ON TARGET

Police cadets learn to be corrupt early

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11:46 PM January 9th, 2013

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By: Ramon Tulfo, January 9th, 2013 11:46 PM

What kind of policemen do we have who would not hesitate to kill fellow cops over turf, like what happened in Atimonan, Quezon province?

The worse part of the Quezon ambush was the leader of the ambush party, Supt. Hansel Marantan, and the officer who was killed in the one-way shootout, Supt. Alfredo Consemino, knew each other.

Marantan and Consemino were graduates of the Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA), the police counterpart of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA).

It looked like it was an ambush and not a shootout as the Quezon Provincial Police Office (PPO) would have the public believe.

All the signs of an ambush were there:

— Nobody inside the two cars could have fired at the police and military personnel manning the checkpoint as the cars’ tinted windows were closed.

— The policemen and soldiers at the checkpoint were positioned in such a way that their volume of fire was directed at the front windshield and the right side of the two vehicles.

— If the occupants of the two cars fired at the checkpoint cops and soldiers, how come only one of them was wounded?

Marantan’s wounds were probably self-inflicted, or he was hit by “friendly fire,” meaning his cohorts.

*   *   *

Where did the Quezon PPO get the idea that the occupants of the two cars were hired assassins?

Just because some of the 13 men inside were armed did not mean they were criminals.

Superintendent Consemino was a cop with an unblemished record; Victorino “Vic Siman” Atienza was a legal gambling operator who owned many small town lottery (STL) outlets in Southern Tagalog; Tirso Lontok Jr. was an environmentalist; Staff Sgt. Armando Lescano was with the Air Force; SPO1 Gruet Mantuano was a cop in Calapan, Oriental Mindoro; PO1 Jeffrey Tarinay Valdez was another cop.

If there were guns found on board the two cars, they belonged to the police and military men who were passengers. All their guns were covered by mission orders.

*   *   *

As a long-time police beat reporter and investigative journalist, I agree with earlier reports that a turf war was the motive behind the ambush.

Atienza was perceived by his “jueteng” rivals to be encroaching on their territory.

Members of the ambush party were probably on the payroll of Atienza’s rivals and were ordered to do him in.

Killings among jueteng rivals are common.

*   *   *

Now, why would Marantan kill Consemino, his fellow PNPA alumnus, over gambling money?

Because at the PNPA, cadets reportedly learn to be corrupt early in the game.

At the PNPA, cadets allegedly make erring colleagues “produce money from nowhere” for upperclassmen as a form of punishment.

This practice should be stopped immediately.

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