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 PNP insists former lawmaker’s aide killed in shootout

PAO to PNP: Return personal items of 'shootout' victim

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.

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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.

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“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.

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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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