Police chief ‘ordered hits’

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Philippine investigators have charged 35 police officers and soldiers with murder for allegedly executing 13 people at a road checkpoint in a plan by a police colonel to kill a rival in an illegal gambling operation.

An investigation ordered by president Benigno Aquino III into the killings concluded yesterday that the victims were summarily executed and there was no shoot-out, as claimed by the security personnel.

Presidential spokeswoman Abigail Valte said Aquino directed Justice Secretary Leila de Lima to file a criminal and administrative complaint.

“The conclusion is that no shoot-out occurred,” de Lima said. “The victims were summarily executed and all indications point to a rub-out.”

The police colonel in question is Hansel Marantan.