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ATIMONAN MASSACRE

Regional cop chief OK’d checkpoint

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Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon) regional director of the Philippine National Police, Chief Supt. James Melad,speaks in a news conference at the National Bureau of Investigation Headquarters in Manila on Wednesday for the investigation of the Atimonan encounter, killing 13 people in an alleged shootout between government security forces and alleged criminals.INQUIRER / NIÑO JESUS ORBETA

MANILA, Philippines—Sacked Chief Supt. James Melad has admitted he approved the police blockade in Atimonan, Quezon province, where officers under his command and Army soldiers killed 13 alleged criminals on Jan. 6.

In a four-page affidavit submitted to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), Melad, former commander of the Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon) police, said he approved the blockade on the request of Supt. Hansel Marantan, deputy chief of intelligence of the regional police.

“He said he received reliable information from a reliable source regarding several armed men,’’ Melad said, referring to Marantan.

Melad said Marantan told him about the information by phone at around 10 a.m. on Jan. 6.

He said it was Marantan who drew up “Coplan Armado,” a classified intelligence plan involving private armed groups, drug dealers, guns for hire, illegal gambling operators and other criminals.

“Believing that this is part of the intelligence buildup and validation of targets in Coplan Armado, I replied, ‘[It’s okay], coordinate with local PNP.’’’

Marantan shot

But at 4 p.m., he said, he was informed by the former Quezon provincial police chief, Senior Supt. Valeriano de Leon, that Marantan was wounded in an encounter with gunmen at a checkpoint along Maharlika Highway in Atimonan.

Melad said he immediately left for Quezon and while on the road he informed the PNP chief, Director General Alan Purisima, about the incident.

He said he arrived in Quezon at 8 p.m. and went to Marantan at Mt. Carmel Hospital in Lucena City before proceeding to Atimonan.

In the hospital, he said, Marantan told him there had been an “encounter.’’

Melad said that when he arrived at the site of the encounter, crime scene investigators had already started to investigate, contrary to the finding of a PNP fact-finding team that the investigation only started after he arrived.

He said that in his 35 years in the service he had no derogatory record, and stressed that he would never tolerate wrongdoing by his men.

 

Day in court

“Should anyone be found to have committed an offense, they should be accordingly punished. But they should also be given their day in court,’’ Melad said.

He also said he approved Coplan Armado, which ran in line with a larger police campaign against crime.

“I am personally convinced that [Coplan Armado] could be an accomplishment of the PNP in the region,’’ Melad said.

He said Marantan submitted Coplan Armado to the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission (PAOCC), which gave it an “initial funding.”

The PAOCC disapproved Coplan Armado, but gave Marantan P100,000 for intelligence operations.

MANILA, Philippines—Sacked Chief Supt. James Melad has admitted he approved the police blockade in Atimonan, Quezon province, where officers under his command and Army soldiers killed 13 alleged criminals on Jan. 6.

In a four-page affidavit submitted to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), Melad, former commander of the Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon) police, said he approved the blockade on the request of Supt. Hansel Marantan, deputy chief of intelligence of the regional police.

“He said he received reliable information from a reliable source regarding several armed men,’’ Melad said, referring to Marantan.

Melad said Marantan told him about the information by phone at around 10 a.m. on Jan. 6.

He said it was Marantan who drew up “Coplan Armado,” a classified intelligence plan involving private armed groups, drug dealers, guns for hire, illegal gambling operators and other criminals.

“Believing that this is part of the intelligence buildup and validation of targets in Coplan Armado, I replied, ‘[It’s okay], coordinate with local PNP.’’’

Marantan shot

But at 4 p.m., he said, he was informed by the former Quezon provincial police chief, Senior Supt. Valeriano de Leon, that Marantan was wounded in an encounter with gunmen at a checkpoint along Maharlika Highway in Atimonan.

Melad said he immediately left for Quezon and while on the road he informed the PNP chief, Director General Alan Purisima, about the incident.

He said he arrived in Quezon at 8 p.m. and went to Marantan at Mt. Carmel Hospital in Lucena City before proceeding to Atimonan.

In the hospital, he said, Marantan told him there had been an “encounter.’’

Melad said that when he arrived at the site of the encounter, crime scene investigators had already started to investigate, contrary to the finding of a PNP fact-finding team that the investigation only started after he arrived.

He said that in his 35 years in the service he had no derogatory record, and stressed that he would never tolerate wrongdoing by his men.

 

Day in court

“Should anyone be found to have committed an offense, they should be accordingly punished. But they should also be given their day in court,’’ Melad said.

He also said he approved Coplan Armado, which ran in line with a larger police campaign against crime.

“I am personally convinced that [Coplan Armado] could be an accomplishment of the PNP in the region,’’ Melad said.

He said Marantan submitted Coplan Armado to the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission (PAOCC), which gave it an “initial funding.”

The PAOCC disapproved Coplan Armado, but gave Marantan P100,000 for intelligence operations.


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Tags: Atimonan 13 , Atimonan massacre , Atimonan town , Calabarzon , Coplan Armado , Hansel Marantan , James Melad , PAOCC , Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission , Quezon Province




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