MANILA, Philippines - President Benigno Aquino III said he is satisfied with Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa’s work in quashing organized crimes in the country amid criticisms after the Atimonan shooting incident.
Aquino told reporters in Davos at the end of the World Economic Forum there: “Siguro kung pakainin mo ko sa lahat ng beses na nagsabing hindi ako happy kay Secretary Ochoa, ay tataba ako siguro ng mga sampung kilo. Deretso akong tao, hindi ba? Para bang kung hindi ako happy 'dun sa isang tao, sinabi ko na.”
Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission (PAOCC) executive director Reginald Villasanta earlier appeared before the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) saying the office did not approve the so-called Case Operation Plan Armado or Coplan Armado since its proponents, led by Supt. Hansel Marantan, were not able to submit several requirements. Only funds for intelligence gathering were approved.
Coplan Armado supposedly led to the incident in Atimonan, Quezon last January 6, where 13 people died.
Security officials insisted it was a “shootout” and that the group of Vic Siman were the first to fire their guns. They claimed PAOCC agreed to the operations.
Ochoa is the head of PAOCC.
Aquino stood by Ochoa, saying it was clear to him that the operations were not approved by the PAOCC.
He said criticisms against Ochoa could have come from his foes, whom he chooses to turn a deaf ear to. “Ngayon lahat ng nagsasabi niyan, baka may kagalit si Secretary Ochoa…pero as far as I'm concerned, mula noong ako'y bagong kongresista, kung meron akong nalalaman sa batas, siya ang umaalalay sa akin at nagbabantay ng likod ko na 'yung ginagawa ako ay kaalinsunod ng, hindi lang ng batas, ng lahat ng batas na puwedeng pumasok sa usapin na kailangan kong gawin,” he said.
Aquino said the government is on top of things when it comes to resolving crimes.
“Ngayon, sana huwag tayong nagpapadala doon sa mga taong maraming kailangang sagutin na dinadala 'yung usapan kung saan-saan para mahilo na tayo at matigil 'yung panahon na mananagot sila sa pinaggagawa nila,” he said.