Richard Santillan died in an alleged shootout with Rizal policemen while driving the car (below) of his employer, former Biliran Rep. Glenn Chong. —CONTRIBUTED PHOTOS
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Police (PNP ) on Monday maintained that the aide of lawyer and former Biliran Rep. Glenn Chong was killed in a shootout in Cainta, Rizal last December 10.
“He (Chong) alleged there was no shootout that transpired. For us , indeed it was a shootout,” Superintendent Joseph Arguelles of the Police Regional Office 4-A, said during the hearing of the Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs, citing, citing the bullet holes at the bumper of the police patrol car that responded to the scene.
Arguelles also cited the sworn statement of a Grab driver, who supposedly heard the gunshots during the encounter.
Police also belied Chong’s allegation that Santillan was not part of the “Highways Boys, an organized crime syndicate engaged in robbery-holdup, arms dealing, and illegal drugs activities.
“For us, Richard Santillan was a member of Highway Boys as previously shown in the link diagram where he drives the suspected Fortuner which is the subject of two information reports submitted to Regional Intelligence Division 4-A and the Directorate for Intelligence prior to the subject armed encounter,” Arguelles said.
The police also denied Santillan was kidnapped, tortured, killed and “set up.”
“Based on an honest to goodness conduct of investigation, there is no truth on allegations of Atty. Chong that Richard Santillan was kidnapped, tortured killed and was set up,” Arguelles said.
While the police insisted that Santillan was killed in a shootout, witnesses interviewed by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) claimed otherwise.
“In so far as the witnesses we have interviewed, nobody attested that there was an encounter sir,” Julio Cajigan, head of NBI’s investigating team, told the committee.
Upon the request of Santillan’s wife, the NBI conducted a separate probe on the incident.
But NBI Deputy Director Vicente De Guzman II said their investigation was “tough,” noting that the PNP has not yet responded to their request to furnish them all documents relevant to the case.
De Guzman said NBI Director Dante Gierran made the request through a letter to PNP Chief Director General Oscar Albayalde last January 7.
“That was dated January 7, and its seems that it has not yet acted upon by the Police Director General and we come up with a second letter requesting for the same documents which will be the basis of the NBI in evaluating what really transpired in that operation,” De Guzman said. / gsg
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