Latest Stories

Murder raps set vs Marantan et al.

NBI findings to be sent to Aquino today




The National Bureau of Investigation has completed its inquiry into the killing of 13 people in Atimonan, Quezon province, and is recommending the filing of murder charges against policemen and soldiers at the checkpoint where the incident happened on Jan. 6, the Inquirer learned Tuesday.

Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said she expected the NBI to submit to her the report on its monthlong inquiry and that she would turn it over to President Aquino on Wednesday.

“The President has asked me about the report and I told him I would give it to him (Wednesday),” De Lima told reporters. She earlier said that the NBI report had gone beyond 300 pages.

“The recommendation was the filing of murder charges,” said a source who has knowledge of the NBI report. The source requested anonymity for lack of authority to speak to reporters.

The source said that the main report of at least 70 pages contains the findings and the names of persons recommended by the NBI for prosecution. Enclosed with the report were annexes at least six inches thick. It includes the technical findings of the scene of the crime operatives, the accounts of three eyewitnesses and testimonies of more than 60 people.

NBI Director Nonnatus Rojas submitted the report to De Lima Tuesday afternoon, according to the source, who said that the agency’s chief was the sole signatory to the document.

On Jan. 6, alleged southern Luzon “jueteng” operator Victor “Vic” Siman and 12 others, including three policemen and three soldiers, were killed in what the Quezon police reported as a shootout between police and soldiers and a group of alleged guns for hire at a security checkpoint on Maharlika Highway in Atimonan.

There were 15 policemen at the checkpoint, supported by 10 soldiers from the Army’s First Special Forces Battalion.

Siman’s group was wiped out, but on the government’s side only the police team leader, Supt. Hansel Marantan, was wounded—in the hands and knee.

Relatives cry ‘rubout’

The officers said the firefight erupted after two sports utility vehicles carrying the alleged gang members tried to smash through the checkpoint. The exchange of gunfire supposedly lasted for 18 minutes.

Relatives of the victims denied that the fatalities were gang members and doubted the initial reports of a shootout. Instead, they claimed what happened was a “rubout.”

On Jan. 8, President Aquino ordered the NBI to investigate the incident. He directed the Philippine National Police to continue its fact-finding inquiry with respect to the firearms and vehicles, and submit its findings to the NBI.

On Jan. 9, PNP Director General Alan Purisima ordered the suspension of the Quezon police chief, Senior Supt. Valeriano de Leon, and Marantan.

Interior Secretary Mar Roxas said Marantan’s team violated procedures as an initial PNP investigation found that the policemen at the checkpoint were not in uniform. He said that while uniformed officers were stationed 500 meters from the checkpoint, the area was not marked with police signs.

Anticrime superbody

On Jan. 11, the NBI said it would expand its investigation and look into the role in the incident of the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission (PAOCC), following a report that the anticrime superbody had approved the operation.

Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr., who chairs the PAOCC, denied approving the operation.

Supt. Glenn Dumlao, commander of the Calabarzon Public Safety Battalion, said the regional police went ahead with the mission even without PAOCC approval on the presumption of regularity because it was their job to go after organized crime groups.

On Jan. 15, the PNP fact-finding committee submitted its report to the NBI, and indicated that there was no shootout. It also said there was a deliberate effort to make the crime scene look like the site of a gun battle.

The committee found that excessive force was used, indicated by their gunshot wounds and the number of bullet holes on their vehicles: Vehicle 1 with 174 entry bullet holes; vehicle 2 with 45 entry bullet holes. Eleven victims were shot in the head.

Criminal, admin charges

The PNP panel recommended the filing of criminal charges against the policemen and Army special forces that took part in the supposed shootout. They also recommended administrative charges against the policemen involved.

The policemen included James Melad, former Calabarzon police chief; Marantan; Senior Supt. Valeriano de Leon, Quezon police director; Supt. Ramon Balauag, chief of intelligence of the Quezon police; Dumlao; Chief Insp. Grant Gollod, Atimonan police chief; Senior Insp. Ferdinand Aguilar, leader of the police team at the first of three checkpoints in Atimonan at the time of the supposed shootout; and Insp. Evaristo San Juan, team leader at the third checkpoint.

On Jan. 24, Purisima approved the recommendation of the PNP Internal Affairs Service to bring administrative charges against 22 policemen involved in the incident for violation of the police operational procedures.

As of last week, 20 policemen were under the custody of the police in Camp Crame while 15 soldiers of the Army’s Special Forces, who were part of an augmentation team, were restricted to quarters at the Army Headquarters in Fort Bonifacio.—With reports from Christine O. Avendaño and Inquirer Research

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Atimonan 13 , Murder , National Bureau of Investigation , NBI

Copyright © 2014, .
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
  1. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  2. ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  3. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  4. Massive infra spending set
  5. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  6. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  7. Passengers denied chance to escape sinking South Korea ferry
  8. South Korea president shouted down by distraught parents
  9. Two Popes who would be saints
  10. Lacson’s wife loses diamond earring to thieves but recovers jewelry quickly with police arrest
  1. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  2. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  3. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  4. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  5. ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  6. MH370 co-pilot made mid-flight phone call – report
  7. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  8. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  9. Massive infra spending set
  10. OFW brings MERS virus to Philippines
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Model Helena Belmonte wished ‘to slash her wrist and hope to die’
  5. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  6. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  7. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  8. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’
  9. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  10. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia


  • US teacher fired over comment on black president
  • Magnitude-7.5 earthquake shakes Mexican capital
  • Title of new Hillary Clinton book: ‘Hard Choices’
  • Filipinos, Dutch re-enact crucifixion of Christ
  • 14 killed in car bombing in Homs
  • Sports

  • Nadal ousted by Ferrer in Monte Carlo quarters
  • Pacquiao shorts in Bradley fight sold for P1.7M in LA auction
  • Ryu pitches Dodgers past Giants
  • Alonso sets the pace in Chinese GP practice
  • Heat seek Three-peat but Spurs, Pacers top seeds
  • Lifestyle

  • Levine designs womenswear with help from fiancee
  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel laureate, dies at 87
  • Ford Mustang turns 50 atop Empire State Building
  • Pro visual artists, lensmen to judge Pagcor’s photo contest
  • ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  • Entertainment

  • Myx TV premieres Asian American ‘docu-series’
  • A nutty finale for ‘Scandal,’ TV’s craziest show
  • EXO postpones release of mini album ‘Overdose’
  • ‘X-men’ filmmaker slams ‘fabricated’ sex attack claims
  • Singer Chris Brown’s bodyguard on trial in DC
  • Business

  • US commerce secretary spells out economic facet of ‘pivot to Asia’
  • Italy sells luxury state cars on eBay
  • Asian shares mostly up in quiet trade
  • Dollar up in Asia on US jobs data, Ukraine deal
  • Barbie doll has a problem
  • Technology

  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 17, 2014
  • A humbler Church
  • Deepest darkness
  • ‘Agnihotra’ for Earth’s health
  • It’s the Holy Week, time to think of others
  • Global Nation

  • Las Vegas ‘Pinoy Pride’ fest hails Filipino heritage
  • Marking Jesus’ journey on Good Friday
  • Filipina accomplice arrested for fake bills in Malaysia
  • DoH denies Filipino nurse no longer positive for MERS virus
  • WHO warns vs spread of MERS-Cov, urges vigilance in taking precautions
  • Marketplace