Police Superintendent Hansel Marantan, head of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) intelligence division and suspect in the Atimonan rubout in 2013, was promoted to colonel last month.
The promotion comes after Marantan’s successful arrest of suspected New People’s Army (NPA) leader Romeo Aytona Jr. in December 2020, according to the Philippine National Police (PNP).
Marantan however, has a pending case regarding his alleged involvement in the killing of 13 suspected robbery gang members in Atimonan, Quezon, in January of 2013. The incident involved 23 PNP officials, and 25 military officers.
A team of policemen and soldiers were led by Marantan and would open fire at a convoy of gambling lord Vic Siman and his associates.
Then Superintendent Marantan was said to be involved in the illegal numbers game “jueteng”, and protected Ka Tita, a rival gang leader to Siman. The operation was investigated by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to be a supposed plan by Marantan to snuff out Siman, the competition to his boss.
With his Atimonan case still pending resolution by the courts, Marantan’s promotion is within legal bounds according to National Police Commission (Napolcom) Vice Chairman Vitaliano Aguirre II, who claims that Republic Act (RA) 9708 allows such promotion for cases which have not been resolved within two years.
The RA 9708 is an amendment to RA 8551 or the PNP Reform and Reorganization Act.
Marantan and other PNP officials that were implicated in the Atimonan rubout were dismissed from service in 2014, but were reinstated following an appeal to NAPOLCOM in 2017.
The promotion also comes at a time when President Duterte has instructed the PNP to act aggressively against the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and New People’s Army (NPA), which is now being linked to an alleged rubout of nine alleged activists in various provinces of the country.
Photo: Washington Post