MANILA, Philippines - The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) was unable to submit its report on the Atimonan incident to Pres. Aquino on Wednesday due to problems encountered with the printing and binding of the entire report, including its annexes.
Speaking to reporters at the Department of Justice (DOJ) after meeting with NBI Director Nonnatus Rojas, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said the complete report into the alleged January 6 "shootout" that led to the death of 13 people will be submitted to Malacañan on Thursday morning.
"The NBI sought a 1-day extension although I told them it has to be in the morning tomorrow (Thursday). Nagkaroon lang ng last-minute glitches sa binding. Hindi nakayanan ng binder ng NBI because of the voluminous annexes," she said.
De Lima refused to confirm a supposed "leak" on the NBI's recommendations that pointed out charges for murder against those who conducted the controversial checkpoint is being recommended by the bureau.
The justice chief said the incident will be investigated.
"Bilin ni PNoy (Pres. Aquino), huwag muna i-leak. Kaya nga sad ako sa leakages na yan because I repeatedly gave that instruction on [the] NBI [teams] working on that report, through Rojas: no premature disclosure of any of the contents of the report. Mga nababasa natin sa dyaryo, 'from NBI source.' Doon kami nababanas ni Rojas, it's an explicit instruction from superiors."
"Tapusin lang namin report, then I would ask Rojas to look into that. Dapat may sanction. That's defiance of direct order of a superior. Tingin ko may ilang elemento dyan sa NBI, undermining the leadership of Rojas and me," de Lima said.
She said she hopes the report's recommendations will be adopted by the Palace.
"PNoy will read and study that (report). Hopefully, hindi na mabago gaya ng nangyari sa IIRC," de Lima said, referring to a "watering down" of the recommendations of a probe body she led into the August 2010 Quirino Grandstand hostage-taking crisis that left several Hong Kong tourists dead.
The NBI will seek clearance from Malacañan if it can announce the results of its investigation to the public through the media.
A composite team of police and military personnel put up a check point in Atimonan, Quezon on Jan. 6, an operation intended to neutralize a supposed criminal syndicate.
All passengers of 2 target SUVs were shot dead by the state forces.
The fatalities' kin claim what took place was a "rubout," not a "shootout."