Ground commander in Quezon 'shootout' has other rubout cases pending-A A +A
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
MANILA -- Even before the gruesome shooting incident in Atimonan, Quezon, Superintendent Hansel Marantan, the ground commander of case operation plan (coplan) Armado, already has had his hands sullied in a number of high-profile police operations, which were notoriously perceived as overkill.
This was according to Jose Manuel Diokno, counsel for the relatives of the victims of the so-called "Ortigas rubout," which occurred on November 7, 2005, and which left three suspected carjackers dead.
The incident would have easily been written off as a shootout with criminals, had it not been for the video taken by the television crew from UNTV showing the policemen's excessive use of force.
Aside from the Ortigas rubout where he was a member of the Task Force Limbas, Marantan was also involved in the December 2008 Parañaque shootout with suspected members of the Waray Waray Ozamis robbery gang, killing in the process a civilian and his seven-year-old daughter.
At a press briefing, Diokno made parallelisms between the Atimonan incident and the other special police operations involving Marantan, and noted the similarities in terms of his group's alleged breach of checkpoint protocol and disregard of the rules of engagement, and the supposed "execution-style murders" of the victims.
"Eight years have passed since our loved ones were murdered, but the policemen who killed them, led by Supt. Hansel Marantan – the same man involved in the Atimonan killings – still roam free and remain unpunished... Despite the overwhelming evidence, however, Marantan and company were never disciplined, suspended or jailed for their participation in the Ortigas rubout," he said.
"This concerns us because it's happening so often that a rubout is becoming so commonplace. The government is not paying attention to the practice of rubout, only the investigation of the incident," he added.
To their consternation, Diokno said the policemen were even commended by their superiors and, like Marantan, were even promoted. He noted that Marantan was promoted superintendent by the National Police Commission even when the Commission on Human Rights had already held him liable for the Ortigas incident.
For this reason, the family of the Ortigas rubout victims – Anton Cu-Unjieng, Francis Xavier Manzano and Bryan Anthony Dulay – wrote an open letter to President Benigno Aquino III to transfer the review of disciplinary action and promotions of PNP members from the PNP/Napolcom to the Civil Service Commission as the constitutional body in charge of all civilian government personnel.
They likewise asked that all PNP members who discharge their firearms and injure or kill another person as a result, to immediately surrender all their firearms for forensic examination; their cellular phones and other electronic communication devices and sign a waiver allowing the examination of these devices; and for them to be restricted to quarters pending investigation.
All these, Diokno pointed out, Marantan did not do since he submitted his firearms only recently and he did not allow himself to be properly investigated by the NBI. (JCV/Sunnex)