House shelves Atimonan, Tubbataha inquiries

By Jess Diaz, The Philippine Star

Posted at Jan 22 2013 07:47 AM | Updated as of Jan 22 2013 07:21 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The House of Representatives will not in the meantime inquire into the bloody Atimonan, Quezon encounter and the grounding of a US Navy vessel in Tubbataha reef in Palawan, Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. said yesterday. “But I want to tell you that I personally am very concerned and worried over these two recent incidents,” he told reporters.

He said the House is shelving its inquiries to give the appropriate agencies enough time to complete their investigation and submit their reports to Malacañang.

“Investigations are already ongoing so we will give them time,” he said, adding that his chamber would do its own inquiry if it does not feel satisfied with investigations of executive agencies.

“That US Navy vessel should not have been in Tubbataha in the first place,” he added.

Opposition congressmen led by Minority Leader Danilo Suarez, who comes from Quezon, have filed a resolution asking the House to investigate the alleged Atimonan shootout, in which a combined Army-police force killed 13 people.

Another Quezon congressman, Erin Tañada, said he wanted to know whether the encounter in Atimonan was “a shootout or a rubout.” Atimonan is part of Tañada’s district.