MANILA, Philippines—Police officers tagged in the Atimonan, Quezon “rubout” are still to enjoy some privileges given to officers under restrictive custody until the criminal charges that were approved by President Benigno Aquino III are formally filed in court, a Philippine National Police spokesman said.
Senior Superintendent Ramon Apolinario, deputy chief for administration of PNP’s Headquarters Support Service, said that except for Chief Superintendent James Melad, the 20 other police officers allegedly involved in the incident remained under restrictive custody at Camp Crame’s Kiangan Hall, and can still go out of the billeting center, provided that they will be escorted.
Apolinario also said the officers were still allowed to use their cell phones to communicate with their family and friends.
“They’re not yet detainees as there are no charges filed against them as of now. So . . . they will enjoy some privileges,” Apolinario said, adding that their families and friends are allowed to visit them, especially during weekends.
Further, the officers are also allowed to go out of Kiangan, or even Camp Crame, on the condition that they make a request through writing and will be provided with security escorts.
He said they would wait for a court order declaring the officers as detainees before additional security measures are implemented
As to the case of Superintendent Hansel Marantan who was confined inside PNP General Hospital, Apolinario said few additional police officers were sent to guard him.
Apolinario also said that they are now coordinating with the Health Service for the rescheduling of Marantan’s operation following his denied request to leave for St. Luke’s due to the insufficient time to prepare his security requirements.
“As much as possible, even at least three days in advance,” he said, noting that Marantan’s request was sent just a day before his scheduled travel to St. Luke’s.
Marantan was the ground commander of the police team at a checkpoint along Maharlika Highway in Atimonan where three police officers and 10 others were killed.
Aside from 21 PNP officers, 14 members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines involved in the incident are facing criminal charges.