Murder raps filed vs 25 cops, soldiers in Atimonan rubout case

A+
A
A-

The National Bureau of Investigation on Monday filed multiple murder charges in the Department of Justice against 14 policemen and 11 soldiers in the killings of suspected gambling lord Vic Siman and 12 others in Atimonan, Quezon province, on Jan. 6.

The NBI also brought charges of obstruction of justice against eight policemen and one soldier in connection with the incident, described as a “rubout,” or summary execution.

In the NBI report released last week, the agency said it was bringing murder charges against 35 police and military personnel. But after a review, the NBI said Monday it was dropping 11 from those originally accused of murder and adding one who was not on the list before.

Explaining why the 11 police and military personnel were dropped from the original list of murder suspects, NBI Deputy Director Virgilio Mendez told the Inquirer that “those people were manning the first and third checkpoints, and they had no participation whatsoever in the shooting.”

“This is already a criminal case and not just a report so we reviewed it again, and there was no participation from the first and third checkpoints. We removed and added names. We also recommended additional nine respondents for obstruction of justice,” he said.

The killings took place in the second checkpoint along the national highway in Atimonan.

5-member panel

Prosecutor General Claro Arellano later on Monday announced he had formed a five-member panel that would conduct a preliminary investigation of the NBI charges to determine if they merited prosecution in court.

Named to the panel were Senior Deputy State Prosecutor Theodore Villanueva as chairman and City Prosecutor Vimar Barcellano, Assistant State Prosecutors Hazel Decena-Valdez and Niven Canlapan and Prosecution Attorney Cesar Angelo Chavez III as members.

Arellano also created a support team for the panel that will be in charge of research, documentary and status reports. The support team is made up of Assistant State Prosecutors Mari Elvira Herrera, Jinky Dedumo and Kathryn May Penaco-Rojas.

Usually, the justice department forms a three-member panel to handle preliminary investigations, but Arellano told reporters he expanded the membership to ensure the swift resolution of the cases.

25 charged

Charged with 13 counts of murder were former Region IV-A police director Chief Supt. James Andres Melad, former Region IV-A deputy intelligence head Supt. Hansel Marantan, Senior Insp. John Paolo Carracedo, Senior PO1 Arturo Sarmiento, Supt. Ramon Balauag, Senior Insp. Timoteo Orig, Chief Insp. Grant Gollod, Senior PO3 Joselito de Guzman, Senior PO1 Carlo Cataquiz, PO3 Eduardo Oronan, PO2 Nelson Indal, PO2 Al Bhazar Jailani, PO1 Wryan Sardea and PO1 Rodel Talento.

Also charged with murder were 11 personnel of the Armed Forces of the Philippines led by Lt. Col. Monico Abang, who backed up the police team. The others were Capt. Erwin Macalinao, 1st Lt. Rico Tagure, Cpl. Rogelio Tejares, Privates First Class Michael Franco, Alvin Roque Pabon, Ricky Jay Borja, Melvin Lumalang and Gil Gallego, and Privates Marc Zaldy Docdoc and Emergin Barrete.

Tejares was not included in the executive summary containing the list of those accused of murder. “His name must have been simply overlooked then because of the volume of the report,” said Mendez. His name was added following the review, he said.

Marantan, 41, who had been implicated in previous spectacular shooting incidents in which 27 people were killed, led the police-military team that figured in the Atimonan incident. He was the lone casualty in the supposed encounter, suffering a bullet wound in the leg.

Melad was his supervisor.

Cleared

Dropped from the case were police officers and soldiers at the first checkpoint:

Insp. Ferdinand Aguilar, PO3 Benedict Dimayuga, PO1 Bernie de Leon and PO1 Allen Ayubo and T/Sgt. Melanio Balauitan, Pvt. Michard Mangao, Pfc. Kirby-Tam Coronel and Cpl. Clark Magusara.

Police officers at the third checkpoint who were also dropped from the case were Insp. Evaristo San Juan, PO2 Ronnie Serdena and PO1 Esperidion Corpuz Jr.

In addition to the murder charges, Carracedo and Tagure were named in the complaint for obstruction of justice, along with members of the scene of the crime operatives (Soco) team of the Quezon Provincial Police Office led by Chief Insp. Zaide Abrera, Insp. Dickson Mercado, SPO1 Meldy Arojo, SPO1 Analiza Burcelango, PO2 Bayani Gonzales, PO3 Nestor Abuan and PO3 Archie Avila.

The filing of the cases came a week after Malacañang released the NBI findings of the Atimonan shooting. The NBI said President Aquino accepted in full the agency’s findings and recommendations.

In sum, the NBI said all indications showed that the Jan. 6 operation of the joint police and military team was a rubout and that the target was Siman.

Those killed in Siman’s group included police and military officers who, the NBI said, were “just with the wrong company, at the wrong time and at the wrong place.”

‘Jueteng’ rivalry

The NBI also said the rubout was a result of “jueteng”—an illegal numbers racket—rivalry between the group of Siman and a certain “Ka” Tita. Marantan was allegedly protecting Ka Tita.

In its complaint, the NBI said officers and men of the Philippine Army Special Forces, which took part in the Atimonan operations, testified that they saw Carracedo fire the guns of the fallen victims and returned them to their two SUVs, thus establishing an incident of tampering and altering of the crime scene.

Six soldiers pointed to Carracedo as the one who took the firearms of the victims in the first of the two Mitsubishi Montero, “fired them upwards” and then returned them to the vehicles.

“The witnesses’ accounts would also explain why there was discrepancy between the victims’ firearms in relation to the cartridge casings recovered in the crime scene,” the NBI said.

“This also begs the question: If indeed it was a shootout, then why bother altering/tampering the process of evidence in the crime scene unless the contrary happened?” it added.

On the obstruction of justice complaint, the NBI made it clear that the Soco team was not involved in any tampering of evidence but that it failed to cooperate in the investigation.

“Their subsequent withdrawal of cooperation during the investigation, notwithstanding the pronouncement of the Chief Executive for the police and military to cooperate fully in the NBI probe, left many issues unresolved, inter alia: the mismatching of firearms of the victims, the negative ballistic results of firearms submitted by the PNP/AFP and the Soco pictures showing a set of different firearms of certain soldiers/policemen as compared to those turned over by the PNP/AFP,” the NBI said.

It added that all this showed the acts of the police officers and soldiers had “a community of purpose and action, signifying they were all moved by a single criminal intent.”

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.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_UYCOAGIL35OAIRH2T6QH3IZUMY Ike

    Why is Glenn Dumlao not included in the charge list. He is one of the Signatories of COPLAN ARMADO. And if NBI already established that the rubout is a result of jueteng rivalry between Vic Siman and Marantan sister Ka Tita Marantan Dinglasan, then what is NBI doing with Ka Tita. Not only did Ka Tita breaks the law by operating jueteng, it seems she is the rootcause of these rub-out.

  • pabulaka

    Tatagal ang kaso dahil nawawala pa ang duffel bag na may pera.

  • tanga_hanga_ni_abnoy

    arestuhin nyo n mga yan baka tumira na naman mga yan

  • isprikitik

    I pity for those policemen and soldiers who just followed the order…the usual sacrificial lambs…

  • AZKID13

    I don’t think the Soldiers new what they were involved in, and just followed orders. I could be wrong but I think they were pawns in this operation.

  • tra6Gpeche

    Kudos to the NBI! It’s time to punish and get rid of the lawless element of the PNP. The “padrinos” of these lawless and savages enforcer of the law should also be exposed and held accountable!

    • diamond_digger

       I agree with you, Tra6Gpeche. However, here is one ‘padrino’ who couldn’t wait to be unmasked but has come forward to defend his own kind, Pinky Lacson, who, this early, is already trying to assemble his minions in anticipation of dreamed assumption of a cabinet post. He dreams of taking the DILG after Mar Roxas as his own launching pad to take a second pitch at the presidency. This fellow is so ambitious and is more dangerous than the combined greed of Ferdinand and Imelda. We should be vigilant of his every move and maneuver and shall do all our best to thwart them. Believe me, this Pinky Lacson is worst than Hitler.

      • tra6Gpeche

        Amen to that, kabayan!

  • tugakbatan

    This will never happen in Pampanga, because there is never a Huweteng Rivalry.  Bong Pineda has been the sole Huweteng  Operator.  Solung-solo niya ang operations.

  • $19543087

    I salute to the DOJ, NBI & PNP and all who participated in the investigations in identifying the individuals who are responsible in this heinous crime in so short a time.  With the expertise of the State Prosecutors & it’s members hopefully this case will not succumb to lengthy debates, foot dragging delaying tactics of scrupulous defense lawyers.  Let us expedite this case to its ultimate conclusion!

  • whyinthisworld

    Jail them but be sure sen. lacson will not intervene to protect the side of marantan et al. You know what, 90 pct. of our police and military men are doing nothing particularly those generals who always think to enrich themselves. If these men works together and implement the law properly I am 100 pct. sure criminality will not and never prosper. Limited number of man power they claim is a problem but if they know what they are doing from generals down to lowest rank, I do believe crimes will be prevented. But it’s the other way around, you see!!

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/NRGQYNUDJZXCLCMTGHLFPCSP3E Dexter

    I hope the case will prosper, or better yet send this brave and courageous soul to Sabah and help the Kirams.  Might as well use their valor there.

  • talisaycebu

    the minows are caught but the sharks gets away

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_26N5TXE3YVEC2YE7Z6PXNE5XNQ boy

    Wow!!! di ba ang accomplice parehas din ang kaso ng tunay na gumawa ng krimen????di ba matatawg na accomplice ang mga pulis/sundalo sa first and last check point? di kaya may hokos pokos na naman sa kasong to?

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

    abogado lng ang makikinabang dito,,

  • Paliwaweng

    How I wish death penalty is still with our penal code.
    We can assume that would-be-perpetrators will think twice or thrice before embarking on any rub out operation similar to what happened in Atimonan if all those charged with murder will queue towards the death chamber when after court litigation, they will be found guilty as charged.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/John-Cruz/100000227445527 John Cruz

    rid the AFP and PNP of hoodlums in uniform!

  • basyong

    isama si glenn dumlao sa kaso para naman merong kredibilidad ang moro moro ninyo.mga buhay ng tao na pinaslang ng walang awa katulad ni dacer at corbito nakalusot pa din ang mga tuta ni pinky!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Paliwaweng

    give them a dose of their own medicine, jail these ‘hoodlums in uniform’.

  • http://twitter.com/myduhrling Kitin

    NBI’s under De Lima. I don’t trust De Lima. I hope she didn’t manipulate the investigation like she usually does.

    • AlexanderAmproz

      In case Leila de Lima can’t be trusted, none can be trusted !

      She is an outstanding women, I will trust her almost blind folded.

  • noyab

    MARANTAN…MAG HANDA KA NA NG MAGALING NA ABOGADO…SA DAMI NG NAPATAY MO INNOCENT DI KA NA MAKAKALIGTAS D2……HANDA MO NA TUMBONG MO……

  • noyab

    PINKY LACSON, SUMAMA KA SA HEARING AND TRIAL PARA MAY MAKUHA KA NA NAMAN TECHNIC SA PAGPATAY……PANAHON NI MARCOS ANG DAMI MONG PINAHIRAPAN…MAY ARAW KARIN…..

  • Akoaykanoy

    Were they already arrested and put to jail since murder has no bail or they are just rooming inside the camp and hq

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