Military witnesses won’t change findings, says NBI

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Whatever the military’s witness says will not affect the National Bureau of Investigation’s finding that the killings of 13 people in Atimonan, Quezon province, on Jan. 6 were not the results of a shootout between government security forces and alleged criminals, an NBI official said on Saturday.

Crisanto Buela, a lawyer for the Army soldiers who, along with police officers from Southern Luzon, are facing investigation for the killings, told reporters on Friday that the military has a witness who will prove that what happened was a shootout.

But Vicente de Guzman, NBI deputy director for Metro Manila, said on Saturday that whatever the military’s witness says will not change the NBI’s finding that whatever it was that happened in Atimonan, it was not a shootout.

De Guzman said the government’s two witnesses who described to NBI investigators the events of Jan. 6 were “very credible and their statements were corroborated” by other evidence.

“The witnesses came forward, were credible and had no reason to lie,” De Guzman said.

He added that the reenactment on Thursday of the supposed gun battle in Atimonan validated the witnesses’ statements and recollection of the event.

Ballistic tests

 

“These people fear for their lives, anyone who witnessed [the] carnage will never forget it,” De Guzman said.

The Department of Justice has placed the two men on the government’s witness protection program.

De Guzman said the investigators were just waiting for the completion of the results of ballistic tests on the firearms submitted by the soldiers and policemen involved in the killings of the 13 alleged criminals, including Victor “Vic” Siman, alleged operator of the numbers racket “jueteng” in provinces south of Manila.

After the ballistic tests, the NBI should be ready to submit a report to President Aquino, who had ordered the bureau to find out what really happened in Atimonan because of accusations from the relatives of those killed that the victims had been summarily executed.

Malacañang on Saturday said the President expected to receive the report by Wednesday.

Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said in a radio interview that Mr. Aquino wanted to see the report before leaving for Davos, Switzerland, on Wednesday night.

Sole investigator

Valte said the Philippine National Police submitted its own report to the President earlier this week, but the NBI was the agency that had been directed to investigate and determine what really happened in Atimonan.

On Thursday, after a reenactment of the events of Jan. 6, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said that what happened was “definitely not a shootout.”

Valte said the NBI report would guide the government in deciding what really happened in Atimonan and who would be held accountable. With a report from Michael Lim Ubac

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of INQUIRER.net. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • Carlos_Iho

    The NBI has done its job well.  The shootout version of the incident is just unbelievable.  Why the delay on presenting a witness and giving testimonies by those who participated in the incident?  The earlier these were provided, the more credible it would have been.

    • John_Cruz

      Talagang may shootout only after the victims were ambushed per official PNP report. Only one of the victims was able to fire his gun and after that the victims were summarily executed.  Lumabas na ang mga survivors itinaas nila ang kanilang kamay ratatatat pa sila. Dahil walang baril itung summary executions, planted ang baril sa mga victima.That’s a war crime against Geneva Conventions.

  • Melanio Calayeg

    This is another classical case of a rub out. Those people manning the check point has all the advantage to  subdue the victims, but shooting them indiscriminately and to  the extent of killing them is not logical reasoning for self preservation. 

  • Loggnat

    The best that the low ranking soldiers can do is to tell the truth. The Commander in Chief should reassign each of the soldiers involved separately under his supervision and give the NBI an unrestricted access to this soldiers. This will assure them that they cannot be intimidated to cover for the deeds of their supervisors or officers in command of the involved unit or might even be more credible if they do confirm that there was a shootout. If my Commander in Chief orders or even requests me to tell the truth and nothing but the truth, Heck, they will get the truth regardless of the consequences. I’m almost sure that majority of those lower rank soldiers will feel the same as i do.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/VFMEFQRZJSCRIZO2ZAOERRY5KA barnny

      good suggestion

    • batangsulpok

      Mahirap mangyari sa military yan dahil ang motto nila ay OBEY FIRST BEFORE YOU COMPLAIN.

      • Loggnat

        You mean those soldiers will disobey their Commander in Chief? Just as you mentioned, the military obeys first before complaining and that applies too if the president orders them to tell the truth. Doesn’t it? The lower ranking soldiers are obligated to obey their officer in charge so they cannot be blamed totally if they did something under orders from their officers. It is the same thing when the highest ranking individual asks the soldiers or gives them an order to do so and they must obey the order. The order must be followed or face charges for insubordination and failure to follow legitimate order.

    • ApoLapullapu

      It is obvious that the foot soldiers were not privy to the information in the hands of their superiors. And it is also possible that Marantan misled the Officers of the military contingent.  One of the civilian witnesses in the NBI Investigation said that it was the one in civilian clothes who gave the order to fire, fire, fire. Marantan was the highest Officer wearing civilian clothes during the operation.

  • GilArellano

    they should also investigate the military manning the 1st check point…

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/DRM3P22KM7UVOQUIO6FOTVLSSI X44

    Why would a lawyer allow himself to be used for immoral purposes?

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_KZEBAUGBBXOSZBPR5HUZGZXV5U andy bonifacio

      kailan ka pinanganak, kilala mo si fortun? lawyers  do not work for the law and for the truth they work for the money by distorting the law and and or finding a way around it , parang motorsiklo na hindi sumusunod sa flow ng traffic.

      • superpilipinas

        he-he-he. nilahat mo yung mga lawyer. parang ginawa mo rin yung ginawa ni Marantan, patay lahat.

      • John_Cruz

        Totoo ang lahat nang sinabi mo. Lawyers sa PI tax evader pa exemplified by Ex-Chief Justice. Sisingil sa iyo P40K pero yung recibo P300 lang. Iyung iba wala pang recibu ibibigay sa iyo.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/VFMEFQRZJSCRIZO2ZAOERRY5KA barnny

      money money money money

    • Komen To

      Lawyers are tasked to defend their clients, present their version of the event/incident including their witnesses. Prosecution is tasked to defend the perceived victim, including People of the Philippines, present it’s version and witnesses. Judges are tasked to know the truth based on evidences and witnesses’ statements presented. Judges are expected to be fair, eyes closed- means they only know the facts and not the persons involved. I hope this clarifies their roles, in fairness to the military lawyers

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

    SALAMAT NAMAN AT ANG NBI AY HINDI NAGPAPABOLA SA MGA fake witnesses NG MGA WALANGYANG PULIS. MGA ASSETS NILA  ANG MGA TESTIGONG YUN NA MAAARING KASAMA PA NILA SA OPERASYON O KAYA AY KINUHA KUNG SAAN AT PINAPIRMA SA GAWA NG AFFIDAVIT.

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

    DAPAT KASUHAN DIN ANG LAWYER NG MGA WALANGYANG PULIS SA PAGLABAG NIYA SA LAWYER’S OATH. NAGPAPAGAMIT SIYA SA MGA SINUNGALING NA PULIS.

    • superpilipinas

      basahin mo muna ang batas tungkol diyan. di uubra yang sinasabi mo.

  • PeteJrfern

    Sige pa interview sila sa NBI, lalabas ang katotohanan.  May mga evidence na mag didispute or correlate nang sasabihin nila.  Tignan natin kong gaano sila marunong magsinungaling.  Ihanda ang lie detectors at tignan natin ang mga credibility nang witnesses nang militar.  Pag napatunayan na sinungaling kasuhan din.

  • superpilipinas

    2013 na. bumili na kasi kayo ng vehicle or uniform mounted camera. 

    • superpilipinas

      ito ang hint kung saan pwedeng bilhin:

      watchguardvideo,com 
      vievu,com
      stalker,com

      tignan ninyo ang mga sample video sa youtube.

      mababawasan ang gastos sa imbestigasyon. mapipilitan magtino ang mga pulis patola.

  • zeroko

    Military credibility? Ha ha ha  ha ha!

  • Chris P Pnono

    sana tama at honest mga NBI.para malutas ng na aayon ang rubout sa atimonan..

    • UPnnGrd

       eh hindi nga ba talaga naman nuun-nuon pa, ang mga NBI ng Pilipinas ay  ubod na “daang matuwid”?   Panahon ni Marcos… panahon ni Tabako… panahon ni GuLLoorRRya… panahon ni Erap…  weather-weather o hindi,  talagang ang NBI ng Pilipinas ay tunay namang “daang matuwid”.

  • ApoLapullapu

    If the military has a witness, why doesn’t it let that witness cooperate with the NBI investigation and give his sworn statement?

    • banditpogi

      Hinihintay muna nila mailabas yung full report nang NBI at base doon gagawan nila nang kuwentong barbero mga coached witnesses nila kuno.

      Tactica nila yon.  Siempre alamin muna nila baraha nang kalaban bago nila ilatag yung sa kanila.

  • Komen To

    In the end, forensic evidences will be the core of the decision of any court for this case. That is, the 13 victims committed suicide after being shocked by the warning shots of the military. The only problem is, who shot the arm and leg of Maratrat? I’m amused because I tried reenacting that before in a firing range and I tell you, it’s easier to shoot the body that the arm and leg

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_EDXEVEFHW2ZT5VWHDWBNM6XGE4 RyanE

    “On Thursday, after a reenactment of the events of Jan. 6, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said that what happened was “definitely not a shootout.” 

    Precisely this is the reason why NBI investigators are not inclined to hear the testimony of the military’s witness because the DOJ Secretary herself has already spoken. I guess this investigation is not impartial.

  • tra6Gpeche

    Yes sir, the government’s two witnesses have nothing to gain
    and no reason to lie while the military witness or witnesses have everything to
    gain and many reasons to lie! Besides, these PNP killers, especially Marantan and James Melad, of dead Atimonan 13
    have no credibility, no decency and no regards for the law of the land.

  • JOHN

    look for the 3rd vehicle…may nalalaman yun….d yata na mention dito….siguradong may alam yun sa mga nangyari

  • koolkid_inthehouse

    Even with out an eyewitness, a professional investigators and interrogators can still figure out that its not a shootout. 

    The lack of strict procedure in the event of police shooting makes the law enforcement in the Philippines like child play.  Investigations are not meticulous and lack of hi-tech tools.  NBI and police can’t even afford a metal detector.  They use sticks to measure the bullet angle of entry.  The chief can afford a brand new SUV but the police regional command cant buy metal detectors and reflecting stop signs for checkpoints.

  • etomacq

    Sigurado ko yun witness ng mga berdugo pakawala nila para guluhin ang imbestigasyon. 

    Common sense lang.. Bakit sa PNP magwiwitnes yun tao bakit hindi sa NBI? Kaduda duda talaga.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/G2UFL7BAIFFUU6TIW4FFAPTVV4 Ghost

    Military witness? Eh bat pinagtatagal pa, hindi pa pagsalitain, o pinagcooperate sa PNP o sa NBI probe para macross examine na? Lokohan ito, ginagawa tayong ogag ng mga to.
    .

  • superlucky2

    Crisanto Buela, you have a self-serving witness na hangang ngayun under tutorial lesson. Tinuturoan kung ano ang mga sasabihin. STYLE NYO BUELA PALPAK. MAG-KANO KAYA ANG BINAYAD KI BUELA NG MILITAR???

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_44QGTQXFYHNVPNMX453LWBPMXM Opel

    military witness my @ss. Military asset lang yan. kumakanta yan ayon sa script ng mga handler nyan.

  • pelang

    think about if we have another president who always bow to the military instead of the other way around. for sure, tatanggapin na lang na shootout ang nangyari. ngayon lang nagkaiba ang findings ng PNP sa NBI. meaning, NBI findings are more credible than PNP’s which is always predictable. kung hindi NPA, NPA supporters.

  • doublecross

    walang powder burns…yari ka, AMBUSHED ang nangyari….!!!!!!!!!!

  • Your_King

    The events have already been predetermined by the investigators the only question now is why measures weren’t taken before to prevent an event like this to occur. PNP and other police authorities need some fixing and ‘jueteng’ needs to be paid attention to.

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