Kin of shootout victims: ‘They were marked targets’

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06:50 PM January 9th, 2013

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January 9th, 2013 06:50 PM

Passengers glance at the bullet-riddled vehicle of suspected criminals along a road in the town of Atimonan in Quezon province, about 140 kilometers (100 miles) southeast of Manila, Philippines late Sunday Jan. 6, 2013. Philippine army special forces and police killed 13 suspected criminals in a gunbattle Sunday in the latest violence to erupt in the country in the past week. AP /Aaron Favila

MANILA, Philippines–The victims of the Atimonan, Quezon shootout were “marked targets” of a premeditated killings, their relatives said Wednesday but could not point to the motive.

“Criminal syndicate daw, bakit walang criminal record ang mga biktima? Inosente sila… ang pagbabansag ay isa lamang kathang isip,” Christinne Consemino, eldest daughter of Superintendent  Alfredo Consemino, the highest ranking official killed in the shootout told reporters.

(They claim they were members of a criminal syndicate, but they have no criminal records. They were innocent…such allegation was just made up.)

Consemino and 12 others were killed in a shootout in Quezon last Sunday. The police earlier said they received a tip that a heavily armed group will pass by the area. Consemino’s convoy allegedly refused to stop at the police checkpoint.

She said, all the firearms recovered were licensed and the vehicles were duly registered at the Land Transportation Office.

Christinne also said that the windows of the 2 SUVs were not rolled down meaning the passengers did not fire their guns as the police claimed.

Christinne along with relatives of the other victims went to the National Bureau of Investigation and executed their affidavit before its Death Investigation Unit.

They said the convoy visited one Ronnie Habitan from Bicol to discuss a business venture regarding opening a security agency.

“Legitimate po na lakad yun… para pag-usapan yung security agency lang (It was a legitimate task…to discuss a business proposition),” Christinne said.

Boyet Siman, meanwhile, whose brother Victor was among the fatalities, denied his brother was involved in jueteng or any illegal activity.

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