Police officers are supposed to protect life and property.
Their being armed is supposed to protect citizens from lawless elements. It goes without saying that they should have a high value for life and respect for human rights.
That’s why we hope and pray that Police Supt. Hansel Marantan is an exception in the police force.
Consider his notorious record:
On Nov. 7, 2005, operatives of the national police Traffic Management Group killed Francis Xavier Manzano, Anton Cu-Unjieng and Brian Anthony Dulay while inside a maroon Nissan Exalta at the Ortigas Business District in Pasig City.
Police said they were suspected members of the Valle Verde car theft gang and that they were under surveillance for sometime before that fateful day when they were stopped at a checkpoint. Police said the three opened fire at them.
Their claim would have passed if not for UNTV crew who happened to be there and took video of what turned out to be cold-blooded murder.
The UNTV video showed police operatives shooting at the suspects at close range, brutally pumping bullets from M-16 rifles at the wounded, and the dead.
Video also showed police operatives planting pieces of evidences like handguns and fake car plates in the crime scene.
One of the police officers involved was Senior Inspector Hansel Marantan. Initially, they were suspended in response to public outcry. It didn’t take long before they were re-instated to their posts.
The families of the victims filed murder charges which was downgraded to homicide.
Meanwhile, the officers involved continued to rise in their career. That’s why Marantan is now Police Superintendent.
That’s despite the fact that on Dec. 5, 2008, he was again involved in the brutal shooting of a
Alfonso de Vera, 53, and his 7-year old daughter, Lia Allana at United Parañaque Subdivision 4 in Parañaque.
If Marantan and company still tried to justify the 2005 massacre as a legitimate police operation against a car-jacking syndicate (which families of the victims deny), there was no way that they could cook up a justification for the murders of De Vera and his daughter.
De Vera was a returning seaman and he was on his way to fetch his wife in Pasay City. It turned out that the policemen mistook his car, Isuzu Crosswind SUV, for a getaway vehicle of Waray-Waray and Ozamiz gangs which they were running after.
De Vera tried to plead with the police officers who mercilessly gunned him down. His vehicle had 80 bullet holes.
What kind of training do these policemen have?
We hope and pray that authorities get to the bottom not only of the Jan. 6 Atimonan massacre but also the past incidents involving Marantan.
Police officers are supposed to give citizens a feeling of safety. We don’t feel safe with Marantan. We are scared.
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