MANILA, Philippines–The Quezon Provincial director and 15 of his men were relieved from their posts for violating police operational procedures at the shootout in Atimonan, Quezon that killed 13 people including 3 policemen and 3 soldiers last Sunday.
Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas and Philippine National Police Chief Director General Alan Purisima made the announcement at a press conference where they also disclosed the result of the fact finding investigation of the PNP.
Relieved were Senior Superintendent Valeriano de Leon and 15 of his men who wore civilian clothes at a checkpoint during the incident.
“We are still gathering information about the others,” Purisima said when asked how many others were involved.
Purisima added that there were lapses on the operational procedures committed by the police.
Some of the violations pointed by Purisima include:
* On the checkpoint proper, there was no marked vehicle;
* At the main checkpoint, there was no signage to indicate that it was a PNP that set up the checkpoint
*Except for the Atimonan police chief, the rest of the cops at the main checkpoint are wearing civilian clothes.
But 500 meters before and after the main checkpoint, Roxas said, there was a signage and the police officers are wearing their uniforms.
“Actually [in the] situation police operational procedures were not followed. [There should be police vehicles] with visible markings. The personnel should be in uniform… So, practically based on the facts stated there is a violation of police procedures in the conduct of checkpoint,” Purisima said at a press conference.
Other findings of the PNP fact finding team include;
* 8 out of 13 victims were tested positive in the paraffin test;
* the SUV has 186 bullet holes while the second vehicle has 50 bullet holes. The victims were aboard the said vehicles;
* About P265,000 were recovered from the victims;
* 14 firearms-12 short firearms, 1 M16, 1 M14 were recovered from the victims;
* Out of the 14, 13 have licenses both the long firearms and the 11 short firearms;
*Out of the 11 short firearms, 7 have permit to carry.
“So far these are facts as determined by the PNP fact finding body. They are still awaiting the submission of the lab reports, soco reports and they expect to finalize their reports for submission to Chief PNP by Friday this week, “Roxas said.
After that, he said they will transmit the findings to the Department of Justice and the National Bureau of Investigation.
“What the all this means, what will be the conclusion will be done by the NBI,” Roxas said.