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De Lima urges soldiers tagged in Quezon shooting to turn state witness

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Justice Secretary Leila De Lima. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — Standing by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) witnesses who claimed the Jan. 6 encounter in Atimonan, Quezon was not a shootout, Justice Secretary Leila De Lima asked the 25 Army soldiers and police operatives who took part there to “speak the truth” and promised the government would protect them should they do so.

De Lima said they were giving these men “a chance to cooperate and possibly be considered state witnesses.”

“We’re hoping that anyone or several of those involved, especially those coming from the ranks of the enlisted men, will genuinely cooperate and speak out the truth,” De Lima said in text messages to reporters.

“If that happens, government assures him or them, as the case maybe, of their safety and proper treatment,” she added.

The justice secretary said she was directing her appeal to the “enlisted men or the lower-ranked operatives involved in the operations.”

Lawyers for the Army special forces had said last week they would present a witness who would dispute the claim of two NBI witnesses that the encounter between government security forces and 13 slain members of an alleged criminal group was not a shootout.

The lawyers of the soldiers as well as police operatives involved in the fatal shooting earlier slammed De Lima for preempting the NBI investigation by declaring that no shootout happened..

The justice secretary made the statement after she supervised a re-enactment of the encounter last week with the help of two witnesses who came forward to the NBI. The two witnesses said they saw everything that happened as they were in a truck that was overtaken by two vehicles of Vic Siman –one of the 13 who were killed by government forces –when the joint police and military forces stopped them.

On Sunday, De Lima echoed statements made by NBI officials on Saturday that the military witness’ claims would “not affect the direction that the NBI is now taking in concluding its report, at least on the aspect of what happened at the incident site on Jan. 6 and the culpability of those involved.”

“We stand by the eyewitnesses’ account which we find credible and supported by other evidence (physical, forensic, etc),” she said.

De Lima said the claim of the police operatives and soldiers that the encounter was a shootout was an admission that “they killed the victims” and they were just “invoking self-defense as a justifying circumstance” in asserting that Siman’s group fired at them first.

“But having deemed to have admitted killing the victims, the burden of proof is shifted on them to show that unlawful aggression came from Siman, et al. And that’s the function of their defense either in the course of preliminary investigation/trial,” she said, noting though that “for now” the findings of the NBI “thus far negate or debunk such claim of a shootout.”

Asked whether she thought that there was a conspiracy between police and military operatives involved in the shooting to make it appear the encounter was a shootout, De Lima said it was “still premature to think so.”

The justice secretary, meanwhile, said the NBI would try to meet the deadline in submitting its report to President Aquino, before the Chief Executive’s flight to Davos, Switzerland on Wednesday night.

President Aquino has picked the NBI as the sole investigative body on the Atimonan, Quezon shooting, to avoid any conflicting findings surfacing in the media.

So far, the PNP has submitted its own report to the President, with the police fact-finding body, declaring there was no shootout and there was use of excessive force on the victims, 11 of whom were shot in the head.


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Tags: Armed Forces of the Philippines , Atimonan , Crime , deaths of crime suspects , Hansel Marantan , law and justice , Murder , News , Philippine Army , Philippine National Police , Police , police checkpoints , police operations , quezon shooting , Regions , rubout , Shoot-out


  • Mamang Pulis

    kapag ginawaan ka ng kwento ng alagad ng batas—

    wala ka ng laban—sabay tataniman ka pa ng ebidensya—paano pa makakapalag yun patay na?

    kaya kayo–mag ingat kayo mga naka puesto ngayun…maraming trigger happy pa rin lalo na kung may sanction sa mga tulad ni ochoa at mar boy bawang roxas–na nag mamalinis.

    • dani77777

      Mas nag-iingat ako sa taong katulad mo na wild ang imagination.

      Baka isangkot mo din sila sa pagkamatay ni Rizal.

      • Mamang Pulis

        oo trabaho yan ng mga mamang pulis–lalo na kung may cover up sa mga gusot at onsehan! :))

        buit alam mo na lahat yan sa RIZAL galing….

      • dani77777

        You just confirmed my suspicions. tks.

      • noyab

         nag sasabi lang sya ng totoo at kahit ako ganoon ang feelings ko siguro pulis ka rin or ganoon ang trabaho mo ugok….

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_U62PHGMKO4RK7BLMC4ACA4EG5A EREC

    The shooting in Quezon that resulted of 13 fatalities the President of the Republic must speak to it….. he is the commander-in-cheif of the shooter and the victims. The President is just hiding on the results of investigation under his cabinets like Sec. Mar & Sec. Laila in which the President must look in to it because he is the COMMANER-IN-CHEIF of the Republic of the Philippines. What kind of commander-in-cheif we have if he cannot handle firm this man/women in uniforms? What kind of commander-in-cheif we have that with in 6 hours can show to the public to explain what is really happen? What kind of commander-in-cheif we have if until now there is no clear result for what really happen to his men?

    • dani77777

      I think you need a new keyboard.

    • superpilipinas

      I think you should understand the roles and responsibilities of a President and Commander-In-Chief. You seem to think that the Commander-in-Chief acts like a Barangay Captain who has to do all things by himself. Google the phrase “delegation of responsibility” so you will understand better.

      • noyab

         whats the big deal…nagay lang naman si Panot as Barangay tanod….

    • Kairosphil

      Paki Ayos po… diko gets!

    • wawangpenoy

       ERAP, ikaw ba yan?

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/M3LQ4MUAU3Z36MIQGIGSOKBCQE Rosauro

    Why? Who is to be pinned down? Bakit ganyan kayo ms. de Lima?

    • superpilipinas

      kaya nga they are offered to turn state witness para hindi sila ksali sa mga ma-charge. 

      hindi mo rin nakuha?

      • Kairosphil

        Kork SuperP! Pakisabi kay Rosauro:  “De Lima said they were giving these men “a chance to cooperate and possibly be considered state witnesses.”
        “We’re hoping that anyone or several of those involved, especially those coming from the ranks of the enlisted men, will genuinely cooperate and speak out the truth,” De Lima said in text messages to reporters.

    • Kairosphil

      “De Lima said they were giving these men “a chance to cooperate and possibly be considered state witnesses.”“We’re hoping that anyone or several of those involved, especially those coming from the ranks of the enlisted men, will genuinely cooperate and speak out the truth,” De Lima said in text messages to reporters.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/UZMYIL5FXLVIHRZXBQGONZS6U4 Jhune

    Itong si De lima naghahanap na ng kakampi para mapaktakpan ang kanyang inasal during re-enactment, nasaan si Samson at siya ang paputulan ng buhok para hindi ngawa ng ngawa.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/AX7A65HBPOATKIEDV77LOLRVUM Colokoy

    dios ko delimma dapat pakainin ka ng bulldog epoxy para matigil na yang bunganga sa pag kwento ng walang ka wenta2. kinain mo ang sarili mong pain.. so ibig sabihin di ka sigurado sa 2 mong witness, bakit kailangan mo pa na mag turn state witness ang mga police at sundalo

    • superpilipinas

      he-he-he. hindi mo nakuha. 

      binibigyan sila ng chance na hindi sila madamay kung nautusan lang sila. at kung state witness sila, lalong matibay ang kaso.

      he-he-he. bulldog epoxy.

    • Kairosphil

      Paki basa po “De Lima said they were giving these men “a chance to cooperate and possibly be considered state witnesses.”
      “We’re hoping that anyone or several of those involved, especially those coming from the ranks of the enlisted men, will genuinely cooperate and speak out the truth,” De Lima said in text messages to reporters.”

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/4XVVCOAZXYTPN2X3IPFCFDSKFM Melvin

    Naniniwala ako sa demokrasya. Kung sino ang mas marami yun ang panalo. Mas marami sa pulis at militar ang nagsasabi na shootout ang nangyari. Ang paniwala ko ay shootout nga ang nangyari… Pero sa re-enactment na parang shooting ng pelikula sabi ng director na si Sec de Lima ang title ay “No Shootout”

    • superpilipinas

      he-he-he. mali ang demokrasya na sinasabi mo. 

      magagamit lang ang demokrasya kung buhay lahat!

      eh kung pinatay lahat, ano pa ang demokrasya sinasabi mo?

      ang sinunod ng mga pulis at militar ay utak pulbura at hindi utak demokrasya.

      • Damaso

        Lahat ng mga hinayupak na yan na sangkot sa jueteng dapat lang mamatay!

      • superpilipinas

        ok na rin kung makulong ng sampung taon ang mga alagad ng jueteng lords. pero kung opisyal ka at umabuso ka, dapat doble.

    • noyab

       kaya ka naniniwala dahil ganyan ang trabaho mo or baka pulis ka rin na galing sa mga pinatay mong tao ang pinakakain mo sa pamilya mo…ugok…

  • IronMan8888

    DoD and DILG should make it as an SOP that all operations must have audio and video recording, Video camera and head mounted cameras are getting cheaper. This guarantees that future operations are within legal bounds. Any police or soldier and its direct superior will be sacked if no data are recorded. A third party rep like from the NBI must be included in the monitoring to avoid tampering.

  • superpilipinas

    video and audio recorders must be used during planned operations and encounters.

    watchguarvideo,com and vievu,com are among those selling this product. these are tamper proof. only the manufacturers know how the audio/video data is recorded and encrypted. if they tamper with the data, the data itself will prove that it is tampered.

    a lot of expensive probing, investigations, and lawsuits will be prevented. innocent lives will be protected, etc….these equipment are worth the money.

  • superpilipinas

    video and audio recorders must be used during planned operations and encounters.

    watchguarvideo,com and vievu,com are among those selling this product. these are tamper proof. only the manufacturers know how the audio/video data is recorded and encrypted. if they tamper with the data, the data itself will prove that it is tampered. The camera unit is so small that even if they sprayed it with gunfire, most likely it will not get hit and these equipment have multiple cameras connected to one central recorder.

    a lot of expensive probing, investigations, and lawsuits will be prevented. innocent lives will be protected, police officers will conduct themselves based on regulations and rules of engagement, etc….these equipment are worth the money.

  • batangsulpok

    Mahirap mangyari yun request ni de Lima dahil ang mga sundalo ay susundin ang order kahit ano kasi sa military, OBEY FIRST BEFORE YOU COMPLAIN at pag sinuway mo ang superior officer, insubordination ang kaso at lagi nilang pinapanigan ang opisyal kesa mga sundalo.

    • superpilipinas

      hindi mahirap yan. sumunod naman sila sa order during the encounter. pero this time, dapat din silang sumunod sa order to cooperate with investigating authorities. this time, hindi sila pwedeng kasuhan ng insubordination kung ang order is to obstruct justice which is an unlawful order.

      palagay ko, yang mga nautusan lang, they will either turn state witness o makukulong kung mali ang pinanindigan nila o ma-acquit kung ma-prove nila na totoo ang sworn statements nila.

  • basilionisisa

    the old tactic of ‘divide and conquer’…

    does it mean if the military and PNP men involved are NOT ENTICED by your offer and decide to STICK to their guns regardless of the consequences, will you Sec De Lima be CONVINCED that they are indeed telling the truth? or at least give them the benefit of the doubt?

    will you at least hear the military’s version? the public certainly would like to. there’s no harm in hearing it, is there? you might be surprised, it might cross some t’s and dot some i’s.

    so, shall we?

    • superpilipinas

      it’s not divide and conquer. it’s giving those people who were merely following orders a chance not to suffer because of their commanding officer’s stupidity. especially now that there is overwhelming prima facie physical evidence of crime scene tampering and a mountain of circumstancials aginst the police and military teams.

      they will be asked for their sworn statement. it’s up to them. if they corroborate with the NBI findings, then they better turn state witness to be protected. otherwise, they will be charged and it is now up to them to defend themselves. if they are telling the truth, then they should be able to prove it.

      no need for NBI to hear the military version. the trial proper will hear that version. that’s how they are given the benefit of the doubt. during that trial, the version will be scrutinized. they better not commit perjury.

  • https://me.yahoo.com/a/iV0XkkNontlsHWTkG2jcuz.PB64A#6b054 F alonso

    what happened to those involved in the Kuratong baleleng shooting.Na kulong ba sila?
    Maski i firing squad mo sina Marantan and company,what will be the effect on the Lords of organized syndicates and illegal gambling.Lalong lalaki mga bayag nila at lalago operasyon nila,thereby mas lalong mapapahamak mga Pulis officers na sasama sa kanila at huhuliin din or babarilin ng kasama nila. then history will repeat itself till eternity.
    Dapat ipatupad ang batas sa pag sugpo ng Drugs at Jueteng.Si Mar Roxas wala man lang boses at warning to stop the undying illegal gambling mula ng Atimonan incident.

    • superpilipinas

      let’s see this time. noon kasi ang ang meron tayo – Department of Injustice at Ombadsman.

      Tignan natin kung anong meron tayo ngayon.  Sa nakikita ko parang mahina pa rin dahil walang nangyari sa Paranaque Shootout.

      At saka yung Quirino Grandstand Massacre, binaliwala ni PNoy ang findings at recommendations ni De Lima. 

      Malalaman din natin.

    • kalikasanipagtanggol

       Umaasa pa rin kayo na may mangyayari dito sa imbestigasyon na ito? yung masaker sa basilan na 19 na sundalo ang pinakatay ng mga opisyales nila tinapik lang ang kamay at nanduon pa rin suot ang uniporme! si marantan ilang beses na involved sa “shootout” kuno at isa na dito ang mag-ama biktima na tinadtad ng bala, ano nangyari kay marantan at mga kasama niya? ayun na promote pa at ngayon nakakapag st. lukes pa….

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/CAWLT6SE3IC36RTDVRUIDWO364 Dag Erickson

    My theory here is that the soldiers did not know the inner workings of the ambush. They just followed orders from their top officials and on the ambush site,  they just  followed orders. If their top  official is already a stockholder in the Marantan Syndicate, they will never know.
       The best thing for the government is to set an example using the Marantan crew as an example. Let us not forget that Marantan’s sister operates illegal gambling inside the territory if Siman in Laguna.

  • Rovingmoron

    I doubt it very much if one of those enlisted personnel of the military involved in the alleged Atimonan incident will ever come out to tell the truth or testify against his comrades. Unless he wants to be ostracized or given hard time inside the barracks, he will have the courage to submit to the DOJ official’s invitation.

  • kalikasanipagtanggol

    Walang pipiyok diyan sa mga sundalo dahil matindi indoktrina diyan kahit ang order shoot or dukot gagawin at wala ng tanong tanong kung bakit…..mag-ingat kayo pag may check point lalo na kung magkasama sundalo at pulis pag may nag-order ng “fire” magdasal ka na lang dahil uulan ng bala……..

  • Loggnat

    The DOJ can subpoena those lower rank soldiers to present themselves for questioning. DOJ could route the subpoena through the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces who can pass it on and/or order the Chief of the Armed forces with an additional legitimate order to lower ranking soldiers and their immediate supervisor to tell the truth and report to the DOJ for questioning regarding the Atimonan case. Those found to be lying during the questioning can be charge by the military court  for disobeying a lawful order and insubordination. If the higher ranking officers fails to deliver the subpoena and the the Commander in Chief’s order, they too can be charge in the military court with the same offense.  

  • $17848434

    Has Sec de Lima heard about the military’s doctrine of “Pya-it Must Die”? specially in the Ranger elements? Sa PNP, pwede ang baliktaran, depende sa usapan under the table. the PNP does not inculcate the “pya-it must die” doctrine, they follow the “depended sa lagay ba naman”!

  • superpilipinas

    simple lang naman. either they turn state witness or they get charged with their superiors denying the wrongdoing.

  • disqusted0fu

    It’s funny how Sec. De Lima urges them to speak the truth and guarantees them protection.

    Under Pnoy’s governance, the truth is more often than not hidden under great lies, and protection is only for the kkk.



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