THE SERENITY of the beach facing the police station in Jose Panganiban, CamNorte contrasts with the violent fate of 13 alleged members of crime syndicate who visited the town early morning before the bloody shootout in Atimonan, Quezon on Jan 6. – Photo by JUAN ESCANDOR, JR.
By JUAN ESCANDOR JR
JOSE PANGANIBAN: Before their tragic death, the 13 fatalities in the alleged shootout with law enforcers in Atimonan, Quezon Sunday last week dropped by the house of a small-scale miner here.
Vic Villamar, driver of Ronnie Habitan, the person mentioned by the daughter of Supt Alfredo Perez Consemino who also disclosed that her father came here before the incident, said the 13 visitors were aboard two black SUVs when they visited Habitan’s house in Barangay Plaridel here on Jan 6.
“They arrived at about 6am and talked with my boss (Habitan) in the room. They were laughing,” Villamar narrated.
The driver said the group stayed until about 11am then left after taking their lunch in the house of Habitan.
A police source, who asked not to be named because the information was told to him in private, also confirmed that Habitan was indeed visited by Consemino’s group.
Villamar said his boss was exhausted and resting in his room after receiving agents of the Bureau of National Investigation (NBI) who were conducting investigation.
The driver said the NBI agents arrived at about 10am and left at 2.10pm.
The police source said that Habitan also told him that Consemino came with proposal to sell the security agency owned by Vic Siman but did not close the deal.
He said Habitan also denied he gave money to the group.
Police Chief Insp Sam Belmonte, acting chief of police of Jose Panganiban, said he knew Habitan as “high grade” miner, meaning he had hit jackpot in small-scale mining.
High grade miners, Belmonte explained, are those who had stricken big volume of gold and became rich.
The house of Habitan is a two-story house along the road with a guard and CCTV camera.
In the garage, a black BMW car is parked.
Consemino was supposedly a consultant of Victor Siman, who owned a security agency, and suspected to be involved in the jueteng operations in southern Tagalog under the guise of Small Town Lottery.
Siman, one of the fatalities in the alleged shootout with government forces, was also tagged by police intelligence as involved in gun-for-hire syndicate.
Belmonte said Siman was a friend of Habitan who once bought a car from Siman.
On Jan. 6, combined police and military forces led by Supt. Hansel Marantan reportedly engaged into a shootout the 13 alleged members of gun-for-hire syndicate from Bicol led by Siman along the national highway in Atimonan, Quezon.
Three police officers - Superintendent Alfredo Perez Consemino, Police Officer 1 Jeffrey Tarinay Valdez, and Senior Police Officer Gruet Alinea Mantuano -- were among the 13 persons killed in that alleged shootout, which is now the subject of deeper investigations by concerned national government agencies on order of President Noynoy Aquino. – Bicol Mail