  Thank you.  Thank you for giving us hope.

How many families fight for justice in this country?!  I commend the Manzanos and Cu-Unjengs for doing so.  Many Filipinos have been brainwashed with fear to "let it go" because fighting for justice against the cops, the government, or a richer corrupt group can be a no-win-situation.  It's time this mindset changes.  Our truth and courage is our strength. 

PS: Late this week, I also learned that Marantan was finally dismissed from the PNP.  It's about time!  No more badge.  No more support system from our taxes.  (Who is paying Marantan?  Follow the money and I'm sure it will explain all the mess created to our citizens.)


SC junks Hansel Marantan bid to hold HR lawyer Diokno in contempt for citing earlier slays

MANILA, Philippines –The Supreme Court has dismissed a petition by Chief Supt. Hansel Marantan, main accused in the 2013 Atimonan Massacre, to punish human-rights lawyer Jose Manuel Diokno and his client for appearing at a TV interview and dweeling on an earlier homicide case where he was also among the accused.
Drawing the line between freedom of speech on one hand and the subjudice rule and indirect contempt on the other, the high court’s Third Division voted 5-0 to dismiss Marantan’s petition arising from comments given by Diokno and his client, Monique Cu-unjieng La’o, whose son Anton was one of three young men gunned down in Pasig City in 2011 by a team led by Marantan.
For public comment to be considered contempt of court for violating the subjudice rule, it must “really appear” that such does impede, interfere with and embarrass the administration of justice, the high tribunal said. The specific rationale for the subjudice rule is that courts, in the decision of issues of fact and law, should be immune from every extraneous influence; that facts should  be decided upon evidence produced in court’ and that the determination of such facts should be uninfluenced by bias, prejudice or sympathies, it added.

A case for homicide filed Dec. 6, 2011 against Marantan, for the deaths of Anton Cu-Unjieng, Francis Xavier Manzano and Brian Anthony Dulay  was earlier dismissed though not yet final. The criminal cases involve the killing of the three on November 7, 2005  in front of the AIC Gold Tower at Ortigas Center, an incident captured by a television crew.  The families of the victims sought a reconsideration of the Ombudsman’s finding of homicide and wanted the charges upgraded to murder. In the meantime, Marantan was again implicated in another shooting incident on January 6, 2013 in Atimonan, Quezon Province, resulting in the death of 13 men, including a police colonel and a businessman described as a gambling financier.
Marantan and the PNP team he led—along with augmentation from the military—at first claimed the 13 men led by businessman Vic Siman had tried to evade a checkpoint they set up on a supposed tip that a robbery  syndicate was in the area. The men on two vehicles supposedly shot at the lawmen, sparking an “encounter” which the National Bureau of Investigation—acting on an order from the President—later concluded was a sham. On the basis of evidence indicating Siman’s group was gunned down in cold blood in an apparent war over gambling turf, the DOJ filed murder charges against Marantan

In filing a complaint for subjudice, Marantan alleged that, riding on the unpopularity of the Atimonan incident, respondents Atty. Diokno (counsel of Cu-Unjieng La’O) and Ernesto Manzano (the brother of the late Francis Manzano, one of the three victims in the Ortigas incident) organized and conducted a televised/radio broadcasted press conference where they supposedly made intemperate and unreasonable comments on the merits of the criminal cases (on the Pasig shooting in 2011) pending before the RTC, branding Marantan and his co-accused guilty of murder in the Ortigas incident.

On January 29, 2013, an interview of Diokno, Manzano and Cu-Unjieng La’O was aired over TV Patrol. In that interview, Marantan cites statements made by Diokno and Cu-Unjieng La’O  which he claims violated the sub judice rule, thus making them liable for indirect contempt under Rule 71, section 3(d).

The statements of Diokno, Manzano and Cu-Unjieng La’O pertained to the delay in the resolution of the case but, according to Marantan, also on the merits of the cases.  The respondents argued that there was no violation of the sub judice rule as their statements were legitimate expressions of their desires, hopes and opinions which were taken out of context and did not impede, obstruct or degrade the administration of justice in a concrete way; that no criminal intent was shown as the utterances were not on their face actionable being a fair comment of a matter of public interest and concern; and that the petition of Marantan was intended to stifle legitimate speech.

Answering the key question of whether or not respondents violated the subjudice rule and are liable for contempt of court, the SC’s Third Division held the Marantan petition is without merit.

The SC Third Division held that the subjudice rule restricts comments and disclosures pertaining to the judicial proceedings in order to avoid prejudging the issue, influencing the court, or obstructing the administration of justice. A violation of the rule may render one liable for indirect contempt of court under Rule 71, sec. 3(d).  Indirect contempt proceedings are criminal in nature; indirect contempt is conduct that is directed against the dignity and authority of the court or a judge acting judicially.  It is an act obstructing and impeding the administration of justice which tends to bring the court into disrepute or disrespect. Intent is a necessary element in criminal contempt, and no one can be punished for a criminal contempt unless the evidence makes it clear that he intended to commit it.

For public comment to be considered contempt of court for violating the subjudice rule, the SC said, it must “really appear” that such does impede, interfere with and embarrass the administration of justice.  The specific rationale for the subjudice rule is that courts, in the decision of issues of fact and law, should be immune from every extraneous influence; that facts should  be decided upon evidence produced in court’ and that the determination of such facts should be uninfluenced by bias, prejudice or sympathies.

The contempt power is inherent in all courts in order to allow them to conduct their business unhampered by publications and comments which tend to impair the impartiality of their decisions or otherwise obstruct the administration of justice. As important as the maintenance of freedom of speech is the maintenance of the independence of the Judiciary. The “clear and present danger” rule may serve as an aid in determining the proper constitutional boundary between these two rights.
The supposedly contemptuous statements attributed to respondents Diokno and Cu-Unjieng La’O are expressions of their opinion as to the state of events as perceived by them, specifically that Marantan and company should be charged with murder instead of homicide.  The Courtsaid it detected no malice on the face of their statements and the mere restatement of arguments contained in their various submissions to the court cannot actually, or does not even tend to, influence the Court.
As far as respondents’ comments on the conduct of the Court [in the earlier 2011 case], a review of their comments reveals that they were simply stating that it had not yet resolved their petition. There was no complaint, express or implied, that an inordinate amount of time had passed since the petition was filed before the Court. There appears no attack or insult on the dignity of the Court either.

The Third Division framed  its key argument thus: A public utterance or publication is not to be denied the constitutional protection of freedom of speech and press merely because it concerns a judicial proceeding still pending in the courts, upon the theory that in such a case, it must necessarily tend to obstruct the orderly and fair administration of justice. By no stretch of the imagination could the respondents’ comments pose a serious and imminent threat to the administration of justice. No criminal intent to impede, obstruct or degrade the administration of justice can be inferred from the comments of the respondents.

Finally, the court said, freedom of public comment should, in borderline instances, weigh heavily against a possible tendency to influence pending cases. The power to punish for contempt, being drastic and extraordinary in its nature, should not be resorted to unless necessary in the interest of justice. In the present case, such necessity is wanting.
The decision was penned by Associate Justice Jose Catral Mendoza. Besides the division chair Justice Presbiterio Velasco, other members who voted are Justices Diosdado Peralta, Roberto Abad and Mar-Vic Leonen. 

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Even The President Believes Hansel Marantan Is A Murderer

I just read some really amazing news: our government has filed multiple murder charges against Hansel Marantan!  I wish they would also include Marantan's case in Ortigas, where everything he did was caught on film.  Nevertheless, I'm just glad that this government is giving justice in the Atimonan case and has acknowledged that Hansel Marantan is a murderer.

It's not over yet, but we surely are getting close to justice.  Until everything has been placed in all court records and Hansel Marantan is put to jail for life, then we are clear for a future of justice.

Marantan, Melad et al. face multiple murder charges over Quezon rubout


MANILA, Philippines–Multiple murder charges will be filed against 21 members of the Philippine National Police and 14 members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines in connection with the Atimonan incident that led to the death of 13 people including police officers and an environmentalist.

Facing multiple murder case include Chief Superintendent James Melad and Superintendent Hansel Marantan.
Aside from the two, also included to be charged are the following:
Senior Inspector John Paolo Carracedo, Senior Police Officer 1 Arturo Sarmiento, Superintendent Ramon Balauag, Senior Inspector Timoteo Orig, Senior Police Officer 3 Joselito De Guzman, Senior Police Officer 1 Carlo Cataquiz, Police Officer 3 Eduardo Oronan, PO2 Nelson Indal, PO2 Al Bhazar Jailani, PO1 Wryan Sardea, PO1 Rodel Talento, PCI Grant Gollod, Inspectors Ferdinand Aguilar, Evaristo San Juan, PO3 Benedict Dimayuga, PO2 Ronnie Serdena, PO1 Esperidion Corpuz Jr., PO1 Bernie De Leon and PO1 Allen Ayubo.
AFP personnel to be charged are Lieutenant Colonel Monico Abang, the Battalion Commander, Captain Erwin Macalinao, 1Lieutenant Rico Tagure, Technical Sergeant Melanio Balauitan, Cpl. Clark Magusara, Private First Class Michael Franco, PFC Kirby-Tam Coronel, PFC Alvin Roque Pabon, PFC Ricky Jay Borja, PFC Melvin Lumalang, PFC Gil Gallego, Private Marc Zaldy Docdoc, PVT. Emergin Barrete and PVT. Michard Manago.
“Police Superintendent Marantan claimed that he had reliable information proving that private armed groups were being utilized not only in illegal numbers game but also in the illegal drugs trade and also by politicians for the liquidation of their political opponents,”  the NBI report stated which was adopted in full by Malacañang.
“Unfortunately, in a classic case of intelligence failure, the identities of the other occupants of the vehicles were not accurately established before the actual operation, thus resulting to the senseless massacre of innocent victims,” the NBI added.
“Ultimately, the NBI probe reached the conclusion that no shootout occurred, thus, validating the initial result of the PNP fact finding committee,” the NBI added.
“The probe findings also showed that the victims were summarily executed and all indications point to a ‘rub out’…The Atimonan, [Quezon] encounter was a well calculated plan to close the book on Vic Siman under the pretext of Coplan Armado, using government forces and resources. The fault of the other victims was that they were with the wrong company, at the wrong place and at the wrong time,” the NBI findings stated.
President Benigno Aquino III has endorsed the filing of multiple murder charges against key police officers over their alleged role in the January 6 shootout in Atimonan, Quezon that left 13 alleged criminals dead, agreeing that this was a “rubout.’’
“After a thorough review of the NBI executive report of the incident in Atimonan, Quezon, the President has accepted its findings in full. He has directed the Secretary of Justice, Leila de Lima, to file the appropriate criminal and administrative against Hansel Marantan, James Melad and others,’’ Undersecretary Abigail Valte, deputy presidential spokesperson, announced in a briefing.
Three police officers and 10 others were killed in the alleged 20-minute gun battle at a checkpoint on a sparsely populated stretch of Maharlika Highway in Atimonan, Quezon on January 6.
Marantan, leader of the team manning the checkpoint, was the only one hurt among 50 policemen and members of the Army special forces that allegedly shot it out with the group of  Siman.
 Originally posted at 2:20 p.m.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Getting closer to getting justice

It's inspiring to see that families of FX and Anton continue to fight for what is right.  It's been over 7 years (7 years and 2 months to be exact) since their brutal murders.  In a third-world country trying desperately to fight against corruption and justice, they were murdered by cops.  However, unlike other incidents similar where the police officer's lies were more believable than any witness can contradict, this case had the most ideal evidence to reveal what truthfully happened.  There's three sides to a story, the shooters (the cops), those who were shot (the dead), and the truth (the video recording).  No other "shootouts" hailed by the cops were video recorded, except for this.  How much evidence do you need to realize who broke the law?

In the recent Atimonan 2013 Shooting, a cop by the name of Hansel Marantan resurfaces.  Marantan had a critical role in the Ortigas 2005 Shooting, because he was the man caught on video approaching the wounded passengers and began shooting at close range to steal their last breaths.  You'll see their wounded bodies jump as Marantan's bullets killed their last hope for life.

In 2005, the country's President, DOJ (Dept of Justice), and PNP (Philippine National Police) sided with Marantan.  They ignored the evidence.  They ignored the people's cry for justice.  They ignored the lives of the true victims.  Instead, they awarded, promoted and celebrated the cops and excused their actions as "homicide," not murder.

Today in 2013, a brand new government is in power.  Hope of justice is in the air.  Marantan has been placed under restrictive custody of the police.  It may be possible that justice will catch up to Marantan.  Please, people.  Let's get this killer off our streets and into prison.  Let's show that there is justice and hope for our future.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Shootout VS Rubout

A shootout is when both parties are shooting at each other -- a battle.

A rubout is when one party shoots at another party -- a murder.

The Ortigas 2005 incident was a rubout.  This was not a homicide, but a murder.  

Hansel Marantan is in the center of this case, and he was caught on video murdering Francis Xavier Manzano, Anton Co-Unjieng, and Brian Dulay. 

With the latest incident in Atimonan, has Marantan's over-confidence, arrogance, and stupidity finally caught up?  Will the new set of government finally give this case justice and arrest the murderers? 

I have hope for our country, government, people... and, most importantly, our future.  Our status quo cannot be to accept this type of injustice, forget them, and hope it never happens to us.  Our future is to be brave and to fight for what is ethical.

It's time to arrest and prosecute Hansel Marantan for murder.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

UNTV Video of Ortigas 2005 Shooting and Hansel Marantan

Watch this video to be reminded of what was captured by UNTV from the Ortigas Shooting of 2005.  The last shot made to FX at close-range was from Hansel Marantan.

Take a moment to absorb this.

Realize what a crazy man Marantan is for being able to do something like this.  Imagine that it's someone you know sitting inside that car.  The men who shot these guys are still free and able to walk our streets as cops.  Because justice has not been served, these men were able to harm other innocent citizens and kill them after November 7, 2005.  They have it in them to kill and they've been getting away with it.  Who's to say they won't do this again?  Can the government promise us that we are safe from these men? 

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Marantan's Last Shot

Hansel Marantan - Corrupt cop who last shot FX at arm's length.
Hansel Marantan
Corrupt cop who last shot FX at arm's length
Let me remind you who Hansel Marantan is and what he did to FX.  This is not an assumption or a speculation.  This was proven by an unexpected video recorded by a UNTV cameraman of the Ortigas Rubout of 2005. 

After the police (dressed in civilian clothes, some in slippers, some armed with military-grade firearms, all of them driving in unmarked vehicles) had wrapped their targeted sedan with bullets, they approached the sedan on foot, fired another round at its passengers, then planted guns and stolen license plates in the trunk to create false evidence to match their story to the public.  Unlike the other shootout incidents they've claimed, this one would not fool the Filipinos because, unbeknownst to the cops, a camera caught them in the act of their corruption.

Hansel Marantan was the guy who approached the passenger-side backdoor and found FX tightly crouched on the floor, behind the passenger front seat.  Marantan saw FX was still and obviously hurt from the gunshots fired.  Instead of checking to see if FX was still alive, so the cops can later question him, Hansel Marantan shot FX at close range to kill himMarantan fired the last shots to make sure everyone in the car was dead. 

It was obvious that Marantan had no intention to arrest but to kill.  Who gave him this order?  Who gave him the confidence that he wouldn't suffer the consequence for this murder and injustice?  Who gave him a promotion for being a corrupt cop?  Who else are his victims?  Who is he kidding?!


Today from "The Manila Times":

From Valle Verde Boys To Atimonan 13: Death Hounds Marantan
Written by Belly Otordoz, Catherine S. Valente, Anthony Vargas, Jefferson Antiporda And William B. Depasupil

On November 7, 2005, Francis Xavier Manzano, Anton Cu-Unjieng and Brian Anthony Dulay—members of the so-called Valle Verde Boys—were killed in an alleged shootout when they refused to
stop at a checkpoint laid out by members of the Philippine National Police-Traffic Management Group, led by a young officer named Senior Insp. Hansel Marantan.

The suspects were in a maroon Nissan Exalta in Ortigas District in Pasig City when they were waylaid by Marantan’s group. An alert UNTV crew took footages of the incident and showed them on national television.

The images of the already dead suspects being shot at repeatedly by the policemen prompted their relatives to declare a rubout.

Marantan and his boys were charged with three counts of homicide by the Office of the Ombudsman but the families petitioned the Supreme Court to elevate the crime to multiple murder.

Last week, Marantan, who has been promoted to superintendent, found himself in a similar predicament at a checkpoint in Atimonan, Quezon where 13 men—including a policeman of equal rank and four other law enforcers—died. Marantan was shot at least twice.

Bloody trail
The Valle Verde Boys and the “Atimonan 13” were among the many victims of shootouts where Marantan was involved.

Reports said that Marantan had killed at least 34 people in less than a decade.

Marantan, who is still recuperating at St. Luke’s Medical Center in Quezon City for his wounds, had established a pattern in getting himself involved in shootouts.

On February 8, 2010 when he was the group commander of 415th Provincial Police Mobile Group based in Barangay Taguan in Candelaria, Quezon, eight suspected members of a kidnap group were killed along the Maharlika Highway in Barangay Bukal Sur.

It was practically the same story: the suspects did not stop when flagged down and opened fire on the police, forcing them to retaliate, killing all the passengers of the Toyota Hi-Ace van.

The slain men had allegedly conducted illegal activities in Pampanga province and also ignored the first police checkpoint in Barangay Lalig in Tiaong, Quezon.
On April 18, 2012, four suspected car thieves were killed in what the authorities said was a shootout with policemen conducting a checkpoint on the Maharlika Highway diversion road. Senior Supt.

Valeriano de Leon, Quezon police director, said that three of the still unidentified men died on the
spot, while the fourth was declared dead on arrival at a hospital.

The four were on a red Toyota Innova without license plates that drove through the checkpoint barrier and signage in Barangay Gulang Gulang at about 2:20 a.m. The vehicle was traveling south.
The operation was conducted under the supervision of Supt. Ramon Balauag, then the chief of police of Lucena City. However, the operation was said to have been based on information from Marantan.

Balauag, now the chief of the Intelligence Section of the Quezon Provincial Police Office, worked with Marantan in the Atimonan shootout.

On November 12, 2012 in Calamba, policemen killed six suspected criminals, believed to be also involved in the ambush-slay of a police officer the previous month.

The fatalities had been under police surveillance based on reports that they were behind a series of hijacking and robberies in Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon) region.

Senior Supt. Fausto Manzanilla, Laguna police director, said that the six were guns-for-hire.

Manzanilla said that six were on board a bronze Toyota Innova van, while two were on a blue pick-up truck.

The lawmen flagged down the Innova at about 8:30 a.m. in Barangay Lecheria but its passengers opened fire, Manzanilla said. An exchange of gunfire ensued, he added.

All the men in the Innova van were killed. Marantan at that time was the intelligence chief of PNP-Calabarzon.

No whitewash
On Tuesday, Malacañang pledged that there will be no whitewash in the ongoing investigation being conducted by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) on the Quezon shootout.

Palace spokesman Edwin Lacierda said that President was intently monitoring the investigation.

Although the President did not specify a timetable as to when the investigation should be concluded,
Lacierda said that Mr. Aquino wants a full and exhaustive investigation into the incident.

Laciera added that Justice Secretary Leila de Lima has also directed the NBI Death Investigation Division to conduct a parallel probe.

Of the 13 killed in the shootout, three were police personnel: Police Supt. Alfredo Perez Consemino of Purok 3 EM’s Barrio Camp Vicente Lim, Calamba City; Police Officer 1 Jeffrey Valdez of San Jose, Occidental Mindoro province, and Senior Police Officer 1 Gruet Mantuano of Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro province, and one was a soldier, Staff Sergeant Armando Lescano, of 407 Lt. Ano Street, Fernando Air Base, Lipa City.

Five were identified as residents of Barangay Maunong, Calamba City: Leonardo Marasigan, Conrado Decillo, Victorino Atienza Jr., Jerry Siman and Victor Siman.

Three others were Tirso Lontoc Jr. of Barangay Sta. Lucia in Dolores, Quezon; Jimbeam Dyico Justiniani of Quezon City and Paul Arcedillo Quiohilag of Biñan, Laguna.

Police sources said that another slain suspect used two names through the identity cards bearing one Victor Gonzales of Candaba, Pampanga and Maximo Pelayo of Tigaon, Camarines Sur.

Despite claims of a rubout, Chief Supt. Generoso Cerbo Jr., PNP spokesman, maintained that the shootout was a legitimate operation by police units in the area.

“The instruction was to be thorough and proper in the investigation and we also want to find out if there had been any breach of procedure or if there were criminal acts committed in the encounter,” Cerbo said. “We have to establish whether there was a rub-out or a shoot-out . . . what we know at the moment that the fact that there were at least 13 people were killed and one was wounded.”

Nevertheless, the PNP spokesman said that the task of the fact-finding team created was to find out if the rules of engagement in encounter and checkpoints were followed and if the incident has links with jueteng dispute in the area.

Benefit of the doubt
Meanwhile, Sen. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson came to the defense of the police officers who took part on the firefight.

Lacson appealed to the public and media to give the police officers all the benefit of the doubt and just wait for the result of the ongoing investigations being conducted by different government agencies.

“As far as I know, the Atimonan incident was a long running intelligence project of PRO 4-A [Police Region Office IV-A], which involved human as well as signal or technical intelligence among other operational efforts,” Lacson told reporters.

Senate probe
Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel 3rd expressed willingness to conduct a separate investigation on the incident in case the agencies tasked to conduct the probe will not be able to come up with a satisfying result.

 He, however, made it clear that he will leave the investigation to the National Police, the Investigation bureau, as well as the Commission on Human Rights.

“If they won’t do it or don’t do a serious investigation, then I’ll be forced to ask the Senate to investigate this incident,” Pimentel said.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines, meanwhile, has kept a hands-off policy on the controversial alleged shootout.

Col. Arnulfo Marcelo Burgos Jr., military spokesman on Tuesday also denied reports that one of the fatalities was a member of the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (Isafp).

Burgos said that the Isafp card recovered from one of the victims was fake because the military unit has long stopped issuing identification cards to its agents.

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Reloaded in 2013

It happened again.  Same shooters as FX's, the "PNP".  Same allegations by the PNP as FX's, "shootout against carjackers".  Same reality as FX's, a "rubout by the PNP against innocent lives." 

How many more of our innocent family, friends, classmates, co-workers, neighbors, or citizens must die this way in the hands of the corrupt PNPs?!  Not everyone in the PNP is corrupt, but the bad apples are doing a great job destroying its reputation. 

By the way,  Police Supt. Hansel Marantan was one of the guys in the same PNP gang who shot FX.  Are we gonna let this guy continue to do this?!  In FX's case, the cops claimed it was a shootout because one of their men got shot in the leg.  Did you remember how that officer was immediately awarded a medal the same day FX's family and friends learned of the incident. A few months later, it was revealed that the supposed "hero-officer" was shot by his own gun that backfired in the car.  There goes that. 

It's 7+ years since FX was murdered.  The case is not yet closed.  His family is still fighting for justice.  The Philippine legal system has yet to do its job.


Today from "The Manila Times":

Victims’ Kin Cry Rubout
Written by Belly M. Otordoz (Correspondent)

LUCENA CITY: Was it a rubout?
A cloud of doubt now hovers over the alleged “shootout” on Sunday in Barangay Tanauan, Plaridel, Quezon province, where joint forces of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the military killed 13 persons, whom they described as members of a big criminal group from Bicol Region who opened fire at a checkpoint.

Relatives of the slain victims charged “rubout” and decried the police’s “tainting” of the names of their loved ones. Director General Alan Purisima, PNP chief, has ordered an investigation although he rejected claims of a rubout.

“This incident is now under investigation and there was no rubout—it was a shootout. The suspects opened fired first and one of our officers was injured,” Purisima told reporters in Camp Crame.

He was referring to Police Supt. Hansel Marantan, who was shot on the left arm and on both legs.

Marantan was the only one injured in the group of about 50 lawmen who engaged the alleged members of a criminal group in a close encounter.

Among those killed were Lt. Col. Alfredo Consimino, Sgt. Noel Mantuano, Cpl. Jeffrey Valdez, Staff Sgt. Armando Lescano.

Two of the civilians killed, brothers Victor and Jerry Siman, were reportedly rich individuals from Calamba City and allegedly the business rivals of one of the police operatives involved in the “shootout.”

Another civilian fatality was Tirso “Jun” Lontok, founder of Luntiang Alab sa Bundok Banahaw, an environmentalist group based in Sariaya, Quezon.

The other victims were identified as Leonard Marasigan, Conrado Decillo, Victor Gonzales, Victorino Atienza, JimBeam Justiniani and Paul Quiohilag.

Many of those killed were almost unrecognizable from their multiple bullet wounds and some had severe head and chest wounds.

Purisima also directed the police commander for the Southern Tagalog Region, Chief Supt. James Melad, to find out why police and military officers were with the group of suspected criminals.

“We are establishing their background . . . we will find out why they grouped. They came from difference units, they were with civilians and we are still gathering more details,” Purisima said.

As of this writing, Col. Valeriano de Leon, Quezon National Police director, has yet to issue an official statement as to what really transpired on Sunday, when joint elements of Armed Forces of the Philippines-PNP led by P/Supt. Ramon Balauag and LTC Monico Abang, commander of the First Special
Forces Battalion, reportedly flagged down two Montero SUVs in Barangay Tanauan, Plaridel.

Police have yet to present a single evidence that the slain individuals were involved in organized crime activities.

This failure was noted by Chairman Loretta Ann Rosales of the Commission on Human Rights.

“They [the police] said there was suspicion and raw data about a syndicated crime group but it
turned out that there was an environmentalist [in that group]!” Rosales said.

She also questioned why the police fired immediately without determining who were inside the vehicles.

She also ordered a probe into the incident to determine who fired first, who gave the order to fire without knowing who were the other persons and whether human rights were violated.

“You do not just shoot anybody without determining if that person is a combatant or a criminal. Even if that person is a criminal, you should capture him alive,” Rosales stressed.

Only three firearms, an M16 and M14 rifles and a .45-caliber pistol, were recovered from the first Montero. The passengers of the second Montero allegedly did not fire a bullet.

With Reports From Jing Villamente and Anthony Vargas