Friday, April 19, 2013

Ex-PNP Calabarzon chief files counter-affidavit on Atimonan rubout case

From the Philippine News Agency (Apr 19): Ex-PNP Calabarzon chief files counter-affidavit on Atimonan rubout case

Former PNP-Calabarzon regional director Chief Supt. James Melad on Friday filed his counter-affidavit when he attended the preliminary investigation of the Atimonan shooting incident at the Department of Justice (DOJ).

The shooting incident claimed the lives of 13 individuals in Atimonan, Quezon last Jan. 6.

Melad personally executed before the DOJ panel of prosecutors, headed by Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Theodore Villanueva, the counter-affidavit to clear his name and the 13 other policemen respondents in the case.

In Melad's counter-affidavit, attached is the sworn statement of Supt. Glen Dumlao stating that Melad had nothing to do with the shootout and his (Melad) signature in "Coplan Armado" was merely his ministerial duty as the regional chief of Calabarzon police.

Lt. Col. Monico Abang, Battalion Commander of the Philippine Army; Capt. Erwin Macalinao, commanding officer; and nine other soldier respondents also submitted their respective counter-affidavits.

Also appearing during the hearing were the members of the Scene of the Crime Operatives of the Quezon Provincial Police who were charged with "obstruction of justice".

Melad had approved the request of Supt. Hansel Marantan, deputy chief of intelligence of the PNP Region 4-A, for the conduct of a checkpoint in Atimonan, Quezon on Jan. 6, 2013.

However, Marantan failed to appear for the second time in Friday's preliminary investigation.

According to Marantan's counsel, Marantan still remains confined in a hospital but has already submitted his counter-affidavit.

Likewise, Supt. Ramon Balauag has submitted his counter-affidavit and was also absent during Friday's hearing. Balauag was represented by his counsel, Atty. Crisanto Buela.

The respondent soldiers also turned over to the panel of prosecutors the digicam with memory card, which is one of the pieces of evidence they presented.

The camp of the respondent soldiers earlier withdrew their counter-affidavits during the hearing last week because the affidavit of the complainants was not yet complete and the camp of the policemen respondents have not yet submitted their respective counter-affidavits.

Also present during Friday's hearing were the relatives of the 13 victims of the Atimonan rubout.

The next hearing was set on May 8, 2013 wherein the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) was ordered to submit its reply and the respondents were also given the opportunity to file their respective rejoinder.

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