Justice Secretary Leila De Lima is seen in this file photo by NPPA Images.

Not even Justice Secretary Leila de Lima believes that the bloodbath in Atimonan, Quezon, last January 6 that left 13 people dead was a shootout.

De Lima arrived at the conclusion after personally visiting the crime site and hearing from witnesses on Thursday.

"[It was] anything but a shootout... Not a shootout, definitely," said De Lima in a report on GMA News TV's “Balitanghali.”
De Lima and agents from the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI)—the sole government agency tasked to investigate the case— visited the site Thursday morning to witness a re-enactment of the incident.

Families of the slain men claimed the incident was a rubout perpetrated by a joint team of police and military personnel manning a checkpoint.

The police involved said the checkpoint was part of a case operation plan to neutralize alleged members of a gun-for-hire group.De Lima said apart from the re-enactment, testimonies from three witnesses further bolstered claims that the incident was not a shootout.

"The witnesses saw the entire incident. They are very vital," she said.

De Lima's statement came a day after the turn-over of a fact-finding report from the Philippine National Police (PNP), which initially investigated the incident, to the NBI.Police investigators noted a “deliberate effort” to make it appear that a shootout occurred at the scene of the incident.

Policemen and soldiers who manned the checkpoint insisted during an NBI probe on Wednesday that the operation that led to the encounter was legitimate.

They also insisted that they were provoked by the victims and that the first shot came from the victims. — KBK, GMA News

article from http://ph.news.yahoo.com/atimonan-incident-definitely-not-shootout-lima-050416778.html
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