Quantcast
Latest Stories

Why ‘Coplan Armado’ was not approved

PAOCC knew it was going to be ‘bloody’

By ,

The Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission (PAOCC) did not approve a proposed police operation against alleged “jueteng” operator Victor “Vic” Siman because it was a potentially bloody business, the Inquirer learned on Saturday.

But deciding it was its job to get Siman even without the PAOCC’s approval, the proponent—the intelligence unit of the Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon) police—went ahead and got the alleged jueteng lord, but with a lot of collateral damage, prompting President Benigno Aquino III to order an investigation.

“Is it really within their mandate, or the regular assignment of that intelligence unit, to do that kind of mission?” Justice Secretary Leila de Lima asked on Saturday.

De Lima raised the question after one of the proponents, Supt. Glenn Dumlao, commander of the Calabarzon Public Safety Battalion, said on Friday that the regional police went ahead with the mission even without PAOCC approval on the presumption of regularity because it was their job to go after organized crime groups.

With the deaths of 13 men, including Siman, in an alleged shootout between government security forces and alleged guns for hire in Atimonan town in Quezon province a week ago, the decision of the PAOCC executive director, Chief Supt. Reginald Villasanta, to disapprove the proposal, “Coplan Armado,” appears to have been right.

A well-placed source told the Inquirer that the deaths in Calamba City on Nov. 12 of six alleged members of a gun-for-hire group tagged by the Calabarzon regional police as having links to Siman and the subsequent death threats received by Supt. Hansel Marantan, chief of intelligence of the Calabarzon police, allegedly from Siman’s group were the reasons why the PAOCC rejected the coplan (case operational plan).

“Given these incidents, if you were the PAOCC, directly under the Office of the President, would you approve a coplan like ‘Armado?’” the Inquirer source said.

Marantan was the only one injured among the 50 policemen and Army special forces troops who allegedly fought Siman’s group in a 20-minute gun battle at a checkpoint along a sparsely populated stretch of Maharlika Highway in Atimonan.

He was supposedly hit in the hands and foot, light injuries that failed to save him from suspicion and suspension.

But Sen. Panfilo Lacson, a former chief of the Philippine National Police, on Saturday cautioned against conclusions that Marantan’s injuries are self-inflicted.

Lacson called on the public to wait for the results of the investigation being carried out by the National Bureau of Investigation.

“At this point, everything is speculative. All these are conjecture,” Lacson said. “Let’s just wait for the investigation to be finished.”

“That should be the case,” said De Lima, who, like Lacson, attended the 20th anniversary celebration of the Movement for Restoration of Peace and Order in Intramuros, Manila. “We’re not judging anyone, because it’s still premature,” she added.

But with the information that it was the intelligence unit of the Calabarzon police that carried out the operation against Siman, De Lima asked whether intelligence units normally undertake such operations.

“Isn’t an intelligence unit supposed to gather information only, and there is a need to transfer—if it has already obtained validated facts through intelligence-gathering—to an appropriate unit that will conduct a field operation, such as that one?” De Lima said.

De Lima said Marantan and Dumlao should cooperate with the NBI in the investigation.

“I told the NBI to talk to all of them,” De Lima said. “The NBI has a list of those involved in the operation.”

The Inquirer source, an intelligence officer with knowledge of the case investigation, asked not to be named because he was not authorized to speak to reporters about the alleged shootout.

The PAOCC is under the direct supervision of Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa.

The commission’s mandate includes providing funding for the intelligence, technical, logistical and legal needs of legitimate police operations against organized crime and terrorism.

The PAOCC secretariat recommended approval of “Armado,” which was signed by Marantan, as case officer; Dumlao, as case supervisor; and Chief Supt. James Melad, chief of the Calabarzon police, as case director.

But it was Villasanta who had the final say on funding. Even so, his decision needed to be vetted by the PAOCC board.

While “Coplan Armado” was dated Oct. 24, 2012, Villasanta said it reached his desk only in mid-November.

Puzzle pieces

The Inquirer source pointed out “pieces of the puzzle.”

“Look, Villasanta said he received the coplan in mid-November. By then, six men were already dead. A police officer (Marantan) was already receiving death threats from Siman’s group. Villasanta would not place the [executive secretary] and the President anywhere near this police operation,” the source said, referring to Ochoa and President Aquino.

“Coplan Armado,” in fact, traced a trail of blood that led to Siman and his alleged jueteng associates because of their alleged link to a gun-for-hire group.

It said that in April 2012, one Engelbert Aquino was killed allegedly by hit men hired by Siman and a jueteng partner after Aquino refused to join their numbers racket in Calamba City.

The same gun-for-hire group linked to Siman allegedly tried to kill Senior Insp. Nestor Sardina, chief of police of Sta. Maria town in Laguna in May 2012.

In October 2012, the gun-for-hire group ambushed and killed Insp. Romeo Criste, an operations officer at the Cabuyao City police, with the “disruption” of the jueteng operations of Siman and his partners as motive.

Then came the Nov. 12 incident. All six alleged members of Siman’s gun-for-hire group who shot it out with policemen in Barangay Licheria in Calamba City were killed.

The Inquirer source said that of the six men, only two were real hit men.

“The four others were mere bookies,” he said.

Target: Marantan

The deaths of the six men supposedly angered Siman, who pointed to Marantan as the one behind the police operation, the source said.

“Marantan was a target of Siman’s group after the Nov. 12 incident. He (Marantan) had begun receiving death threats via text messages,” the source said.

The source said the carnage in Atimonan could have been avoided had Marantan not shown himself to Siman at the checkpoint.

Among those killed with Siman were three policemen, including a senior police officer who was 12 years ahead of Marantan in the Philippine National Police Academy, Supt. Alfredo Consemino, and two Air Force soldiers.

The Inquirer learned that the Calabarzon police had a parallel coplan to “Armado” called “Coplan Bayani.”

“Bayani” zeroed in on police officers allegedly protecting Siman and his group.

The coplan also listed down 15 men who were allegedly the “civilian components” of Siman’s armed group. The list included environmentalist Tirso Lontok Jr., Siman’s bodyguards Leonardo Marasigan and Maximo Pelayo, and real-estate broker Paul Quiohilag, all of whom where killed in the alleged shootout in Atimonan.

Not license to kill

Inquirer sources from the intelligence community said that coplans are standard documents for building up cases against terrorists and notorious criminals.

“Coplans contain lists of targets to be arrested. It is under law enforcement, which means that the main objective is to arrest the targets and as such, the operations should follow the rules of engagement,” one source said.

The first Inquirer source added: “A coplan is not a James Bond movie. It does not have a license to kill. If the target was killed, it should be in a justifiable manner.”

First posted 12:01 am | Sunday, January 13th, 2013


Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Atimonan town , Coplan Armado , Jueteng , PAOCC , Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission , Supt. Hansel Marantan , Vic Siman , Victor Siman , “Jueteng” lord




Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  2. Chinese lawyers say they were tortured by police
  3. Hair salon’s Kim Jong Un poster riles embassy
  4. Siquijor ‘healer’: For every cure, there’s a plant
  5. State seeks guilty verdict for Abalos
  6. Why college grads end up in the PNP
  7. Estrada: I will pray for my detractors
  8. Miraculous image makes Gapan City top site for pilgrimage in Central Luzon
  9. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  10. Five men from Cavite found dead in jeep in Batangas
  1. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  2. MH370 co-pilot made mid-flight phone call – report
  3. Netizens cry: 6/55 Lotto was rigged
  4. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  5. ‘Wife of Jesus’ theory papyrus not fake – Harvard study
  6. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  7. Gay college instructor arrested for oral sex with student
  8. ‘King’ Yabut and I: Driver bares Makati dad ‘abuses’
  9. It was difficult having Japanese blood
  10. Palace: We can’t blame increase in population on Vitangcol
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Pork payoffs to newscasters Erwin Tulfo, Del Prado, others bared
  4. UP back on top as ‘average’ student aces bar
  5. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  6. Model Helena Belmonte wished ‘to slash her wrist and hope to die’
  7. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  8. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  9. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  10. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’
Advertisement

News

  • After quake, makeshift churches welcome pilgrims in Bohol
  • UN warns banana fungus spreading from Southeast Asia
  • Massive infra spending set
  • ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  • Cardinal Tagle to faithful: Join politics to clean it
  • Sports

  • Federer would skip tennis to be with wife, newborn
  • Manny Pacquiao in PBA? If so, he’ll wear No. 17
  • PSC sets Blu Girls US training
  • Power Pinoys settle for 7th place
  • Successful coaches to get raise
  • Lifestyle

  • ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  • This is not just a farm
  • Clams and garlic, softshell crab risotto–not your usual seafood fare for Holy Week
  • Moist, extra-tender blueberry muffins
  • The truffled mac ‘n’ cheese, eggs benedict, chicken leg confit are excellent
  • Entertainment

  • Why Lucky has not bought an engagement ring for Angel
  • Derek more private with new girlfriend
  • ‘Community’ star happy with return of show’s creator
  • Jealousy is kid stuff
  • Mommy-daughter adventure continues
  • Business

  • PH presses bid to keep rice import controls
  • PSEi continues to gain
  • Number of retrenched workers rose by 42% in ’13
  • PH seen to sustain rise in FDIs
  • Gov’t subsidies to state firms fell in first 2 months
  • Technology

  • Smart phone apps and sites perfect for the Holy Week
  • Tech company: Change passwords or suffer ‘Heartbleed’
  • Filling the digital talent gap
  • SSS to shut down website for Holy Week
  • Another reason to quit social media this Holy Week: your safety
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 17, 2014
  • A humbler Church
  • Deepest darkness
  • ‘Agnihotra’ for Earth’s health
  • It’s the Holy Week, time to think of others
  • Global Nation

  • First Fil-Am elected to Sierra Madre, Calif. city council
  • UC Irvine cultural night to dramatize clash of values in immigrant family
  • Filipino sweets and info served at UC Berkeley Spring Fest
  • Milpitas, California kids wrap up a successful run of ‘The Wiz’
  • Netizens welcome Japan’s visa-free travel plan
  • Marketplace
    Advertisement