Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Alan Purisima has approved the dismissal from service of Supt. Hansel Marantan and 12 others in connection with the Atimonan rubout case in January last year.
PNP public information officer, Chief Supt. Reuben Theodore Sindac, said Purisima signed the dismissal order last March 5 based on the recommendation of the Internal Affairs Service (IAS) dated October 11, 2013.
Also ordered dismissed after the IAS found them guilty of serious irregularity in the performance of duty were Supt. Ramon Balauag, Sr. Insp. John Paulo Carracedo, Chief Insp. Grant Gollod, Sr. Insp. Timoteo Orig, SPO3 Joselito de Guzman, SPO1 Claro Cataquiz Jr., SPO1 Arturo Sarmiento, PO3 Eduardo Oronan, PO2 Nelson Indal, PO2 Al Bhazar Jailani, PO1 Wyran Sardea and PO1 Rodel Talento.
Sindac said Purisima also ordered that five policemen be demoted one rank also in connection with the Atimonan rubout case. They were Insp. Ferdinand Aguilar, Insp. Evaristo San Juan, PO3 Benedict Dimayuga, PO2 Ronnie Serdena and PO2 Esperidon Corpuz Jr.
Meted with a six-month suspension order were PO1 Allen Ayobo and PO1 Bernie de Leon. Sindac said the two were supposed to be punished with a demotion in rank but the penalty does not apply to them considering that they are both police officers 1 (PO1s).
In the case of Chief Supt. James Melad, the former Calabarzon police regional chief, and Sr. Supt. Valeriano de Leon, the former Quezon Police Provincial Office director, their cases were left for the National Police Commission to decide since they are presdential appointees (police officers having the rank of senior superintendent and up are presidential appointees).
Sindac said Marantan also has a pending grave misconduct case, which is being heard by the IAS, while Carracedo’s grave misconduct case was consolidated with the less grave neglect of duty cases against Balauag and the other policemen involved in the incident.
Thirteen men on board separate vehicles led by jueteng (an illegal numbers game) operator Vic Siman were summarily killed by Marantan and the other accused policemen in the case in what police said could have been a turf war in illegal gambling activities.
Marantan led a group of policemen in establishing three checkpoints along the National Highway in Atimonan, Quezon, and killed all on board the vehicles. Maranatan and most of the accused were in the second checkpoint where the killings happened.
“Due to the gravity of the offense and the fact that the evidence of guilt is strong, notwithstanding the presence of mitigating circumstance of awards and commendations invoked by Supt. Marantan, Sr. Insp. Carracedo and SPO1 Sarmiento, the imposition of the maximum period of the penalty for a grave offense is warranted under the circumstances against the respondents belonging to the second checkpoint,” the IAS recommendation for dismissal said.
“The respondents in the first and third checkpoints are likewise guilty of the charge and with the absence of aggravating and mitigating circumstances, the imposition of the medium period for the penalty for a grave offense is proper,” the IAS memo added.