NBI charges 21 cops in killing of Glenn Chong’s aide
MANILA, Philippines — The National Bureau of Investigation has asked the Department of Justice (DOJ) to charge 21 police officers with two counts of murder for the ambush of the aide of former Biliran representative and senatorial candidate Glenn Chong and his companion last Dec. 9 in Cainta, Rizal.
The NBI also asked the DOJ to prosecute the chiefs of the Philippine National Police in Calabarzon, Rizal and Cainta for covering up the murder of Richard Santillan, who was Chong’s aide, and Gessamyn Casing.
In a complaint filed on Friday, the NBI said its monthslong investigation showed that Santillan and Casing were killed defenselessly by the police.
Victims were unarmed
Contrary to the police claim that there was a shootout, the victims were unarmed, said the NBI.
It said the police officers should be charged with murder because there was treachery in the killing.
The victims “were continuously fired upon by surrounding heavily armed police officers resulting in multiple gunshot wounds to the different parts of their bodies, which caused their deaths,” read the NBI complaint signed by Deputy Director for Investigation Vicente de Guzman III.
Santillan was in Cainta that day for his annual gift-giving activity for poor children.
The NBI asked for the indictment of seven Cainta policemen led by Police Lt. Sandro Ortega, four officers from the PNP Highway Patrol Group in Rizal led by Police Capt. John Russel Barnacha and 10 operatives of the Regional Special Operations Unit led by Police Master Sergeant Rene Eufracio.
Obstruction of justice
The 21 police officers were also liable for “planting” evidence, according to the NBI.
The NBI also said Calabarzon police regional director Brig. Gen. Edward Carranza, Rizal police provincial director Col. Lou Evangelista and Cainta police chief Lt. Col. Pablito Naganag should be charged with obstruction of justice.
Carranza and the rest of the implicated officials and officers claimed the shooting was in line with police operations against the so-called “Highway Boys” syndicate that was involved in drug trafficking, carnapping, robbery and killings in the Cainta floodway area.
The police claimed Santillan fired at the chasing operatives, who apparently mistook his Toyota Fortuner SUV for a vehicle used by the syndicate.
But according to the NBI, witnesses “did not see the occupants of the SUV fire any shot towards the police officers because the windows of the SUV were closed the entire time.”
It said a witness heard a woman from inside the vehicle crying innocence but the police continued to shoot at the SUV.
When examined by the NBI, the victims’ clothes and hands tested negative for gunpowder, contrary to the PNP’s report.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.