PAOCC maintains: Atimonan ops not approved

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A member of the NBI fornensic team examines one of the bullet riddled SUV at the Municipal Police Station in Atimonan, Quezon where 13 people were killed in an alleged ‘shootout’ with police and military at a checkpoint last January 6.INQUIRER FILE PHOTO/RAFFY LERMA

MANILA, Philippines—The Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission (PAOCC) maintained Friday that even with the release of P100,000, the operation was not approved contrary to claims of sacked Calabarzon Chief James Melad that only the funding was disapproved.

“The release of P100,000 to [Superintendent Hansel] Marantan’s group [is] to help them in building an airtight case against their targets,” Villasanta said.

Coplan Armado was the police operation against organized crime groups that led to the deaths of 13 people, including three soldiers, three policemen and an environmentalist in Atimonan, Quezon.

“We at the PAOCC through a board resolution did not approve Coplan Armado submitted [to us] by [Superintendent Hansel] Marantan, [commander of the Calabarzon Public Safety Battalion Glen] Dumlao and Melad,” PAOCC Executive Director Reginald Villasanta said Friday.

Villasanta explained that the operation was not approved because it lacked documentation needed to assess viability of the operation. Among the needed documents were endorsement from the mother unit, timetable and information about the agents involved.

He said the board opted to hold in abeyance the decision on whether to approve or not Coplan Armado until the other documents had been submitted.

Melad on Wednesday said the PAOCC disapproval was for the funding purposes only but the operation was a go.

Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa, who heads the PAOCC, has denied approving the case operation plan for Coplan Armado.

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Tags: Atimonan , Killing , PAOCC , Police , quezon

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