‘Atimonan 13’ probe a test for Aquino’s credibility, says Palace

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President Benigno Aquino III FILE PHOTO

The investigation of the killing of 13 people in a supposed gun battle between government security forces and alleged criminals in Atimonan town, Quezon province, on Jan. 6 is a test of President Aquino’s good government policy, Malacañang said Wednesday.

Secretary Herminio Coloma of the Presidential Communication Operations Office said the Aquino administration’s credibility was at stake in the investigation.

Coloma said the President specifically ordered an exhaustive and independent investigation by the National Bureau of Investigation to preclude doubts about the outcome of the investigation.

And so far, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Philippine National Police have responded by relieving police officers involved in the Atimonan operation, Coloma said.

“This is no ordinary event, and the policy that we call ’straight path and good governance’ would be disputed if we failed to convince the people that we had an exhaustive investigation, and hold those responsible liable,’’ he said.

The President, who expressed doubts that a shootout took place because of “inconsistencies” in the initial police report, ordered a full and exhaustive investigation by the NBI.

Stop speculations

Coloma appealed for a stop to speculations in the press about the circumstances surrounding the incident pending the release of the official investigative report.

“Let’s minimize the over-speculation, the intrigue, to allow a smooth flow of the investigation, and to avoid any bias in the final findings of the NBI,’’ he said.

Three policemen and three soldiers were among the 13 people killed in the supposed shootout at a joint police-military checkpoint along a sparsely populated stretch of Maharlika Highway in Barangay (village) Lumutan in Atimonan.

Supt. Hansel Marantan, leader of the police team at the checkpoint, was the only one wounded among more than 40 policemen and members of the Army Special Forces that allegedly shot it out with the group of alleged illegal gambling lord Victor “Vic” Siman.

Police claimed the victims were members of a gun-for-hire and illegal gambling syndicate. But the families of the victims denied the accusations and charged that the victims were summarily executed.

Senate inquiry

Police sources said the supposed gun battle was the offshoot of a rivalry for turf between two syndicates involved in the numbers racket “jueteng.”

Coloma welcomed the announcement by Sen. Gregorio Honasan that his committee on public order and dangerous drugs would open an inquiry into the killings when Congress reconvened on Jan. 21.

“It’s all right for the Senate to help in the overall efforts to correct whatever system led to the Atimonan incident,” Coloma said.

Honasan said the inquiry would focus on the conduct of the policemen and soldiers at the checkpoint.

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  • http://profile.yahoo.com/XJ6M3EEK5LGN77YOMKJHBCXF7Q jeronimo

    I hope they explain why those ambushed have a presidential sticker on their vehicle.

    • jolly_baby

       Inquirer will just ignore us.. TRUST me… hehehhe

      • niceguy60

        Are you saying that Inquirer is biased in favor of PNOY admin?

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/GTVNMZR22PGMS55WQPIJTYB4IY Jaime

    You can buy those just about anywhere.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/XJ6M3EEK5LGN77YOMKJHBCXF7Q jeronimo

      Talaga? E di dapat sana e madami ng gumagamit nang sticker an yan…. Makapag hanap nga nyang sticker an yan.

  • ohnioknieves

    I ONLY NEED 2 IMPORTANT THINGS HERE:
    1. TRUTH
    2. JUSTICE
    SIMPLE AS THAT! NO BULLSHIT!!!

    • mfdo

       and you will never get your wish .. next question ??

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_4R3GZTGML26TV2VGS6RVHP2THM Fred

    Why is Marantan not transferred to V. Luna Hosp., he being an active police officer?
    Are his wounds life-threatening that is why he can’t be evacuated?
    Ang layo ng byahe from Atimonan to St. Luke’s, eh bakit hindi na lang sa
    V. Luna Hosp.?

    • Carlos_Iho

      Baka sya mismo ang nagbabayad sa st. lukes…kaya naman siguro nya sa laki ng kinikita

  • farmerpo

    Given the findings, though initial, the officers involved should already be in protective custody. Not having a good time at St Luke’s , home for the wheelchair bound.

  • VeryDisgusted2

    Senate hearing is useless. They will just delay further the investigation and prosecution of the criminals.

    Also senators are dirty people who have no moral credibility to investigate. They need to investigate themselves first why they have not returned until now the people’s money they used to gift themselves. But they would do the people good if they all resign.

  • tra6Gpeche

    Akala ko ay bayani si Supt Hansel Marantan. Sa mismong fact-finding report ni Chief-Supt Frederico Perez Castro ay lumalabas na sinungaling at salot sa loob ng PNP organization itong si Mr Marantan. Mukhang bihasang-bihasa mag-artista ang taong ito!

  • billy gunner

    credibility? what credibility are you talking about?

    • jolly_baby

       Why are you gonna refer someone better? :D Admit it, he is the only president who has guts to fight corruption.

      • poltergeist_fuhrer

        go yellow ribbon!!!

      • billy gunner

         well he only fights corruption when it concerns his enemies. come KKKs and he’ll just say: “nothing’s wrong” or “let’s just consider political realities”!

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WN5TKEXEJ2VHQVNGP2CJEDLJH4 Jess

        YAN ANG PROBLEMA KAY PINOY PAG KANYANG TAO PINALULUSOT DIN NILA.

      • JuanTamadachi

        good one.

  • kawatancila

     “inconsistencies”  word for today, bakit  kaya naging ganito.. inconsistent daw ang , d ba na plantsa ang crime scene, papaano ba natin papalabasin na pumutok ng baril ang mga patay .. papaano ba talaga ang nangyari… nakipag barilan ba sila… o inunahan  na lang ang grupo ni siman, .. nakaka phobia na pag makaraan ka ng checkpoint… bigla kang paparahin at.. pabubuksan ang mga compartment ng sasakyan mo… lagi na lang me checkpoint… nakaka irita na sa mata.. lalot walang galang ang mga nakatalaga sa mg checkpoint… wala man lang respeto  at arrogante… dapat i seminar muna ang mga tauhan na itatalaga sa checkpoint , 

  • poltergeist_fuhrer

    what credibility test when they earlier announved that it was shootout….ang pdi talaga napaka yellow

  • disqusted0fu

    If this was a test on Pnoy’s good government policy then they have failed big time! The truth is so obvious that there is no way to make excuses that this is a shady operation all along.

    What about tests like unemployment and poverty? What’s Pnoy’s score there? What does that make of his credibility?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Psiitoon-Charoenkrung/100001362990665 Jane Deasis Villena

    Its truly a test of Pnoy’s credibility.  If the real culprits are not found out and punished then the civilian populace will feel the chilling effect of this massacre.  It was truly an overkill with some getting more than 20 shot wounds on their bodies.  They were all unaware that they will be shot because all of them were not on firing positions.  The culprit must be found and if possible face the firing squad too.  Its now high time to clean the whole police and the armed forces.  Away with the scalawags and bring a Singapore style of discipline to these corrupt organizations and even to the whole government machinery.  Discipline,  real discipline is truly needed for this country to move forward and be at far with its Asean neighbors

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WN5TKEXEJ2VHQVNGP2CJEDLJH4 Jess

    KUNG SINOMAN ANG NAGPLANO NG ATIMONAN MASSACRE AY MASASABING NAPAKABOBO. ANONG AKALA NIYA SA MGA PAMILYA NG MGA PINATAY NILA MGA TANGANG KAGAYA NILA. KUNG SHOOT OUT YAN TIYAK MAY NAMATAY SA KANILA DAHIL NAKALANTAD SILA. SI MARANTAN HALATANG NAGBARINL O BINARIL NG MGA TAO NIYA, KUNG PINATAY SIYA O SINAKRIPISYO BUHAY NIYA, BAKA SAKALI PA MAGING 50-50 NA KAPANI-PANIWALA. ITONG SI MARANTAN AY LAGING NAKAKALUSOT SA MGA GANYANG SHOOT OUT KUNO, NALIMUTAN NIYANG ANG DIYOS AY DI NATUTULOG. TULAD RIN NG NANGYARI KAY EX-MAYOR SANCHEZ NG CALAUAN, LAGUNA.ASAN SILA NGAYON NG MGA TAUHAN NIYA, DI BA NABUBULOK NA SA KULUNGAN.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_AUVZQYX3IUO7R2PEZRDS6ZDFUA RamBoDan

    Pwede ba Ampatuan muna…o GMA &Co.

  • calixto909

    Coloma tell the president not to act like a wimp because if he push on this style/character of employing the rule of law like what he did to the case of Garcia then he’s not suited to stay longer as president. Marantan apparently is defying Roxas for being uncooperative despite his directive because he (Marantan) took the cue from the weakling character of Pnoy.

  • bogli_anakdami

    “credibility”??? ano yun?… nakakain ba yun?… ano ba sa kapampangan ang ibig sabihin ng “credibility”?

    di naman requirement sa mga traposakals ang “credibility”, di ba?… basta’s kamag-anaks, ka-eskwela, ka-iyutan, pwede ng kumandidato at sigurado namang iboboto naming mga flips eh…

  • http://www.yellowmythbusters.gov.ph/ Weder-Weder Lang

    I used to be a PNoy apologist until the Puno incident. It does not serve the country well to just think in terms of Pro-PNoy or Anti-PNoy. We should look at issues objectively.

    Sya nga pala, nasaan na sina Blainz and the rest of PNoy apologists? Bakit biglang naglaho?

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