MANILA, Philippines -- The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), National Police Commission (Napolcom) and Commission on Human Rights (CHR) are set to start their own probe into the shooting incident in Atimonan, Quezon that killed 13 people Sunday.
NBI Death Investigation Division executive officer Atty. Danielito Lalusis said personnel of the NBI-Quezon already went to the site of the incident to conduct their own investigation.
Likewise, Napolcom Vice Chairman Eduardo Escueta said he already instructed the regional office in Calamba to look into allegations that the shooting incident was a rub-out due to a turf war over the illegal numbers game jueteng.
Escueta said they will also investigate if there has been an abuse of authority among those who conducted the operations.
Meantime, CHR said they will also look into the incident.
In an interview with radio dzMM, retired Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Emeritus Oscar Cruz said he believes the shooting incident may have been a turf war over jueteng or over jueteng kickbacks.
Cruz admitted to hearing the name of Supt. Hansel Marantan, who was wounded during the alleged encounter, as among those involved in jueteng operations.
The prelate also described victim Vic Siman as being either third or fourth in the hierarchy of jueteng personalities in the region.
He also implicated another victim, Tirso Lontoc as being involved in jueteng operations.
Director General Alan Purisima, chief of the Philippine National Police, said a fact-finding team, led by Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) Deputy Chief Senior Supt. Federico Castro, has been sent to Quezon to shed light into the shooting incident that killed 13 people, including 3 Mimaropa (Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, and Palawan) policemen and a soldier.
He said the fact-finding team will determine all the circumstances surrounding the police operation, which the Quezon Provincial Police claimed to be legitimate. He also quelled fears of a whitewash in the probe.
He admitted that the crime scene may have been manipulated if the incident was indeed a rubout, but said "no crime is perfect."
The shooting occurred after men on board two sports utility vehicles refused to be subjected to inspection and opened fire at a joint police and military checkpoint along Maharlika Highway in Barangay Lumutan.
Eleven of the suspects were killed on the spot, while 2 others were declared dead on arrival at a hospital.
The fatalities were identified as:
1. Victorino Siman Atienza
2. Gerry Ancero Siman
3. Conrado Decillo
4. Leonardo Catapang Marasigan
5. Victor Garcia Gonzales
6. Supt. Alfredo Perez Consemino, chief of operations of Police Regional Office - Mimaropa
7. Staff Sgt. Armando Aranda Lescano
8. SPO1 Gruet Mantuano
9. PO1 Jeffrey Valdez
10. Tirso Lontoc
11. Maximo Manalastas Pelay
12. Jimbeam Dyico Justiniani
13. Paul Arcedillo Quiohilag
Police said they were monitoring the members of the alleged gun-for-hire group for some time. -- Reports from Noel Alamar and Dennis Datu, dzMM; and Dharel Placido, ABS-CBNnews.com