MANILA, Philippines—Justice Secretary Leila De Lima is convinced that the incident in Atimonan, Quezon where 13 people were killed is “definitely not a shootout.”
De Lima, along with members of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) went to the incident area to re-enact the events that transpired on January 6 based on eyewitness accounts.
The witness said the checkpoint signage was placed in the area only as the two SUVs approached.
Based on the eyewitness account, several men approached the two vehicles but when none of the passengers came out, then the men moved away, one of which shouted “fire.”
Then, two men from the second vehicle came out, one of them was Tirso Lontok who raised his arms but still was shot by the armed men.
Relatives of three of the 13 killed already sought help from the NBI. The NBI has been designated by President Benigno Aquino III to determine what really happened on Jan. 6 and identify, if any, who should be held liable.
De Lima’s pronouncement came a day after the NBI summoned the soldiers and police implicated in the incident.
Only three members of the military have submitted their affidavit.