Soldiers: Quezon shooting a legitimate operation-A A +A
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
MANILA -- Soldiers who were part of the joint police-military contingent that figured in a shooting incident in Atimonan, Quezon, last January 6 said the operation was legitimate.
Lawyer Crisanto Buella, who represented the group, said it was Police Superintendent Hansel Marantan, head of the team that assaulted the three-vehicle convoy, who requested assistance from the military.
Buella said Marantan asked for reinforcement from the military because they allegedly lacked ammunition in case of a firefight with a supposed armed group that will pass the checkpoints.
"According to the affidavit, they were fired upon. The person inside the vehicle fired first," he said.
These admissions are contained in the affidavit submitted Wednesday to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Death Investigation Division by the following: Major General Alan Luga, Southern Luzon Commander; Lieutenant Colonel Monico Abang and Captain Erwin Macalinao, Commander of the Third Special Forces Company.
Firearms used by the soldiers were also surrendered to the NBI, said Buella.
Thirteen people including policemen and soldiers died in the incident as their families denied that they were involved in illegal activities.
The families also believed that the incident was a rubout, which has yet to be determined by the NBI.
President Benigno Aquino III earlier tasked the NBI as the sole agency that would get into the bottom of the incident.
To help the NBI in resolving the case, the Philippine National Police (PNP) turned over on Tuesday the eight-page fact finding report.
The PNP declined to divulge its contents of despite a newspaper report pointing to liabilities of policemen who supposedly used excessive force and ignored checkpoint rules.
Present at the NBI hearing as well was Calabarzon Police Director Chief Superintendent James Melad, who was relieved because of the successive shooting incidents that transpired in the region. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)