Soldiers eyed as Atimonan state witnesses

A+
A
A-

Army soldiers of the 1st Special Forces Battalion who were involved in the bloody Atimonan incident that left 13 people dead have been offered to become state witnesses, government and military sources said.

Sources also said that before he left for Davos, Switzerland, last week, President Aquino met with Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, Armed Forces Chief of Staff Gen. Emmanuel Bautista and Southern Luzon Command (SolCom) commander Maj. Gen. Alan Luga, who has jurisdiction over the battalion.

Mr. Aquino had wanted to find out from the military officers and men what exactly transpired in Atimonan on Jan. 6.

Mr. Aquino also supposedly talked with Col. Monico Abang, the battalion commander who is among the military officers and men being investigated by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).

“The soldiers were encouraged to tell everything they know. They might know something that has not been said before. That’s why they were being offered to turn state witnesses,” the source said.

Abang and his men have been restricted to quarters at the Army headquarters in Fort Bonifacio.

Three Philippine Daily Inquirer sources said in separate interviews that there are still “things that have not been said” in the media that the soldiers know.

In an interview last week, Mr. Aquino confirmed that he met with military officials over the Atimonan incident but declined to mention who he spoke to and what was discussed.

As this developed, the lone witness who claimed that the Atimonan incident was a shootout has sought the protection of the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC), claiming that several men have been looking for him.

Rolando Vico Jr., 40, of Barangay (village) Cabugwang in Tagkawayan town,  on Tuesday maintained that the Atimonan victims who were in a convoy had fired first at the policemen and soldiers manning a checkpoint who then retaliated.

“There are men looking for me. I do not know if they are real law enforcers. Some of them said they are with the CIDG (Criminal Investigation and Detection Group). Some said they are NBI agents. I do not know if I can trust them. I do not want to just believe them,” he said.

VACC founding chairman Dante Jimenez said his organization would take care of Vico until he is safely under the government’s witness protection program.

A police official present during the Atimonan incident said they had expected three vehicles to pass the checkpoint.

“We were expecting three vehicles, two Monteros and a pick-up,” the police official said.

The police official said the third vehicle was reported to have passed the first checkpoint which was at least 500 meters away from the second checkpoint but suddenly disappeared. With reports from Jeannette I. Andrade and  Nancy C. Carvajal

Inquirer Viber

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.

  • Mamang Pulis

    o nga pala–sarado lahat ang bintana—

  • eirons1043

    Diyos ko po naman parang Ampatuan Massacre na iyan ah.  Kailangan pa ng maraming witness pare matuloy ang kaso eh kung hindi ebidensiya iyong dami ng bala, checkpoint, pagkaalis ng mga dead bodies sa original na position, litrato ng patay na walang baril eh biglang nagkaroon ng baril eh isara na ang lahat ng korte sa pinas at alisin na ang propesyong abugasya.

  • nice_boy

    Ano ang masasabi ng mga witnesses ni De Lima sa sugat na natamo ni Marantan?  Self-inflicted?  Kung galing ang bala sa Montero, shoot-out yon.  Ang tugon sa kung pano nagkaron ng tama si Marantan ay siyang makalulutas sa kaso.

    • eleazar66

       turn state witness? isang paraan na hindi madiin ang mga sundalo pumatay sa sorry 13. at si marantan ang magiging head state witness. Yung talagang witness sa nangyari ay magiging hindi kapanipaniwala

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

      Not nescessarily NICE_BOY… we are already aware that these two groups are rivals in their area of business. Marantan’s sister is operating in Laguna which is the area of Vic Siman.  We have intelligence reports that Col. Monico Abang and Marantan have some kind of business understanding for a long time.
           Marantan has a godfather on the top level government  either in Malacanang or a top Senator.     

      • blunderact

        Dag erickson, You sounds like your inteligence gathering data are pretty accurate. Is this as true as the inteligence report data of Marantan? Or both of you are plain liers or gossip mongerer?

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/5UXVTBBN3WIP7G7RSDHHTSHA4U Manuel

         “Amalayar?”

      • http://www.dafk.net/what/ Kilabot ng mga Balahibo

        I dunno if it was part of any intelligence report. But Dag’s info was merely repeating what has been printed from previous news articles of the same subject.

        Hence if it is an intelligence report, the news articles would certainly corroborate it. OR it was an intel report based on news articles.

  • sagbotgamot

    Marantan and his supporters in high places should now work double time as those soldiers will soon become his enemies tsk tsk tsk

  • kalikasanipagtanggol

    Col. Abang aprobahan ko na ang promotion sa first star general kung ibebenta mo yung mga parak na kasama niyo! Mr. president effective immediately ba yun promotion ko? sige na kailan ang senate hearing? LOL

  • Guest

    If only those soldiers have to stand with their code of honor and corroborate with the witness that it is a shootout then for sure those police officers will be in hot water.

    Sometimes it takes courage risking your life for truth to prevail.

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

    walang katapusan, may witness na nagsasabi na shootout, unang bumaril ang nasa convoy ngayon gusto pa na military ang mag witness, malakas tlaga sa malacanang si vic siman (bakit kaya?).. ang masaker nong isang araw sa negros na 9 ang patay karamihan civillian wala kang marinig kay pnoy at dilemma.

    • tukmoldinako

      yan din ang pinagtataka ko,ipakita dapat ng gobyerno ang pagtangkilik nya sa Negros case, mabubuting mga tao ang napatay doon, di gaya ng Atimonan case na puro hoodllums at nararapat lang na sentensyahan narin.

  • im_not_convinced

    Soldiers don’ t make the best witnesses. specifically since their code includes ” what i see what i hear, when i leave i leave here” when they are in a mission or on duty. 

    • tukmoldinako

      meron din sigurong sundalong squeller at magsasabi ng totoo, dahil nasama sila sa sampang murder, kaya obligadong magsabi ng totoo to save his life and family.

  • bbavies

    hahahahahaha …. MADAMING GALIT NGAYON KAY MARANTAN KASI NAWALAN SILA NG FINANCIER SA DARATING NA ELEKSYON ….todo big ay pansin ng Aquino admintrasyon sa ATIMONAN CASE….. bistado na kayo hindi tanga ang PILIPINO…. PURO MGA EPAL ANG ADMINISTRASYONG AQUINO ….

    HUSTISYA SA MGA IBANG KASO… LALO NA SA PAGKAMATAY NI NINOY AQUINO…!!!!

  • http://www.dafk.net/what/ Kilabot ng mga Balahibo

     Even if they people at the car fired first. You must remember that the people stopping them are in civilian clothes, with no marked sign indicating it was a police check point, no marked car indicating the same.

    Whats to say its not criminal elements doing their own checkpoint? Who’s to say its not criminal elements, highway robbers (literally) out to stop them?

    Not only that, the command was for them to “baba!” (get out of the vehicle) which is also NOT within the checkpoint procedure.

    For all they know, these were robbers, and so it IS perfectly understandable to defend themselves.

    Now, who is to say not?

    • John_Cruz

      Those Police manning the checkpoints in civilian clothes and shorts looks like highway robbers or NPA.

      • http://www.dafk.net/what/ Kilabot ng mga Balahibo

        Agreed. If they were cops, they would dress as cops. Not armed men in civ clothes.

  • tukmoldinako

    Soldiers ibig sabihin marami, pero magiging kaduda duda parin ang kalalabasan kung anong istorya ang bibig kasin nyan at sigurado ko pinagusapan na ng mga sundalo ang sasabihin nila at madalas pabor sa gobyerno yan kung hindi man, para sa sundalong kapakanan.

    Malalaman lang ang totoo kung hahayaan nila na may sangkot na sibilyan sa questionning ng mga sundalong ito, at depende rin yan sa sibilyan kung marunong magimbestiga para lumitaw ang katotohanan dahil ang gusto naman natin ay katotohanan at walang kikilingan.

    Yung witness na si Vico, bakit sya ngayon nag so sought ng protection kung wala syang maling sinabi, isa ring bulol yan

  • Rovingmoron

    Mukhang unti-unting nawawala sa eksena tong Atimonan incident. If this happens, dirty minds would think that some payola money may have circulated among mediamen covering this case. Mission? News black out. Hope not.

  • Komen To

    “The police official said the third vehicle was reported to have passed the first checkpoint which was at least 500 meters away from the second checkpoint but suddenly disappeared. ”

    If vehicles can disappear in broad daylight, cash, bags,matches, gold lighter can easily disappear too. And I thought the military witness didn’t need protection? Hmmm

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_4R3GZTGML26TV2VGS6RVHP2THM Fred

    Ok soldier, start spilling the beans!
    Paquito, are you there?

  • BukolsYoBad

    positive ang bata ni ko….syempre the next step ..kalimutan na yan….

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_IGLQQ2TTZF3BAWUHUWLFWVPZDE Vladymir

    The third vehicle suddenly disappeared according to the police official.No sir it was abducted by an alien spaceship and probably is now parked at the dark side of the moon so you won’t be able to find it.Lintek na statement yan…try again officer.

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

     Basta ako ang pagkakaalam ko dun sa mga niratrat ay mga illegal gambling at guns for hire ang kanilang trabaho kaya ok lang yon sa akin…

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/GTVNMZR22PGMS55WQPIJTYB4IY Jaime

      You’re a typical Filipino, that’s why you are poor.

  • ever green

    step 2…rub-out those involve in the rub-out…….

To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.

Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:

c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City,Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94


editors' picks

advertisement

popular

advertisement

videos