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RIZAL COPS RELIEVED

Ex-solon says aide slain in shootout not a criminal

/ 05:00 AM December 14, 2018

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

Former Biliran Rep. Glenn Chong on Thursday said he would seek another autopsy of his security aide, as he raised doubts over police claims that he was killed in a shootout in Cainta town, Rizal province, early this week.

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Chong, in a telephone interview on Thursday, also threatened to file charges against members of the Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon) regional police, whom he had accused of planting firearms and a grenade in his car, which was used by his slain aide, Richard Santillan.

Supt. Chitadel Gaoiran, spokesperson for the regional police, said Senior Supt. Lou Evangelista, Rizal provincial police director, and Supt. Pablito Naganag, Cainta police chief, had been relieved.

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Legitimate encounter?

The Rizal police’s Internal Affairs Service is conducting a parallel investigation, she said.

In an earlier interview, Evangelista said the shootout was a legitimate police operation against “Highway Boys,” a criminal group involved in robbery, illegal drug trade and murder in Rizal and eastern parts of Metro Manila.

Evangelista said Santillan, 45, was traveling with Gessamyn Casing, one identified only as Barry and another suspect when they were flagged down by members of the police’s Highway Patrol Group at Barangay San Andres, Cainta, at 1 a.m. Monday.

Evangelista said the group’s vehicle, a Toyota Fortuner, had no conduction sticker and registration. But instead of submitting themselves to an inspection, the group sped away, prompting a police chase.

Santillan and Casing were killed in a gunfight while Barry and his companion escaped, police said.

Investigators said they recovered three guns and a grenade after the shootout.

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Bullet holes

Chong, however, doubted how two persons were able to escape considering that there were about 30 bullet holes found on the vehicle, which was registered under his sister’s name.

Santillan had at least 10 bullet wounds in the body, a bruise on his left rib cage, and “bloodied toenails that looked like they had been forcibly removed,” Chong said.

“Really, it was an assassination, an ambush,” Chong said.

He said Santillan, who had worked for and accompanied him for 11 years and was known to government officials, could never be involved in criminal activities.

Chong and Evangelista confirmed reports that Santillan, on Sunday afternoon, attended a Christmas gift-giving activity in Cainta.

He said Casing, a relative of Santillan’s friend, only hitched a ride with his aide as they were headed the same way.

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