Witness indicates Quezon shootout going to ‘rubout’

An ordinary motorist from Sorsogon who was among other civilians withheld by authorities in a first checkpoint in Atimonan, Quezon will indicate that the alleged shootout “was going to a rubout” where 13 people found dead inside two sport utility vehicles recently, Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero said Thursday.

In a weekly Kapihan sa Senado, Escudero said that he still convincing a witness from his home province of Sorsogon to come out and testify on the checkpoint where he heard burst of gunfire from the direction of the actual ambush area 30 minutes before they were allowed to pass thru the Maharlika Highway leading to Manila.

Escudero said that this angle can be justified by said witness which he refused to identify for security reason, saying that when he (witness) was about to go to Manila from Sorsogon, he along with other civilian motorists were withheld by authorities in a supposed “first check point” before the actual ambush area.

“I have learned and I am still convincing him to testify na isa kong kababayan sa Sorsogon na pauwi daw siya sa Manila, at may isa pa palang checkpoint bago ang checkpoint sa Atimonan at pinigilan sila at ang haba na daw ng traffic sa checkpoint na iyon, hindi daw sila pinatutuloy bago ang insidente,” Escudero said.

Escudero said that the alleged checkpoint is an indication that the authorities conspired willingly among themselves to hide the “actual ambush” from passing motorists in the area to and from the Manila along the busy traffic flow in Maharlika Highway.

Escudero said that he already informed the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) on the matter which promised to look into that angle.

“Naikuwento na (ng witness) ang pangyayari, at naipag-bigay alam ko na rin ito sa NBI upang tingnan ang anggulong iyon at tignan hindi lamang ang checkpoint sa Atimonan, kundi maging ang checkpoint bago at pagkatapos nun,” Escudero said.

“Walang reaksiyon ang NBI, pero bubuksan nila ang anggulong iyon dahil hindi naisama sa kanilang iniimbestigahan dahil nakatutok sila sa area ng checkpoint,” Escudero added.

The Bicolano solon said that he believe on the information given by his witness since it would be ironic if no one will witness the alleged shootout because traffic along Maharlika Highway  is heavy during night time.

“Kung walang checkpoint, ano ang tiyansa na walang testigo at walang ibang kotseng dadaan doon habang nangyayari at nagaganap iyon. Medyo mahirap ma-estimate iyon, national road iyon, ang daming nagbibiyahe doon every hour of the day, paano nila matitiyak na walang talagang dadaan iyon sa panahon na hinarang nila,  nagkaputukan na at lahat-lahat,” Escudero.

Also, Escudero asked NBI to investigate on the allegations that residents in the area were told by the  military and police personnel to stay inside their houses during night time.

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