Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Six Years and Still Waiting

Six years. This is still an open case. A few months ago, the Police Chief overseeing this case committed suicide when an investigation of his corruption began. The Philippine legal system may be failing FX, but not in "the other side." I hope FX's case finds justice soon and protects others in the future.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Four Years

It has been 4 years since FX died and what has the government and the people done to give him and his family justice? We miss you, F, and we're still here fighting to get you justice.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Four Years....and Waiting

I just received news that The Ombudsman has "finally filed" for the charges against 5 cops from the TMG unit who killed FX. It took four years to file. I'm happy it finally got filed. But... four years?! It takes that long to be logical?! You can watch the video and file the case on the same day.

While we're at it, what's up with the other cops from that same group who got promotions? They're part of this brutal murder too.

Let's speed this up, Philippines! Show the rest of us how justice works in the Philippines, if there's any. Justify your jobs and for your reason of serving this country! The world is now watching you and blogging about it.


===================


Charges filed vs cops in Ortigas shootout

By Tetch Torres
INQUIRER.net
First Posted 18:20:00 08/21/2009

Filed Under: Crime and Law and Justice, Police

Manila, Philippines--The Office of the Ombudsman ordered the filing of homicide charges against five members of the PNP Traffic Management Group- Task Force “Limbas” for the death of three civilians during a shootout in Ortigas in 2005.

Charges were filed before the Pasig City Regional Trial Court.

Slapped with three counts of homicide are Senior Inspectors Hansel Marantan and Samson Belmonte, PO3 Rizalito SM Ramos Jr., PO3 Lloyd Soria, and PO2 Dexter Bernadas for the death of Anton Cu-Unjieng, Brian Anthony Dulay and Francis Xavier Manzano on Nov. 7, 2005.

At around 10:40 pm of the said date, the three victims were on board a Maroon Nissan Exalta 2002 model (XDD 828) and were traversing Garnet Street in Ortigas when they were flagged down by a police patrol car for allegedly committing a traffic violation.

When they failed to stop, they were chased and overtaken by another group of TMG operatives in civilian clothes on board a silver gray Toyota Revo led by Marantan.

Marantan’s group alighted from their vehicle and opened fire at the victims’ vehicle, driven by Dulay.

Police officers involved said the shoot-out was a legitimate police operation. They also invoked self-defense in justifying the shooting saying the occupants fired first, hitting Belmonte on his right lower leg, prompting them to fire back.

This was however belied by the Forensic Case Review of Forensic Pathologist Dr. Raquel Del Rosario-Fortun, which states that Mr. Belmonte’s wounds “were self-inflicted and probably accidental”.

Meanwhile, the Ombudsman, in its resolution said self-defense is evidentiary in nature and best addressed to the trial court for its appreciation.

The Resolution also noted that there was nothing on record that would provide sufficient basis that the respondents took advantage of their superior strength or that they prolonged the suffering of the victims.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Wake-up!

How many more of our countrymen will we allow the corrupt Philippine police to hurt like this? Commissioner of Human Rights.... wake up!!


Friday, November 07, 2008

Is the Philippines ready to CHANGE for the better?

QUESTION:
What would you do when a group of men......
  • dressed in civilian clothes (some were even in shorts and slippers / flipflops)
  • driving unmarked and very dark, tinted vehicles
  • packed with enough guns and machine guns heavy enough to fight a war in Iraq
.... suddenly surrounds your car, and without any vocal or visual warning, bullets start to shoot into the car that you happen to be seating in the back of?

Everything happens so fast that you have no time to cry for reason. The fear is so great that you bring your body into a ball and force yourself to fit on the floor of the tight backseat. The thought that this could be your last day on earth becomes real, but you have no idea why. You have no idea what caused this, but you have no time to wonder why. You have no time to wonder if your friends on the driver's seat and the front seat are still alive. You have no time to wonder who in the world is shooting at you -- is it the gangster of car napper (car thieves)?

As you fight to grasp for your last breath, the gun-toting men approach your car. Do you hope or do you dread? Is this a mistake or a calculated attack? Your body has so many bullet wounds already. What's going to happen next?

ANSWER:
There is nothing you can do, because the attacker is a group within the Philippine Police called the TMG. They are untouchable, and they are prepared to create a cover ups for this type of activity. They are the police, afterall. And this is Philippines, afterall.

Worse, no matter how much you survive the bullet wounds from the initial round of fires, you will still die... because the TMG will make sure of it by shooting one last shot pointed to your head, at arm's length.

And when you and your friends are confirmed to be dead, TMG goes on their auto-pilot cover-up mode. That involves:
  • planting stolen car license plates and stolen guns in your car
  • making phone calls to the media ASAP to cover what really happened as a heroic shootout between cops and robbers. this is where their true acting skills come to play -- when they give that poker face lie as they announce to the entire country that you're a criminal.
  • threatening and following up on threats to those who speak up with the truth of what really happened.
Unfortunately for the people of the Philippines, this is not a unique situation. It's not the one-of-a-kind injustice done once by TMG. Unfortunately, this is a reality of what can happen to you or someone you know in the Philippines in today's time.

On the evening of Nov 7, 2005, this happened to my classmate, FX Manzano. This time, the entire event was filmed, unknowingly to the police. This time, we, the people, have proof that this inhumane act is an injustice done by the government appointed police to it's own countrymen. This time, we, the people, have the power of the Internet to announce the truth, to spread the the truth, and to support each other in our cry for justice in cases like FX's and the many other victims in similar cases.

It's now 3 years since this all happened. The Philippine Human Rights group promised the people that justice will be served. Does it really take over 3 years for the Philippine Human Rights to deal with this?! Is this what the rest of us should expect in protecting our own human rights? To the Human Rights Group, I ask you to give the family of FX Manzano and the rest of us hope that Philippines gives justice to human rights.


*******

By the way, in case you need to be reminded, here are the name of those 10 TMG corrupt officers who killed FX, Anton and Brian:

- Henry Cerdon ("suspected" murderer)
- Hansel Marantan ("suspected" murderer)
- Samson Belmonte ("suspected" murderer - Received a medal of honor for shooting himself in the car with a ricochet bullet; but told the news reporters that he was shot by a gun that came from the victim's car. Wikipedia calls him a "liar.")
- Lloyd Soria ("suspected" murderer)
- Rizalito Ramos ("suspected" murderer)
- Dexter Bernadas ("suspected" murderer)
- Jesus Fermin ("suspected" murderer)
- Sonny Robrigado ("suspected" murderer)
- Fernando Gapuz ("suspected" murderer)
- Josel Rey Lucena ("suspected" murderer)


Monday, November 05, 2007

A Hope that is fleeting, a Hope that is fleeing

BELOW IS THE OFFICIAL STATEMENT RELEASED BY THE MANZANO FAMILY

-- 5 November 2007; The City of Manila.




A Hope that is fleeting, a Hope that is fleeing

Statement of the Manzano Family
in remembrance of Francis Xavier V. Manzano
on his Second Death Anniversary

On November 7, 2005, our family lost a brother when Francis Xavier V. Manzano—FX to us--was killed in cold blood by elements of the Traffic Management Group (TMG). Almost immediately after, the TMG elements and the top echelon of the Philippine National Police (PNP) tried to justify his death officially by painting him and his companions Anton Cu-Unjieng and Brian Dulay in the worst possible light. They claimed they were carnappers, even as they were never charged in court.

None of the government agencies, save for one, lifted a finger to go beyond the official pronouncement of the PNP. Only the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) dared to contradict the almost formula findings of the PNP and TMG. In its unanimous report, the CHR courageously told us—Francis’s grieving family—what we had suspected all along: he and his companions were killed in cold blood, using disproportionate and, in fact, overwhelming force. The CHR’s findings were borne out by the raw footage of UNTV, which captured the entire incident as it happened. The CHR’s findings were also based on scientific evidence painstakingly preserved and secured by Dr. Raquel Del Rosario-Fortun, an independent consultant engaged by the CHR.

Because of this report, we, Francis’s family, dared to hope. We dared to hope that, finally, the truth, as found by the CHR, would find its way into prosecution on those responsible and meting out penalties on those who would be found liable by a court of law. We dared to hope, despite all our personal misgivings and a sense of collective pessimism, that the Ombudsman, the government agency vested with jurisdiction to investigate and prosecute the police elements who killed Francis and his companions, would prove worthy of our hope, if not our trust.

It was because of that hope that we finally decided to formally cooperate with the Ombudsman. It was because of that hope that we dared to speak out in public and ask that the Ombudsman perform its foresworn duty. It was because of that hope that we sought an audience with the Ombudsman, Merceditas Gutierrez, to try to bring to her attention our desperate cry for justice. It was because of that hope that we took her word for it when she told us on July 25, 2006, that she would help us.

It is almost two years since FX was killed in cold blood and it has been more than one year since the meeting with the Ombudsman. Despite the utter simplicity of the issues presented by this case, the Ombudsman has yet to file charges against those responsible for the killing of our brother.

Not one policeman who fired a shot has been disciplined administratively. Not one policeman who participated in the killing has been suspended preventively. Not one policeman has been placed on notice that the killings of November 7, 2005 were anything but regular.

Instead, they continue to roam the streets, armed. Some of the officers involved have even been promoted and transferred to other posts.

Madam Ombudsman, when we met with you, you assured us of your help. We were of the impression that you understood what was going on. We were of the impression that you were aware that three (3) people were killed—without any of them having fired a shot. We were of the impression that you had some clue that an overwhelming number of policemen with an overwhelming use of force had converged on a narrow street on November 7, 2005 to kill three civilians. We were of the impression that you knew what was going on.

Madam Ombudsman, we do not want to think that we were wrong. We do not want to think you are unaware of what is going on. But how else can we explain the long delay in the resolution of the investigation, the apparent unwillingness to act on a clear case of extrajudicial killings by policemen, the inaction by your Office? How else indeed, unless we are to think that while you are indeed aware of what is going on, you do not care at all.

Madam Ombudsman, worse than allowing the killing of FX to remain unpunished would be to allow our hope to vanish.

We ask you now, Madam Ombudsman, prove us wrong.

Show us that you not only know what is going on, but that you also care.

Show us that we were not wrong to hope, even if fleetingly, that those who commit such heinous crimes will be held accountable.

Show us that we may still hope for some measure of justice in this country.

Today, we, FX’s family, remember him on the second year of his passing. We thank all of you, the responsible members of media, who have accompanied us in our journey to seek justice for him and for Anton Cu-Unjieng. We thank all those who have supported us in many different ways. We ask you all to continue to pray for FX and Anton. We ask you also to pray with us for our country—that a day will come soon when widowed and orphaned families may no longer need to raise their cries for justice to the heavens because justice on earth would have been done.

video


BELOW IS THE OFFICIAL STATEMENT RELEASED BY THE CU-UNJIENG FAMILY

On November 7, 2005 three young men—Anton Cu-Unjieng,


Francis Xavier Manzano and Bryan Anthony Dulay--were gunned down by a team of policemen in front of the AIC Gold Tower Building at the corner of Garnet and Ortigas Streets, Pasig City. After the incident, the policemen immediately claimed self-defense. They had no choice but to shoot, they said, because the young men were armed and fired at them first.


What they did not know at the time was that the killings were caught on videotape by television outfit whose office was just meters away from the crime scene। The videotape debunked the lawmen’s claim of a shootout। It showed, at close range and in graphic detail, how the policemen mercilessly executed the defenseless young men, and how they tampered with the crime scene afterward to make it appear as if the victims were killed in a legitimate police encounter.


The broadcasting of the videotape over national television caused a public clamor for the Government to look deeper into the matter. And yet, despite the presence of a “smoking gun” in the form of the videotape, and in spite of the fact that the authorities knew the identities of the lawmen involved, no government official or agency took any steps whatsoever to suspend, relieve, investigate, prosecute or punish the perpetrators.


The only government body that took action on the case was the Commission on Human Rights (CHR). With commendable zeal and dispatch, the CHR—ably assisted by Dr. Raquel Fortun, the country’s top forensic expert—thoroughly investigated the case and found ten police officers liable for arbitrary deprivation of life: P/SInsp. Hansel M. Marantan, P/SInsp. Samson B. Belmonte, PO3 Rizalito SM Ramos, Jr., PO3 Lloyd F. Soria, PO2 Dexter M. Bernadas, P/SInsp. Henry R. Cerdon, PO2 Jesus S. Fermin, PO2 Sonny R. Robrigado, PO2 Fernando Rey S. Gapuz, and PO1 Josil Rey I. LuceƱa, all from the Traffic Management Group, Philippine National Police.


The CHR, however, could not prosecute the offenders because it is not legally empowered to do so. Accordingly, the CHR forwarded its findings to Ombudswoman Merceditas Gutierrez, who assured us, when we visited her in July of last year, that her office would give the case its prompt and proper attention.


Since then, the Ombudswoman’s office has done absolutely nothing.


We cannot help but question why the Ombudswoman’s office, after 17 months, has not even started conducting a preliminary investigation of the case. We question why no one has been charged, relieved, suspended or prosecuted when the evidence is not just compelling but overwhelming and the lawmen’s identities and whereabouts are known.


But our biggest question of all is, for how long will the case remain in limbo, at the mercy of the Ombudswoman?


We cry for justice for our loved one, Anton Cu-Unjieng and all other victims of extrajudicial killings.


We condemn not only the lawmen who take the law into their own hands, but the government officials and agencies who coddle and shield them from prosecution and punishment.


We call upon the Government to make a serious and concerted effort to stop extrajudicial killings, cleanse the ranks of the PNP, and punish all State agents who take the law into their own hands.


Finally, we call upon Ombudswoman Gutierrez to utilize the full extent of her powers and resources to vigorously prosecute not only Anton’s case but all cases of extrajudicial killings perpetrated by government officials.


Done this 5th day of November, 2007, in the City of Manila, Philippines.


Mrs. Carmencita Cu-Unjieng Mrs. Monique Cu-Unjieng LaO’

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Simple and to the point.

"Francis has been described as a criminal and a carjacker by those who took his life. Francis, FX to us, was many things, but he was not a criminal, he was not a carjacker," says Jennifer Manzano, elder sister of Francis.

"Francis was not accorded the rule of law. He was not a criminal yet he was treated like the worst kind of criminal. He was never charged, tried, convicted or sentenced, yet he has already been executed."

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Exactly A Year Ago

Exactly a year ago, Francis Xavier Manzano had no idea it would be his last day alive.

Exactly a year ago, Francis Manzano had no idea it would be his last day of school.

Exactly a year ago, FX had no idea it would be the last day he could ever see or be in touch with his siblings, daughter, relatives, girlfriend (and ex-girlfriends), barkada and old friends, teachers and mentors, classmates and former batchmates, acquaintances and peers.

Exactly a year ago, "F" had no idea he would be shot to death by overzealous, corrupt Philippine TMG police, looking to parade themselves as heroic cops by telling lies on why and how this all happened.

Exactly a year ago, I was never personally affected by the corruption in our country. I saw corruption on the news, read it in the papers, heard it on the radio, and even discussed it at gatherings. Filipinos shared stories of Philippine corruption to friends and colleagues with a comedic tone of silliness. (From the silliness of how many shoes Imelda Marcos had... to the "I Love You" virus to show how talented Filipinos can be... to why Filipinos suffer from a "crab mentality" society.)

After a year since FX's death....

- I learned that there is a tremendous amount of Filipinos (in the country and abroad) who have the intelligence to decipher the truth from the lies fed to us by the police and politicians involved in FX's death. There is an unbelievable amount of people who cry out for justice for Francis Xavier Manzano.

- We learned about the courage of UNTV; keeping their videos intact, despite continuous security and political threats. Their videos revealed the truth and remained untainted in the wake of the powerful propaganda spewed by the police and their superiors to the press.

- The Philippine Human Rights activists learned through their investigations that the case was an obvious rubout, not a shootout (again, despite the intimidation and threats by the police and politicians).

- You are now learning that the siblings and family of FX have couragely pushed forward to seek justice for Francis in the courts.

There are many things we have learned and yet to be learned. FX's death has shed light to this corruption in our society. In behalf of his family, it is our responsibility to turn this tragedy into a catalyst for making a better world for generations to come. Please continue your support for justice. Don't let corruption immobilize your thoughts, courage and actions.

F, we miss you.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Ombudsman sitting on Ortigas rubout?

From the Manila Standard Today....

THE family of one of the three victims in last year’s rubout in Ortigas Center in Pasig City has asked the Office of the Ombudsman to act and prosecute the 10 members of the Traffic Management Group of the National Police involved in the shooting.

“A public office is a public trust. We believe that the policemen... who killed our brother in cold blood abused that public trust,” said Jennifer Manzano, elder sister of the slain Francis Xavier Manzano.

Accompanied by counsel Theodore Te, Manzano also urged Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez to order the Deputy Ombudsman for the Uniformed Services to conduct a speedy and impartial investigation.

On the evening of Nov.7, Manzano, Bryan Anthony Dulay and Philip Cu-Unjieng were killed in what TMG agents claimed to be a shootout with members of the Valle Verde Carnap Gang, which the victims’ families belied.

After conducting its own probe, the Commission on Human Rights concluded that there was a rubout.

The CHR said the TMG operatives executed the three men inside a rented Nissan Exalta along Garnet Street.

Footage of the incident from the UHF television station UNTV showed the police shooting at what appeared to be the lifeless suspects inside their bullet-riddled car.

The commission then recommended the filing of multiple murder charges against Senior Insp. Hansel Marantan, Senior Insp. Samson Belmonte, PO3 Lloyd Soria, PO3 Rizalito Ramos Jr., PO2 Dexter Pascua, Senior Insp. Henry Cerdon, PO2 Jesus Fermin, PO2 Sonny Robrigado, PO1 Fernando Rey Gapuz and PO1 Josel Rey Lucena, all members of Task Force Limbas. Florante S. Solmerin

Ombudsman sitting on Ortigas rubout?

From the Manila Standard Today....

THE family of one of the three victims in last year’s rubout in Ortigas Center in Pasig City has asked the Office of the Ombudsman to act and prosecute the 10 members of the Traffic Management Group of the National Police involved in the shooting.

“A public office is a public trust. We believe that the policemen... who killed our brother in cold blood abused that public trust,” said Jennifer Manzano, elder sister of the slain Francis Xavier Manzano.

Accompanied by counsel Theodore Te, Manzano also urged Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez to order the Deputy Ombudsman for the Uniformed Services to conduct a speedy and impartial investigation.

On the evening of Nov.7, Manzano, Bryan Anthony Dulay and Philip Cu-Unjieng were killed in what TMG agents claimed to be a shootout with members of the Valle Verde Carnap Gang, which the victims’ families belied.

After conducting its own probe, the Commission on Human Rights concluded that there was a rubout.

The CHR said the TMG operatives executed the three men inside a rented Nissan Exalta along Garnet Street.

Footage of the incident from the UHF television station UNTV showed the police shooting at what appeared to be the lifeless suspects inside their bullet-riddled car.

The commission then recommended the filing of multiple murder charges against Senior Insp. Hansel Marantan, Senior Insp. Samson Belmonte, PO3 Lloyd Soria, PO3 Rizalito Ramos Jr., PO2 Dexter Pascua, Senior Insp. Henry Cerdon, PO2 Jesus Fermin, PO2 Sonny Robrigado, PO1 Fernando Rey Gapuz and PO1 Josel Rey Lucena, all members of Task Force Limbas. Florante S. Solmerin

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

The horrible truth, according to the CHR

From The Manila Times -- Editorial Opinion


"The horrible truth, according to the CHR"

AS many had feared, the death of the three men suspected of being carjackers at the Ortigas Center, Pasig City, in the hands of Traffic Management Group agents on November 7, 2005, was not legitimate but an act of murder.

In a disturbing but courageous report released Monday, the Commission on Human Rights said the 10 TMG officers summarily executed the victims inside a rented car near Garner Street and the AIC Gold Tower Bldg.

The CHR investigated the shooting immediately after the story broke in the papers. In a 35-page report, the commission said it found probable cause to charge the officers with multiple murder since the police operation was “feigned, premeditated and treacherous.”

The TMG said its men—members of Task Force Limbas—were waiting at the site, acting on a tip that a group of carjackers was going to pass through. The victims’ car matched that of the suspect vehicle. When the car appeared on the scene, it allegedly refused to stop on signal. A gunbattle followed.

It did not happen that way, according to the CHR.

“It is evident that when the victims were flagged down…the victims merely stopped the car, but were suddenly met with gunfire from the state agents herein who acted with criminal intent,” the report said.

A government forensic expert advising the commission said her findings showed that the victims did not fire at the officers. Hence, there could not have been any shootout. “There is no evidence to show that any of the three occupants had fired his gun,” the forensic expert Raquel Fortun said.

TV footage taken at the scene by an independent cameraman showed the officers approaching the car and firing at the victims simultaneously. There appeared to be no aggressive action or motion on the part of the occupants.

After the shooting, the officers made no attempt to take the mortally wounded suspects to the nearest hospital, the report noted.

Commission Chairman Purificacion Quisumbing, apparently reminded by the involvement of the police in inexcusable killings, said that they should not use excessive force in carrying out their duties. In its annual reports, the CHR has consistently cited the police as the leading violator of human rights.

The media reported the Ortigas killing as another “botched” police operation, the tendency of the law to commit mistakes, to ignore operational procedures or abbreviate the rules of engagement. The case further blackens the image of the Philippine National Police and the standards of our law enforcement here and abroad. It certainly stains the national image.

The TMG officers will have a chance to defend themselves before the Office of the Ombudsman, the National Police Commission or a court of law. At the CHR hearings, they were given all the opportunity to explain their side. But they refused to appear before the commission and relied on their lawyer to attend in their behalf. That kind of defense does not bring out the truth.

Monday, May 29, 2006

AMEN!!!!!

From ABS-CBN News Desk:

CHR RECOMMENDS MURDER RAPS VS 10 TMG MEN"

The Commission on Human (CHR) rights Monday recommended the filing of murder charges against 10 members of the Traffic Management Group who were involved in the alleged "overkill" of three carjacking suspects on Nov. 7, 2005 in Ortigas Center, Pasig.

CHR said its findings against Senior Inspectors Henry Cerdon, Hansel Marantan, Samson Belmonte; Police Officers 3 Lloyd Soria and Rizalito Ramos; Police Officers 2 Jesus Fermin, Sonny Robrigado and Dexter Bernadas; and Police Officers 1 Fernando Gapuz and Josel Rey Lucena will be submitted to the Office of the Ombudsman this week.

The 10 officers, who are members of Task Force Limbas, have been placed under administrative relief since last year owing to a video footage showing a member of the team firing a gun at the bodies of the slain suspects.





From Philstar:

Murder raps recommended vs cops in Ortigas ‘overkill’
By Katherine Adraneda
The Philippine Star 05/30/2006

Six months after the Ortigas Center shooting incident that left three people dead, the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) recommended yesterday the filing of multiple murder charges against 10 members of task force under the Traffic Management Group (TMG).

In a 36-page en banc resolution, the CHR said it found probable cause that there was "arbitrary deprivation of life" committed against suspected carjackers Anton Cu-Unjieng, Francis Xavier Manzano, and Bryan Anthony Dulay by the 10 TMG officers.

Named in the resolution as respondents were Senior Inspectors Hansel Marantan, Henry Cerdon, and Samson Belmonte; Police Officers 3 Lloyd Soria, and Rizalito Ramos Jr., POs2 Dexter Pascua, Jesus Fermin, Sonny Robrigado; and POs1 Fernando Rey Gapuz, and Josil Rey Lucena.

The CHR will submit its resolution and other pertinent documents related to the case to the Office of the Ombudsman for the filing of criminal and administrative cases, in accordance with Republic Act 6770.

The CHR resolution and documents will likewise be endorsed to the National Police Commission (Napolcom), Philippine National Police (PNP) and Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).

According to the CHR, forensic analysis and findings revealed that when the three men were flagged down by the Task Force Limbas operatives, they stopped the car, but were met with gunfire from the state agents, "who acted with criminal intent."

"Hence, the anti-carnapping operations implemented by the police operatives on the evening of Nov. 7, 2005 was feigned, premeditated, and treacherous, thus the killing of the victims by the said state agents qualifies the criminal act as a case of multiple murder," the CHR resolution stated.

The CHR said that actions of the TMG operatives contravened the very rules of engagement of the PNP, noting that the policemen "deliberately did not make any attempt to bring the mortally wounded victims to the nearest hospital."

"Instead, they wilfully and feloniously ensured the death of the victims with the use of excessive and/or lethal force as borne by the second round of gunfire even when the victims were already at the point of death," the CHR resolution stated.

On the gunshot wound sustained by Inspector Belmonte that was supposedly a result of the shooting incident, the CHR deemed it as "self-inflicted and probably accidental."

At around 10 p.m. of Nov. 7, 2005, three alleged members of the Valle Verde Gang were killed during an anti-carjacking operation at the Ortigas Center, Pasig City.

Police intercepted Cu-Unjieng, Manzano, and Dulay, who were on board a Nissan Exalta sedan at the corner of Garnet and Ortigas, following a tip from an informant.

The victims, however, allegedly refused to yield and fired at the pursuing lawmen, who retaliated in "self defense."

However, relatives and human rights group decried the "overkill" based on video footage taken by a television news crew, prompting the CHR investigation.

Meanwhile, TMG director Chief Superintendent Errol Pan insisted that the incident was a result of a legitimate operation despite the findings of the CHR that no shootout took place between officers and the three suspected car thieves.

"We believe that TMG operation was legitimate. They (TMG operatives) are ready to prove that," Pan said in reaction to the CHR findings.

He said that what CHR found was merely probable cause and that TMG personnel can still defend themselves in court when the charges of murder are filed against them.

Pan was not yet chief of the TMG at the time of the shootout. He was appointed months later after another group of TMG operatives nearly killed a businessman whom they mistook for a car thief. – With Cecille Suerte Felipe





From The Manila Times:

Six months after the Ortigas affair, the Commission on Human Rights has at last recommended the filing of multiple-murder charges against the 10 members of Task Force Limbas who allegedly gunned down three men they suspected of being carjackers.

The commission urged the Ombudsman and the National Police Commission to initiate the filing of charges against Police Senior Insp. Hansel Marantan, Senior Insp. Samson Belmonte, Police Officer 3 Lloyd Soria, PO3 Rizalito Ramos Jr., PO2 Dexter Pascua, Senior Insp. Henry Cerdon, PO2 Jesus Fermin, PO2 Sonny Robrigado, PO1 Fer­nando Rey Gapuz and PO1 Josel Rey Lucena.

The 10 police agents, the commission found, summarily executed inside a rented Nissan Exalta Anton Cu-Unjieng, Francis Xavier Manzano and Bryan Anthony Dulay, reportedly members of the Valle Verde Carnap Gang, on November 7, 2005, at the premises of Garner Street and AIC Gold Tower Building.

‘Feigned, premeditated and treacherous’

In a 35-page decision the commission said it found probable cause to charge the 10 policemen with multiple murder as the police operation was “feigned, premeditated and treacherous.”

“It is evident that when the victims were flagged down by the Task Force Limbas operatives, the victims merely stopped the car, but were suddenly met with gunfire from the state agents herein who acted with criminal intent,” the decision read.

Commission chairman Purificacion Quisumbing said government and state agents should not use excessive force in performing their duties.

“Any excessive and/or arbitrary exercise of authority, as in this case, violates the basic guarantee of a person’s right to life and to due process,” she said.

No shootout

Quisumbing said the forensic expert Raquel Fortun showed that the victims did not fire at the policemen. Therefore, there was no shootout.

“There is no evidence to show that any of the three occupants had fired his gun,” she said.

Quisumbing stressed that the commission did not in any way fail to provide due process to the policemen, who were given opportune time to rebut the charges against them.

She said the 10 policemen refused to appear at the entire proceedings and instead commissioned their lawyer, Jose Tomas Syquia, to attend in their behalf.

“Respondents herein were afforded the opportunity to air their side, but they chose to invoke their constitutional right to remain silent, albeit prematurely,” she said.





From The Daily Tribune

CHR files murder raps vs TMG men on 3 slain carjack ‘suspects’

The Commission on Human Rights appears determined to bring to genuine justice the violators of human rights in the Philippine National Police, specifically those involved in the alleged shootout between the PNP Traffic Management Group (TMG) members and the alleged members of a carjack gang who were slain by the TMG in what it called a shootout last Nov. 7, 2005 in Ortigas Center, Pasig City.

The CHR yesterday, submitting its full report on the shootout, recom-mended the filing of multiple murder charges before the Ombudsman against 10 TMG members, namely Senior Inspectors Henry Cerdon, Hansel Marantan, Samson Belmonte; Police Officers 3 Lloyd Soria and Rizalito Ramos; Police Officers 2 Jesus Fermin, Sonny Robrigado and Dexter Bernadas; and Police Officers 1 Fernando Gapuz and Josel Rey Lucena.

The CHR said the charges against the 10 policemen accused of an “overkill” are slated

to be submitted to the Office of the Ombudsman this week. The Ombudsman is, however, expected to drag its feet in filing charges against the police.

The 10 police officers, members of Task Force Limbas, were supposed to have been placed under administrative relief since last year, following a video footage showing a member of the team firing a gun at the bodies of the slain suspect, Anton Cu-Unjing, Francis Xavier Manzano and Anthony Brian Dulay, whom the TMG claimed were members of the Valle Verde gang.

Even paid witnesses were said to be brought in by the PNP, to back up the TMG’s version of the three being known carjackers.

The CHR, briefing the media, found that the three suspects were defenseless and could not have engaged in a shoot-out with the police traffic team.

The agency also intimated that the police team members charged with multiple murder, also planted evidence, and made it appear that the “suspects” were armed, with even a gun placed in the right hand of one slain suspect, after the murder. The slain “suspect” was later discovered to be left-handed and couldn’t have held the gun with his right hand.

It was also found, from ballistics tests, that all the shots came from the police, with one definitely coming from the TMG police.

From the 16 spent bullets taken from the vehicle, a Nissan Sentra of the three suspects, only three bullets came from the car.

It will be recalled that the TMG members and their police superiors immediately claimed a shootout with suspected carjackers, unaware that a cameraman took a video footage of the incident.

Still, the police maintained that the video could not be deemed reliable, as the angle of the shots came from a poor vantage point and that the cameraman failed to shoot the entire episode, which the police claimed told a different story.

But even other TV stations had footage after the alleged shootout, showing certain positions of the victims, which cast doubt on the version of the police.

Shortly after a public outcry, the police chiefs said they had placed the TMG members under suspension, following an internal investigation, but less than a week later, the same policemen said to have been under investigation, were back at their posts, with the superiors claiming that theirs was a legitimate operation and that their men should not be punished for doing their duty.

But the CHR also noted that the Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials (adopted by the Eight UN Congress on the Prevention of Crime and Treatment of Offenders, Sept. 7, 1990) provides under the General Provisions, Principles 5 and 7 that: “Whenever the lawful use of force and firearms is unavoidable, law enforcement officials shall:

(a) Exercise restraint in such use and act in proportion to the seriousness of the offense and the legitimate objective to be achieved;

(b) Minimize damage and injury, and respect and preserve human life;

(c) Ensure that assistance and medical aid are rendered to any injured or affected person at the earliest possible moment;

(d) Ensure that relatives or close friends of the injured or affected person are notified at the earliest possible moment. And that governments shall ensure that arbitrary and abusive use of force and firearms by law enforcement officials is punished as a criminal offense under law.”

The CHR report said that these provisions emphasize that the use of force by law enforcement officials should be an exception. While it implies that law enforcement officials may be authorized to use force as reasonably necessary under the circumstances for the prevention of crime or in effecting or assisting in the lawful arrest of offenders or suspected offenders, no force going beyond that may be used. The use of firearms is considered an extreme measure, hence, the principle of proportionality is to be respected.

“With the foregoing findings, the Commission is strongly convinced that the TMG Task Force Limbas operatives committed human rights violations in breach of Article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to which the Philippines is a State party, which guarantees that: “Every human being has the inherent right to life. This right shall be protected by law. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his life.”

Friday, May 05, 2006

6 Months

It took a second to kill FX Manzano.

It took seconds for the TMG police to plant damning evidence and warp the scene of the crime.

It took minutes for the TMG police to lie to the media.

It took hours for Angelo Reyes and his team to come up with a medal to give to the TMG police for their fake heroic act.

It took a day to learn about FX's death.

It took two days for the revealing video from UNTV to be broadcast -- turning my shock of losing FX into an undescribable feeling.

It took weeks for the police to carelessly destroy evidence that reveal the real truth of what happened that night.

It took months to investigate the case -- from both the TMG and Human Rights sides.

It's been six months. Investigators know the truth. Why hasn't the truth been revealed? It takes a second to announce the truth and clear FX Manzano's name from the lies accused of him. How long must Filipinos wait to live in a country where justice means justice for life and peace, rather than justice for greed and power?

May 7 -- wear green in your peaceful support to gain justice for FX Manzano.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Taking Care of Business..... the PNP-way

Guess what happened to Renato Marasigan, the PNP Internal Affairs Service person who indicated that TMG Operate Belmonte was either shot by "friendly fire" or by himself? He was killed last night. Interestingtly enough, he was killed similar to the way FX was killed -- ambushed by assailants "who approached the car on foot. The assailants shot at Marasigan and one even opened the car door to make sure that the police officer was dead, investigators said."

Who are these assailants? According to the police, the assailants were NPA (communist) because it's their anniversary. Um... um... NPA huh? How can they be certain the NPA killed Marasigan so quickly? Is that what their state-of-the-art, super-secret, double-password CSI technology reveals? Must be the same technology they used to determine so quickly the reason why they killed FX.

C'mon, now.... you really believed that?! Leave the gullibility in the toilet and get back to reality. If Marasigan's death was shot on video, the police will say he was a drug dealer. In this case, there's no video, so the police says he was shot by the NPA.

If the "people in power" kill you in the Philippines - they justify this by branding you in the media as an NPA-Communist (remember those Leyte farmers?) or killed by the NPA, a carjacker, a kidnapper, a terrorist, a drug dealer, killed "while trying to escape" or killed because you shot the police first even if you had no guns and even if the bullets that may have hit the police came from the police own gun.

Evidence? Easily planted.
Witnesses? Easily coerced.
Due process of the law? What law? Whose law?


I wonder...

- Of all the PNP in the whole Philippines, why would the NPA target Marasigan, an Internal Affairs personnel who's brave enough to say that Belmonte was not a victim?

- Just because it is their anniversary? Hello?!


A POLICE officer assigned to the Philippine National Police headquarters in Camp Crame was shot dead in an ambush at 10:05 a.m. in Pasig City.
Chief Inspector Renato Marasigan, 53, of the PNP Internal Affairs Service (IAS) was on his way to work when ambushed on E. Jacinto corner J. Jobson Streets in Barangay (village) Malinao, said Pasig police chief Senior Superintendent Romeo Abaring.

Abaring said Marasigan was driving his Pajero when ambushed by four assailants who approached the car on foot. The assailants shot at Marasigan and one even opened the car door to make sure that the police officer was dead, investigators said.

The motive behind the killing has yet to be ascertained, but Eastern Police District Director Charlemagne Alejandrino said they were considering the possible involvement of communist hit men as the New People’s Army was celebrating its founding anniversary the same day Marasigan was killed.

Marasigan was the spokesperson of the IAS team that conducted an investigation into the Nov. 7, 2005 killing of three carjacking suspects in the Ortigas Center by operatives of the Traffic Management Group.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

March, 2006 Update

4 months later, and here's what has happened in the Philippines regarding this case:

Investigation by the Philippine Commission of Human Rights took place. Leaks from their investigation reports that my classmate, FX, was 100% innocent. Their investigation proved that FX was killed in a fetal womb position on the backseat, faced down (which is to be expected of him because he is known to hate/fear guns). His body was positiioned away from where the planted guns were, which clearly challenges the police's false accusations of why they fired yet another bullet to his head at arm's length.

Exactly 4 months after this inhumane incident, the police did it again -- but this time, the victim lives to tell and prove that innocent people are being shot by heavily armed police in the same business area of Manila. His name is Randolf Clarito, a businessman, VP of a pharmaceutical company, driving down the same area where FX was killed. Without any warning from the police, he was shot at multiple times, just the same way the car FX was in experienced. However, this time, he was able to fled the scene and drive straight to the hospital where he beat the police from calling the media.

The media filmed his car immediately and then again after the police investigation. Just like what the police did 4 months ago, they planted stolen license plates on the backseats and other damaging evidence to his case so they can justify that they fired at a carjacker. But unbeknownst to the police, the media had already filmed the car prior to their arrival and showed no evidence of what the police were claiming. Unbeknownst to the police, that "alleged carjacker" was not their typical guy they can package to fit a carjacker.

There is a bit of justice for Mr. Clarito, but only for this case. In the Philippines, if you survive this type of injustice and prove the police and/or government wrong, you and your family risk a life of insecurity. We hope for the safety of the Clarito family.

As far as FX case, we're still waiting for justice.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Corrupt Solution for Corrupt Group

Who in the world make decisions for our police?! It looks like their solution to remove corrupt, ignorant cops is to add more juvenile, ignorant, video gamer boys. And to make it easy for them to carry firearms and kill more innocent people, they're qualifications are decreased.

Lower standards, younger police examinees

EFFECTIVE May 28, the National Police Commission will lower the educational and age requirements for applicants to the police force.

Napolcom vice chairman Imelda Roces said the commission will revert back to 72 units the educational requirement for applicants and 18 the age requirement to lure many examinees.

She said civilians with the required college units may take the exams but should finish a four-year college course before he can be deemed qualified for appointment.

At present, the age limit for a police examinee is 28 years old, and he can only be appointed once he reaches 30.

Are you the next TMG victim?

What a week! On the evening of Mar 7, I met up with fellow classmates for dinner. We were all wearing green tops and our green bands. We talked about how it's been 4 months and those corrupt cops are still roaming the streets, possibly harassing more citizens and possibly feeling untouchable since they never had to be accountable for killing FX. We wondered how many other innocent lives have been covered up by leaders like Angcanan, Lomibao and Angelo Reyes. Who would have thought that a similar shooting would take place the following day?!

Randolf Clarito is a very lucky man. Although he was shot at by TMG operatives who mistook him as a carnapper or driving a get-away car, he was able to drive himself to the hospital and release his story before TMG could concoct their cover-up. The TMG saw a cameraman as they were planting something in the businessman's car and retrieved this.

Last November 7, 2005 - these TMG operatives murdered 3 young men on what they claimed was a shoot-out but what videos and witnesses said was a rub-out. They said the 3 were driving a car taken from a woman in Bulacan and they proudly showed the license plate stolen and changed. The truth was that the car was legally rented by Brian Dulay as his car was in the shop. The UNTV video showed the police planting the license plates and other alleged evidence. Angelo Reyes' excuse? They really planned to carnap as they were renting a car.

So why did he say first they carjacked the car from a woman in Bulacan? Then TMG said they had to kill the 3 young men as they shot first at the the police wounding Murderer Belmonte on his leg. The Commission of Human Rights report indicated the 3 young men did not have guns and did not shoot. All the bullets came from the policemen's guns and none from the victims. The photos showed all the car windows were closed. The UNTV video showed the guns were planted. The hospital report showed that Belmonte shot himself or was shot at by his cohorts.

They could have done the same to Randolf Clarito had he died. They may even bring up FALSE WITNESSES to say Clarito was part of the carjacking operations and was driving the get-away car. The police had to quickly justify and say the 3 young men were carnappers and were under surveillance for some time.

The truth as you readers can look up the newspapers is that they did not even know Anton Cu-unjing's name or Francis Manzano's real address. If they were carnappers under surveillance, wouldn't you know their names and real address?! After all, they were not in hiding and went around Metro Manila freely.

PNP, TMG, DILG said they would train their men on following the rules of engagement after the Ortigas incident as people were outraged.

Look what they did to Randolf Clarito - did they follow the rules of engagement? Watch for the Commission of Human Rights report!

Lastly, as I have always said - you may not care for the 3 young men murdered last November 7 but if you allow these same TMG policemen to remain free and not be accountable for their murderous acts, it CAN HAPPEN TO YOU & YOUR LOVED ONES.

Ask Randolf Clarito. I am sure he NEVER thought this could happen to him. But it did -- and, luckily, he lived with his body and his name intact.

Please continue to Pray for Justice for Francis Xavier Manzano! Your prayers have started to be answered. The wheels of justice may grind exceedingly slow for Reyes, Lomibao, Angcanan (who was just sacked), and the 10 TMG operatives but God will ensure it will happen.

If you or someone you know has been shot by the TMG for "alleged carnapping," write me a comment.

Friday, March 10, 2006

The TMG Striked Again

Thursday, March 9, 2006
Police shoot businessman mistaken as a carjacker RAISSA ROBLES in Manila

Police admitted they shot at and wounded a business executive in Manila yesterday, after mistaking him for a carjacker.

Randolph Clarito, 46, was driving home from the stock exchange when he was fired on with automatic weapons. He found out later his assailants were the police.

"There was this real sniper hitting the back of my car going straight to the driver [seat]. They were really pro," the shaken senior vice-president of pharmaceutical firm NutriPlus told a radio station.

He said his windshield and windows shattered, three tyres were blown out and blood poured from a head wound.

The hospital, however, said he sustained shrapnel wounds in one shoulder and knee.

Police spokesman Samuel Pagdilao said it was "very unfortunate" Mr Clarito was mistaken for carjackers the police were chasing early yesterday. He promised an investigation and admitted police had committed a "mistake of fact" when they mistook the businessman's silver Toyota for a similar model in which the wanted carjackers had fled.


Mr Clarito said he would not settle for an apology, although none was offered. "It's not just sorry. They could be repeating this over and over again."

Anti-crime group Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption said it would help the businessman pursue his case against the police. "This thing has been happening again and again. It's high time they pay," chairman Martin Dino said.

Last November, the police claimed they killed three carjackers in a stolen car during a shootout near the stock exchange.

But the slain suspects' families claimed it was an assassination after a video surfaced showing the police doing all the shooting. Each of the three dead men tested negative for powder burns, a sign that they had not fired back at police.