Quezon shooting victims 'businessmen' not jueteng operators
MANILA, Philippines - Families of 6 of the 13 victims in an alleged shootout in Atimonan, Quezon, denied on Wednesday, January 9 that their relatives were involved in robbery and jueteng operations, saying they were legitimate businessmen.
Relatives of slain Supt Alfredo Consemino, Paul Arcedillo Quiohilag, Leonardo Catapang Marasigan, Conrado Decillo, Victorino Siman Atienza Jr and Gerry Ancero Siman told the National Bureau of Investigation that they were not members of a criminal group.
"Ang binibintang sa kanila ay walang katotohanan. Kami po ay masyadong nasaktan... Ang kapatid ko ay nagne-negosyo. Bihira man kami magkita, ang alam ko ay naghahanap buhay siya ng legal, (The allegations against them are not true. We are hurt. My brother's a businessman. We don't see each other often but I know his work is legal)," Christopher Boyet Siman, brother of Atienza, said.
Siman added that his brother was in talks with Consemino over a business deal.
Consemino's daughter Christine said her father - who was acting group director of the Regional Headquarters Support Group of Mimaropa (Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan) regional police - was carrying about P5 million, which supposedly belonged to a security agency. The money was to be used for a new project with Ayala Greenfield.
On Wednesday, Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas said the police recovered only about P265,000 from the scene.
Rodita Sonsing, a relative of Quiohilag, said that the latter held a managerial position in Filinvest and was supposed to meet with a client for a condominium unit that he was selling.
The 6 were among the 13 killed in a shootout that happened at a checkpoint in Atimonan, Quezon on January 6. Police set up a checkpoint after receiving a tip that a Bicol-based criminal group will pass by there.
Gunmen in the two vehicles allegedly opened fire when policemen at the checkpoint tried to stop them. The Philippine National Police has already sacked the police chief of Quezon and all the police officials involved in the operation.
A total of 14 firearms were retrieved from the two vehicles.
Various police sources have told media that Consemino was involved in the illegal numbers game jueteng, along with Lontok and Siman, who also allegedly operated a small town lottery in Batangas and Laguna.
Environmentalist, not jueteng operator
Agriculture Secretary Proseso Alcala said he is related to Lontok, whom he described as an environmentalist.
Alcala said Lontok was on his way back to Dolores, Quezon, from Bicol when the supposed encounter with the police happened.
Quezon Representatives Danilo Suarez and Lorenzo Tañada III also said Lontok was a known environmentalist and a "decent person."
Suarez, who represents the 3rd district of Quezon, said Lontok was part of the Save Mount Banahaw movement. Suarez filed a resolution seeking a probe on the alleged shootout, but Tañada said it would be better to let authorities handle the investigation.
Suarez also claimed that Quezon is jueteng-free. - Rappler.com, with reports from Cai Ordinario and Angela Casauay