Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Marantan: " Malacanang had prejudged the Atimonan encount

Insubordination. That is what some people from the Philippine National Police describe the action of Superintendent Hansel Marantan, the intelligence officer who led the encounter between PNP-PAOCC team and the group of Vic Siman, alleged jueteng operator of Quezon province. Marantan refuses to submit himself to an investigation, and feels that his superiors had abandoned him. Marantan is now at the St Luke's Hospital recuperating from a wound he got when his men shot it out with Siman's group.

Marantan said that the operation, codenamed "Coplan Armado" was a legitimate police operation and approved by his "higher ups" at the PAOCC. It seems that the Palace was involved in this. The PAOCC refuses to admit that they approved of the operation and even declared that the encounter was a "rubout".

The thing about this incident is the public refusal of Marantan to submit himself for a probe. Why? If Marantan and his group believe that nothing irregular happened, and they did not submit Siman's group into an alleged ambush, then, why refuse?

Marantan has a point. Why would he submit himself to a probe, when all agencies of government, particularly Malacanang, had already pre-judged the case?

What Marantan does not understand is the fact that even if there is public approval of what he really intended to accomplish--eliminate criminals--there is a proper way of doing it. Admit it---there were procedural lapses that happened. Marantan should have followed SOP. Some friends say it was Marantan's overzealousness that did his team in. These officers were so confident that the Palace is behind their backs that they forgot to follow SOP.

What is clear is that government is deathly serious on stamping out illegal activities. What is so unclear is the misinterpretation of those who implement what the Palace intends to accomplish.

Under the law, enforcement officers are entitled to sacrifice lives for as long as they follow procedures. Marantan is not being crucified for killing those alleged criminals---he is being villified for not following SOP and for overdoing it.