PNP chief wants reformat of 'shootout' report
MANILA, Philippines – The chief of the Philippine National Police on Monday ordered a reformatting of a PNP fact-finding committee report that allegedly concluded the Atimonan, Quezon shooting that killed 13 people last January 6 was an ambush.
Director General Alan Purisima would not confirm the report’s findings, saying he does not want the PNP to compete with the National Bureau of Investigation – the lead agency tasked with the probe.
"The fact-finding report that was submitted to me this morning ay ibinalik ko sa kanila dahil hindi maganda yung organization nung kanilang, nung pag submit nila. It was not organized in a sense that there were no facts of the case, discussion, ganung porma," he said in a press conference in Camp Crame.
"I gave them until this day to reformat their report and be clear in what they are claiming in that report. Actually, ang kailangan kasi natin dito ay yung facts na nakita nila. They may be facts na lumalabas na lang ngayon but it was not seen by them because this is a result of other investigations that has been made," he added.
Asked if there were recommendations in the report, he said: "There are recommendations and we will be coming out with those recommendations siguro in due time. Yung pwede lang namin aksyunan we will be acting on them."
Purisima said the PNP will focus on possible administrative cases against police officers who participated in the alleged shootout. He said initial investigation showed the checkpoint at the site of the alleged encounter violated several rules.
A Philippine Star report earlier said a police fact-finding committee concluded that a joint police-military contingent ambushed the 13 men in Atimonan, Quezon last Jan. 6.
The committee, led by Chief Superintendent Federico Castro of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, is also recommending administrative charges against 15 policemen at the checkpoint as well as the former head of the Quezon provincial police, which could lead to their dismissal from the service.
Among the findings of the committee, apart from excessive use of force, is that standard operating procedures for checkpoints were violated.
Doubts were raised on the actual positions of two fatalities found outside the vehicles. Inconsistencies were noted in the positions of some of the fatalities who supposedly fired guns.
The committee could not determine the nature of the wounds suffered by Superintendent Hansel Marantan, who reportedly headed the police team at the checkpoint, because he refused to submit himself for physical examination. Marantan was the only member of the contingent wounded in the supposed encounter.
“All the facts presented in this case indicate the possibility that an ambush occurred instead of a shootout,” a source privy to the work of the fact-finding committee told The STAR last night.
For his part, NBI deputy director Virgilio Mendez said the agency plans to submits its report on the Quezon shooting before the end of the week.
"We will try and do our best to submit to Secretary our report on the matter before the end of this week, before Friday," he said.