Manila, Philippines Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas today announced the relief of more officials of the Philippine National Police in the Calabarzon region, including its regional director, Chief Supt. James Melad, to give way to an impartial investigation into the series of killings in the region involving policemen.
The relief order came after the fatal shooting of a suspect, Fernando Morales aka Pandoy, who was gunned down in the early morning hours of Monday while allegedly being served an arrest warrant in his home in San Juan, Batangas. Morales was reportedly a trusted lieutenant of Vic Siman, the alleged jueteng lord who was also killed in a bloody shootout in Atimonan, Quezon last week along with 12 others.
Both Quezon and Batangas fall under the jurisdiction of PNP Region 4-A or Calabarzon.
Those who were relieved, aside from Melad, were Supt. Rosauro Acio, the Batangas provincial police director, Supt. Raul Tacaca, head of the SWAT unit of the Batangas police public safety company, Supt. Elpidio Ramirez, chief of the San Juan municipal police station, and Chief Insp. Rodolfo Ama, also of the San Juan police.
Last week, Roxas also announced the relief of the Quezon police provincial commander, the chief of police of Atimonan town and several others in connection with the bloody shooting incident in Atimonan.
In a press conference in Camp Crame this afternoon, Roxas also turned over to the National Bureau of Investigation an 8-page report of the PNP Fact-Finding Committee that was formed to look into the Atimonan shooting incident. The NBI has been designated by President Aquino as the sole investigating authority in connection with the case.
Also during the press conference, Roxas advised Supt. Hansel Marantan, who led the government ground forces that figured in the Atimonan shooting, to submit himself to the investigation process of the NBI.
“Pinapayuhan ko si Supt. Marantan na sumailalim sa NBI process. Hindi magandang hindi kayo sumailalim sa isang malinaw at transparent na proseso,” Roxas said.
The DILG secretary earlier said Marantan, who is confined in a private hospital due to bullet wounds he allegedly sustained during the Atimonan shooting, refused to cooperate with the PNP Fact-Finding Committee. Marantan reportedly declined to give a statement or show his wounds as well as the slugs recovered from his body.
Roxas has vowed that there would be no whitewash in the investigation of both the Atimonan shooting and the subsequent killing of Morales in Batangas, which are believed to be related.
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