De Lima: Punish those who leaked Atimonan findings
MANILA, Philippines – Justice Secretary Leila de Lima on Wednesday, February 6, said she wants sanctions against those who leaked the findings of the probe conducted by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) on the alleged shootout in Atimonan, Quezon.
De Lima said this amid reports that the NBI recommended the filing of murder charges against Police Supt Hansel Marantan, who was reportedly in charge of the checkpoint in Atimonan. The Philippine Daily Inquirer cited NBI sources who said Marantan will face murder raps for the alleged shootout on January 6 that killed 13 people, 3 of whom are members of the Philippine National Police.
"There should be sanctions for leakage. That's defiance. There are those in NBI who want to undermine Dir. (Nonnatus) Rojas or the DOJ secretary," she said.
De Lima explained there were explicit instructions from President Benigno Aquino III not to leak the findings of the probe. "There should be no premature leakage of findings (on the Atimonan incident). That's what irks us," she said in Filipino.
De Lima, however, previously raised doubts that the Atimonan incident was a shootout, citing the testimony of 3 witnesses who said the members of the alleged criminal gang were shot in cold blood.
Those killed in the incident were Supt Alfredo Consemino, Paul Arcedillo Quiohilag, Leonardo Catapang Marasigan, Conrado Decillo, Victorino Siman Atienza Jr, Gerry Ancero Siman, Gruet Mantuano, PO1 Jeffrey Valdez, Tirso Lontoc Jr, Victor Gonzales, Maximo Manalastas Pelayo, Staff Sgt Armando Aranda Lescano, and Jimbeam Justiniani.
They were suspected members of a robbery gang, but it was later alleged they were involved in the illegal numbers game jueteng. Relatives of those who died refuted this, however.
The NBI is expected to submit its report to Aquino on February 7. They were supposed to give their report to the president on February 6 – a month after the incident happened – but failed to meet the deadline.
Rojas said they have to organize and attach other annexes first, and asked for a one-day extension. He said the report is 360 pages long.
Rojas stressed though that there are no revisions in the report.
The PNP earlier released its own findings and dismissed Quezon police chief Senior Supt Valeriano de Leon over the incident. – Rappler.com