Complaints filed vs Gamboa for alleged tampering with evidence in death of ex-solon’s aide
MANILA, Philippines — Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Archie Gamboa is facing grave misconduct and other complaints for allegedly hiding and tampering with evidence in the probe into the death of Richard Santillan, an aide of former Biliran Rep. Glenn Chong.
The complaints filed by Santillan’s wife Jeanette and Chong on Tuesday before the Office of the Ombudsman accuse Gamboa, in his capacity as PNP officer-in-charge and eventually as PNP chief, of allegedly tampering with evidence in the investigation.
Santillan was killed during a police operation in Cainta in 2018, but Chong claimed that the body of his slain aide bore torture marks. The PNP, then under the helm of former police chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde, said that a shootout happened between police officers and Santillan’s side.
“Respondent P/Gen. Archie Francisco F. Gamboa, Chief, PNP, is a public official/ employee, clearly violated the aforequoted provisions of law, as follows: By knowing, willfully and maliciously violating repeatedly the constitutional right of complainants to information on matters of public concern and the laws concerning the conduct and ethical standards in public office,” the 25-page complaint read.
“By knowing, willfully and maliciously, and feloniously concealing from complainants the Crime Scene Photographs which are material evidence in the prosecution for the violation of Section 38 of Republic Act No. 10591 for the planting of incriminating evidence against Richard Santillan,” the complaint added.
In December 2018, Albayalde assured that the PNP is already probing the death of Santillan after an autopsy report conducted by the Public Attorney’s Office showed alleged torture marks on the body.
However, the PNP insisted that Santillan was killed in a shootout and that the latter was a member of the Highway Boys, an organized crime syndicate engaged in robbery-holdup, gunrunning, and illegal drugs.
In May 2019, it was reported that the National Bureau of Investigation, which is probing the incident separately on the request of Santillan’s relatives, filed charges against 21 police officers involved in the incident — including the chiefs of Police Regional Office 4-A, the Rizal Provincial Police Office, and the Cainta Police Station.
All in all, the complaint against Gamboa consists of one count of grave misconduct, one count of conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service, five counts for violation of the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials, and five counts for breaching sections in Presidential Decree No. 1829 or the Obstruction of Criminal Prosecution.
Gamboa started his term as PNP OIC last October after Albayalde resigned in the same month.
Gamboa was then appointed by President Rodrigo Duterte as chief of the 190,000-strong PNP.
INQUIRER.net has reached out to get Gamboa’s side but has yet to reply as of posting time.
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