MANILA, Philippines – The National Bureau of Investigation has yet to receive a Philippine National Police committee fact-finding report that said the January 6 shooting of 13 men in Atimonan, Quezon was an ambush.
NBI Director Nonnatus Rojas said he had been waiting since Friday for the PNP fact-finding report.
He noted it is premature to reveal the findings of its own investigation on the incident, saying the agency's own conclusion will be based on scientific evidence.
“Right now, we have some evidence and testimony of some witnesses, which will be included with the PNP fact-finding report,” he told ABS-CBN’s “Umagang Kay Ganda.”
President Aquino earlier tasked the NBI to be the lead agency in the investigation following reports that the alleged shootout was the result of a turf war over jueteng. Three police officers and at least one Philippine Air Force officer were among the 13 fatalities.
PNP spokesman Generoso Cerbo confirmed that a fact-finding committee had conducted its own investigation on the alleged shootout even before the President gave his order to the NBI.
Asked about reports that Supt. Hansel Marantan refused to undergo physical examination after the incident, he said: “Sa ngayon po ang sstatus niya ay nasa ospital. He had to undergo some operation or treatment for his wounds. For now, I do not know if he is ready to undergo investigation. Most definitely he will undergo examination,” he said.
A Philippine Star report on Monday said the PNP fact-finding committee had reached the conclusion that the January 6 incident was not a shootout but an ambush.
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.
“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.
Among those to be recommended for inclusion in the charge sheet are Marantan, head of the Calabarzon Regional Special Operations Group (RSOG); Senior Superintendent Valeriano de Leon, who was sacked last week as Quezon police chief; and Chief Inspector Grant Gollod, who was also relieved last week as police chief of Atimonan town.