Cops, soldiers in Atimonan clash face NBI probers
MANILA, Philippines – Some of the policemen and soldiers present in the Atimonan, Quezon checkpoint where 13 men were killed went to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) on Wednesday.
The policemen and soldiers went to the NBI headquarters in Manila to submit their affidavits.
Not all of the 25 soldiers, who are currently in restrictive custody, faced the NBI probe team. Three military officials, Maj. Gen. Alamn Luga, commander of the Southern Luzon Command; Col. Monico Abang, commander of the Army Special Forces; and Gen. Alfredo Nonato Peralta, 2nd Infantry Division commander, went to the NBI headquarters to submit their affidavits.
The gun battle on January 6, where alleged numbers racket "jueteng" personalities were involved, is now the subject of a probe after doubts were raised over the intention of the policemen.
The policemen stationed at the checkpoint claimed that the men, on board two sports utility vehicles, fired the first shots. They said the checkpoint was set up after they received reports that a private armed group would pass by the area.
The relatives of the slain men, however, believe the incident was a rub-out. Several photos have since surfaced suggesting that the crime scene was tampered.
Supt. Hansel Marantan, one of the police leaders at the checkpoint, has been accused of setting the checkpoint as a means to kill his alleged jueteng turf rivals. Marantan has denied this accusation.
The Atimonan clash has caught the attention of the media due to its implications on the conduct of policemen stationed at checkpoints. – with a report from Niko Baua, ABS-CBN News