From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Jan 30): AFP chief stands by soldiers in Quezon shooting incident
Armed Forces chief of staff Gen. Emmanuel Bautista is standing by the officers
and men of the Army’s 1st Special Forces Battalion implicated in the bloody
“Our direction is unity of effort with all security forces to address
security issues. Our soldiers, they just do their job. As long as they (were)
doing their job, there is nothing really to worry about because they did what
they think was right,” Bautista said in a press conference Wednesday at the
Bautista declined to comment on the Philippine Daily Inquirer report that the
Special Forces troopers have been offered to become state witnesses. “I think the Justice Department and or the NBI (National Bureau of
Investigation) can answer that,” he said.
Bautista said the military is now reviewing the protocols followed by the
soldiers when the Philippine National Police calls for augmentation force in its
Bautista said the PNP’s notice of request, made by the team of Superintendent
Hansel Marantan, was “under a tight time frame.” “There was no time to study the situation. We are reviewing how we can have
due diligence given time constraints. We want to be deliberate,” Bautista said.
Initial media reports said that there were 25 Special Forces troopers
involved in the bloody clash between government security forces and an alleged
group of gun-for-hire led by reported jueteng lord Victor “Vic” Siman in
Atimonan town in Quezon province last Jan. 6.
However, Philippine Daily Inquirer sources said of the 25 soldiers, only
around 14 were actually deployed to the checkpoint on Maharlika Highway,
The rest were left at a police station in Quezon. Of Abang’s group, four
others were stationed at the first checkpoint and did not participate in the
shooting incident, one of the Inquirer sources said.
Siman and 12 others were killed in the clash. Only Marantan was injured from
the side of the government security forces.