Ochoa disowns deadly mission
Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr. on Thursday washed his hands as head of the anticrime superbody of any responsibility in the bloody Antimonan, Quezon, incident on Sunday.
“There is no mission order or any connection with the PAOCTF whatsoever,” Ochoa said in a text message forwarded by Malacañang to the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
The Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Task Force (PAOCTF) has been renamed the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission (PAOCC).
Ochoa did not elaborate when asked about the operation code-named “Coplan Armado,” apparently authorized by the PAOCC through Supt. Glenn Dumlao on Oct. 24.
In a statement sent via text message to the Inquirer, Chief Supt. Reginald Villasanta, the PAOCC executive director, denied authorizing the Atimonan operation that killed 13 alleged members of a criminal gang, including six police and military personnel.
Proposed, not approved
“There was no mission order. What we received was a proposed project that was not approved,” Villasanta said.
“Any project should be approved by the PAOCC executive director. In this particular case, I wish to point out that I have not approved the said project,” he said.
“As a matter of procedure, any operation supported by the PAOCC should be cleared and coordinated with the commission. In this case, there was none. Hence, we have no prior knowledge of anything related to the incident,” Villasanta said. “Rest assured that the PAOCC will fully cooperate in any investigation.”
Dumlao was implicated in the double murder in 2000 of publicist Salvador Dacer and his driver, Emmanuel Corbito. The double murder was allegedly perpetrated by PAOCTF members.
However, it has yet to be established how Dumlao managed to return to the police service, with Malacañang clueless about his reassignment to the PAOCC.
The last time Dumlao hogged the news was when he turned state witness, executing three affidavits that eventually exonerated his former boss, then PAOCTF chief and now Sen. Panfilo Lacson. He was accused as the mastermind of the Dacer-Corbito killings.
Dumlao then claimed he had been tortured by officials of the previous administration to link Lacson to the double murder.
The PAOCTF metamorphosed into the PAOCC by virtue of Executive Order No. 46, issued by President Aquino on June 13, 2011. Ochoa was named chair of the anticrime superbody, which gathered the security, law enforcement and intelligence clusters of the Cabinet under its wing.
The PAOCC has 10 members: The secretaries of the Departments of the Interior and Local Government, Justice, National Defense and Foreign Affairs; the national security adviser; the chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines; the Philippine National Police chief; the directors general of the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency and the National Bureau of Investigation; and the executive director of the Philippine Center for Transnational Crime.