DOJ denies snub of Atimonan rubout case hearing

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Tuesday, January 7, 2014

STATE prosecutors affirmed on Monday their commitment to deliver justice for the 13 victims of a rubout in Atimonan, Quezon last year.

This developed after families of the slain victims accused the Department of Justice (DOJ) of not paying attention to the multiple murder case, highlighted by the alleged non-attendance of its prosecutors to the hearings at the Gumaca Regional Trial Court branch 61.

However, the department said Prosecutors Cesar Angelo Chavez and Jayvee Bandong of the DOJ-National Prosecution Service and Prosecutor Jose Federico Gendrado of the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor of Quezon were present during the first hearing on September 27, 2013.

That hearing tackled several motions filed by the prosecution and the call by the defense for Judge Maria Chona Pulgar-Navarro to inhibit from the case, which was eventually denied.

The parties faced off again on November 29. Gendrado and fellow Quezon prosecutor Nalyn showed up, the DOJ said.

The next hearing is on January 17.

Thirteen policemen including the alleged mastermind Superintendent Hansel Marantan were charged for the murders at a checkpoint on Maharlika Highway in Atimonan on January 6, 2013.

Marantan, former deputy intelligence chief of the Calabarzon police, claimed it was a legitimate police-military operation against suspected gambling lord and gun-for-hire syndicate king Vic Siman, who was also shot to death.

Two of the accused, PO2 Nelson Indal and PO2 Al Bhazar Jailani, were reportedly missing from the transient barracks of the Philippine National Police (PNP) since September while Superintendent Ramon Balauag was arrested last December in Clark, Pampanga after five months of hiding.

Balauag was the head of the intelligence unit of the Quezon provincial police at the time of the incident. (Sunnex)

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