Melad: Coplan Armado a go despite lack of funds

Posted at Jan 16 2013 01:27 PM | Updated as of Jan 16 2013 09:27 PM

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MANILA, Philippines – Chief Superintendent James Melad, head of the Calabazon police, confirmed Wednesday that he signed off on a joint police-military operation that led to an alleged shootout in Atimonan, Quezon, killing 13 people.

Melad, who was sacked by President Aquino while the investigation is ongoing, accompanied soldiers and policemen at the National Bureau of Investigation Wednesday. The group submitted their written affidavits about the incident to the NBI.

In a press briefing, Melad confirmed he signed the proposal for “Coplan Armado”, which targeted jueteng and illegal drug operations in SoutherN Luzon. The coplan was signed by Supt. Hansel Marantan, chief of intelligence of Calabarzon police and the only one injured in the alleged January 6 incident.

“As far as I know, I signed the case operational plan and this was submitted by Marantan to [Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission] for possible funding,” he told reporters.

Melad noted that the operation was still a go despite failing to get any funding from the PAOCC. He noted that the coplan was only for the purposes of funding.

He said police are stepping up operations against criminal elements ahead of the May 2013 polls. He said the operations include the possible arrest of gun-for-hire groups.

The police official also scored the leak of an alleged Philippine National Police fact-finding committee report that said the incident was a rubout of criminal elements.

“If there was a leak, I believe that was a case of irresponsibility of those people holding [the report],” he said.

He said he presented himself before the NBI in deference to the instruction of President Aquino to cooperate in the investigation “and to show that we really want to seek the truth in this incident.”

ANC Dateline Philippines, January 16, 2013