THE Philippine National Police yesterday maintained that there was no rub-out in the death of Richard Santillan, the bodyguard of former Biliran Rep. Glenn Chong.
The Rizal Police Provincial Office told a hearing of the Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs that Santillan was killed in a legitimate police operation.
PNP forensic expert Dr. Paul Carpio testifed that only 21 gunshot wounds were sustained by Santillan contrary to the 63 wounds claimed by Chong.
When asked by Sen. Gringo Honasan, Carpio said that an exchange of gunfire happened between Santillan and the chasing cops.
“Ang ibig sabihin nakipagbarilan? Ang ibig sabihin operation ito? Ang ibig sabihin ‘di ito rubout?,” Honasan asked, in which Carpio replied: “Yes.”
“Hindi hinugasan ang katawan (Santillan), ibig sabihin, this is an indication of expeditious reaction of the SOCO,” Honasan added.
Scene of the Crime Operatives and Crime Laboratory teams which conducted an investigation of the crime scene and subsequent examination of Santillan’s body dismissed the allegation that Chong’ aide was tortured to death.
“Based on an honest to goodness conduct of investigations, there is no truth to allegations of attorney Chong that Richard Santillan was kidnapped, tortured, killed and was set up,” a report from the Rizal police said.
“The result of the trajectory of bullets from Rizal PPO Crime Laboratory Office showed that Santillan was moving from the driver side to the passenger side of the vehicle while the firefight is ongoing,” police also said.
“He (Santillan) was able to fire shots while outside the vehicle where he eventually died, thus, what happened was indeed a legitimate police operation,” police added.
The police also accused Chong of “contaminating” the Toyota Fortuner now being used as evidence in the shootout.
Police Regional Office-4A Director Chief Supt. Edward Carranza, said in the hearing that Chong went to the Rizal Provincial Police Office last Saturday and barged inside the sealed vehicle.
Sr. Supt. Lou Evangelista, acting director of the Rizal PPO, said that Chong, along with six companions, one of them a woman believed to be the wife of Santillan, went to the police office at around 11 a.m. on Saturday.
Evangelista said that Chong was initially looking for Santillan’s clothes and when he saw the vehicle, he looked for a dash cam and forced his way to the Toyota Fortuner despite attempts to stop him.