Bautista best choice for AFP chief

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The National Bureau of Investigation should focus on the motive for the alleged one-way shootout in Atimonan, Quezon, that killed 13 persons, including two cops and two soldiers.

I’ve talked to some “players” (meaning “jueteng” financiers and illegal bookie joint operators), and they all told me the same thing: It was an ambush, a rubout.

Vic Siman, one of those killed in the rubout, and Tita Dinglasan, sister of the leader of the police team that allegedly staged the ambush, were known to be rivals in the Laguna bookie operations.

Dinglasan is a sister of Supt. Hansel Marantan, who has refused to cooperate with NBI investigators looking into the incident.

Siman operated some legal small town lottery (STL) outlets that he set up as fronts for his illegal bookie operations, according to my sources in the jueteng and bookie “industry.”

Marantan apparently planned Siman’s ambush because he wanted his sister to monopolize the bookie operations in Laguna, the sources added.

Supt. Alfredo Consemino, who was also killed in the ambush, was a close friend of Siman.

Siman had asked Consemino to accompany him on that fateful day thinking that with Consemino around, Marantan would have second thoughts of ambushing him.

Siman also obviously thought that there would be strength in numbers, that’s why he had other friends accompany him.

But, as the common superstition goes, 13 is an unlucky number.

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Why did Marantan choose Atimonan, Quezon, as the scene of the ambush?

Because the chief of police of Atimonan, Chief Insp. Grant Gollod, was Marantan’s deputy when he was chief of the 415th Police Public Safety Company from 2010 to 2011.

Because of his position in Quezon, Tita Dinglasan allegedly operated bookie joints in the province.

When Marantan was assigned as deputy intelligence of the Region 4-A Police Office based in Camp Vicente Lim in Canlubang, Laguna, Dinglasan transferred her bookie operations to Laguna.

Marantan, now assigned at Camp Vicente Lim, allegedly killed six of Siman’s bookie bet collectors, who were tagged as guns-for-hire, in Laguna on Nov. 12, 2012.

In fact, Marantan still has a pending case for the multiple murders in Laguna.

Why is Marantan, who is confined at the St. Luke’s Medical Center in Taguig, uncooperative with the NBI, which has been assigned to investigate the Atimonan massacre?

(Tita is footing Marantan’s bill at the expensive hospital, I am told.)

Because he apparently is trying to cook up answers he will give to NBI investigators when he eventually decides to cooperate.

Marantan, the lone casualty on the police-military side in the Atimonan ambush, either shot himself or was shot by his companions.

One of the known “salvagers” (executioners) in the Philippine National Police (PNP), Marantan was promoted despite cases filed against him for multiple murders.

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Lt. Gen. Emmanuel Bautista, the newly appointed Armed Forces Chief of Staff, was the best choice of President Noy.

Bautista is a level-headed and peace-loving general whose father, Brig. Gen. Teodulfo Bautista, was hacked and shot to death by Moro rebels in 1977 along with a number of his men.

Instead of thinking of revenge for his father’s violent death, Bautista is trying to “win the peace” with Moro and communist rebels through a multi-sectoral approach.

Bautista knows that the government cannot win the war against the insurgents by counting dead bodies.

I heard him speak at his father’s funeral at the Army gym in Fort Bonifacio. He was then a cadet at the Philippine Military Academy.

If I recall it right, although there was rancor in his speech, there was no mention of revenge.

Back in 1977, I was a military beat reporter for the defunct Times Journal.

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Tags: Atimonan shootout , Emmanuel Bautista , gambling , Hansel Marantan , illegal numbers game , Jueteng , Military , new chief of staff , Philippines , Police , rubout , Tita Dinglasan , Vic Siman

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