Saturday, January 21, 2006

Cops in shootout will be invited

Just in from Manila Times...

"Cops in shootout will be invited"
By Jeannette I. Andrade, Reporter

THE Philippine National Police Internal Affairs Service on Friday denied a motion of the Traffic Management Group to prevent its members involved in a controversial Pasig City shootout last year from appearing before a committee reviewing the case.

Internal Affairs Inspector General Alexis Canonizado denied the plea of Senior Insps. Henry Cerdon, Hansel Marantan, Samson Belmonte, Police Offers
3 Lloyd Soria and Rizalito Ramos; Police Officer 2 Jesus Fermin, Sonny Robrigado and Dexter Bernadas; and Police Officer 1 Fernando Gapuz and Josel Rey Lucena.

The members of the traffic group’s Task Force Limbas had asked for the internal affairs ad hoc committee, headed by Senior Supt. Joselito Casugbo, to stop its investigation into the Pasig City shootout on November 7, where three suspected carjackers were killed.

Senior Insp. Renator Marasigan and the lawyer Neopolito Perilla are the other committee members.

Some quarters have claimed that the encounter between the task force and the suspects—Anthony Brian Dulay, Anton Cu-Unjing and Francis Xavier Manzano—on Ortigas Avenue and Garnet Street was a “rubout.”

The traffic police reportedly spotted the suspects’ Nissan Exalta, and chased them when they refused to stop.

The suspects reportedly fired at the police, injuring Senior Insp. Belmonte below the right kneecap, prompting the police to fire back.

But a private television company—UN-TV—aired video footage of the encounter the next day that apparently showed the government men violating the rules of engagement.

Canonizado disclosed that records of the case were sent to the Ombudsman, which requested them.

He added that the committee has yet to submit the results of the investigation.

“The resolution is still being prepared by the panel in the light of recent developments,” said Canonizado, who declined to elaborate what the “recent developments” were.

Rep. Rufino Biazon of Muntinlupa has also requested for a copy of the panel’
s findings, he said.