De Lima seeks PNoy's OK on Quezon encounter probe
MANILA - Justice Sec. Leila De Lima is awaiting clearance from Pres. Aquino for the creation of a special team of Dept. of Justice (DOJ) prosecutors and National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) agents to conduct a parallel probe into the Atimonan, Quezon 'shootout.'
De Lima said this was in response to calls from the families of those killed.
Thirteen people were killed in the incident last Sunday, including a ranking police official, two other policemen, 3 soldiers and an environmental group officer. The local police says the incident was a 'shootout' against a crime syndicate that refused to slow down at a joint police-military checkpoint and instead opened fire at the state forces.
"The DOJ-NBI, especially NBI, is ready to conduct its own probe in light of the recent allegations ngayon... malalim yata ito, we don't know exactly. There are nagging questions so that has to be looked into to put closure to that incident," De Lima said.
"As of now, it's considered a shootout. As of now, the police say it's allegedly a legitimate encounter," she added.
De Lima said that in asking the DOJ to step in, the families of those slain may just be looking for an impartial probe.
"We can't blame the families of the victims na magdududa sila na, you know, because PNP [involved] and PNP rin ang nag-iimbestiga," she said.
In its own probe, the PNP intends to find out why the policemen and soldiers were in the company of an alleged gambling operator.