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Charges recommended for police shootout

Feb. 6, 2013 at 5:06 PM

MANILA, Feb. 6 (UPI) -- A senior Philippines police officer wounded in a shootout in January should face criminal charges for the deaths of 13 men, a report says.

The National Bureau of Investigation submitted the report Tuesday to Justice Secretary Lilia de Lima, the Philippine Daily Inquirer reported. Sources told the newspaper the bureau recommended murder charges against Superintendent Hansel Marantan and men under his command.

The security checkpoint in Atimonan, Quezon, southeast of Manila, where the shootout occurred Jan. 6 was aimed at catching alleged criminals involved in drug trafficking, gunrunning and similar crimes. Thirteen men were killed.

Marantan remains hospitalized at PNP General Hospital with a wound to his left arm, The Philippine Star reported. Doctors there said his recovery has been slow.

Superintendent James Melad, who authorized the operation, was fired as regional police commander afterward. Sources have not said if the bureau's report recommends charges against him.

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