By Martin Sadongdong
Election reform lawyer Glenn Chong on Wednesday urged the Philippine National Police (PNP) to release documents of their recent operation in Cainta, Rizal which resulted in the death of his long-time security aide in an alleged shootout.
Chong criticized the PNP for allegedly concealing the documents of the HPG-Rizal’s operation last Monday which killed his aide, Richard Santillan, and another companion.
Initial information from the Cainta Municipal Police Station said elements of HPG-Rizal were conducting a spot operation in Barangay San Andres, Cainta around 1 a.m. when they chanced upon a Toyota Fortuner (NOF-845).
Upon checking, police claimed it had no registration papers since 2015.
Police said they told the occupants of the vehicle to step down but the two allegedly sped off towards Westbank floodway to Taytay.
A brief chase ensued where the suspects allegedly engaged lawmen in a shootout.
Moments later, the suspects lay dead.
Police said the suspects they encountered were alleged members of “Highway Boys,” an organized crime syndicate involved in robbery-holdup, arms dealing, and illegal drugs operating in the Calabarzon region.
One of the ‘suspects’, however, turned out to be Santillan, Chong’s security aide for 11 years.
Chong belied the police report and said Santillan was using a vehicle registered to his name.
He said Santillan accompanied him in Naga City for a political event but his aide immediately went back to Cainta for a gift-giving activity for indigent children in time for the Yuletide season.
” I appeal to the police to give us the full report about the ambush/assassination of the cops on my aide Richard Santillan so that we can start studying the filing of appropriate charges against the paid assassins,” Chong said in the vernacular in a statement posted in his social media account.
“Ang partner niya sa gift-giving ay mga sundalo, kapulisan, bumbero, jail officers. Pero noong gabing iyon, matapos ang gift-giving, walang-awa pinagbabaril siya at ang kanyang kasama ng mga kapulisan (His partner in the gift-giving [activity] were soldiers, policemen, firefighters and jail officers. But that night, after the event, he was mercilessly killed by the cops),” he added in a separate statement.
Chong, who had testified in several Senate and House probes about the alleged poll fraud in the 2016 elections, believes the attack on his bodyguard was meant to silence him.
He vowed to exhaust all legal means in search for justice over Santillan’s death.