Journal Online - Phillipines
Masons in Quezon shootout probe urged to inhibit selves
Friday, January 11, 2013
by Gemi Formaran
LUCENA City -- The three ground commanders who led the government’s security forces in Sunday’s gunbattle in Atimonan, Quezon that left 13 persons dead, including a police colonel and an environmentalist, are all fraternity brothers in the influential Freemasonry.
Freemasonry which originated in the late 16th to early 17th century, now exists in various forms all over the world with a membership of some six million.
In the Philippines, Freemasonry members are scattered in government offices especially in the law enforcement agencies such as the military, police and even in the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), the leading agency that was tasked by President Aquino to probe the Quezon incident. It also has members holding key positions in the Executive, Legislative and Judiciary branches of government.
A relative of one of those killed in the incident, who requested anonymity for security reasons, however, said that Supt. Hansel Marantan, Supt. Ramon Balauag and Lt. Col. Monico Abang all belong to the Freemasonry fraternity.
The relative said he and his family believe in President Aquino’s assurance that there will be no whitewash on the ongoing probe led by the NBI. However, he said those members of the Freemasonry who are conducting the investigation should inhibit themselves.
“Naniniwala ako at ang aking pamilya na totoo ang sinabi ni P-Noy na hindi magkakaroon ng whitewash sa imbestigasyon. Hindi sa nagdududa pero mas magiging kampante ang aming kalooban kung ang mga Mason na kasama sa investigating body ay mag- i-inhibit sa kaso. Kami ay umaapela na gawin sana nila ito kahit hindi pa iniuutos ng Pa-ngulo,” said the relative.
He said brothers in the Freemasonry have very close ties with each other, that is why a Mason policeman always has an edge compared with those non-masons, especially if their commander is a member.
“Sa Freemasonry daw kasi, a brother is a brother, no matter what. Tagilid kami kung totoo ang prinsipyo nilang ’yan,” he said.
PNP chief Director General Alan LM Purisima, who is mason himself, could not be reached for comment, but other police officials who are also masons, said there is nothing wrong with members of the fact-finding task force if they are Freemasonry members.
“Hindi porke mason ang involved eh wala nang mangyayari. Ang dictum is justice will prevail. A mason has to abide by the law of the land. May due process palagi at hindi puwedeng absuweltuhin ng isang mason ang isang mason kung me kasalanan. Dapat me due process palagi, they said.
According to PNP officials who are masons, “Walang bearing ’yung pagiging mason sa anumang kaso dahil justice will always prevail.”
Before the duo’s relief was announced by Director General Purisima, Marantan, who was slightly injured during the incident, was the deputy chief of Calabarzon Police Regional Intelligence Division while Balauag was the chief of Provincial Intelligence Branch. Abang, on the other hand, is the commander of the Army’s 1st Special Forces Battalion. Chief Insp. Grant Gollod, Atimonan police chief, was the fourth ground commander during the incident.
The victim’s relative also said Gollod is not a member of the brotherhood. He said Gollod was Marantan’s deputy when he was the commander of Quezon Provincial Public Safety Company (QPPSC) for more than two years.
With that, the relative said something really smells fishy. “Bakit kinakailangang malapit sa isa’t isa ang mga ground commander bago magsagawa ng operasyon ang mga pulis at militar na ’yan?” asked the relative.
Meanwhile, it was learned from police sources that Senior Supt. Valeriano de Leon, who has been ordered relieved along with other police officers by Purisima effective Wednesday, is still holding his post.
“Naniniwala naman kami na hindi papayagan ng higher headquarters ang mga ganyang midnight appointment kung relieved na ang commander ay relieved na nga,” said the sources.
It was learned that De Leon, Marantan and Calabarzon police director Chief Supt. James Andres Melad, aside from being magkababayans, are also good friends.
On the other hand, sources said the names of some policemen who participated in the operation are not on the list. They said the list was submitted by Marantan, Balauag and Gollod.