Chief Inspector Elmer Santiago buried; kin cry for justice
MANILA, Philippines — The family and relatives of slain Chief Inspector Elmer Santiago continued to cry for justice as they remembered a hardworking husband and father — who was aware of the hazards of his job but still managed to do the right thing — as they buried him in Pasig City on Sunday afternoon.
The clear blue skies and the sunny weather contrasted with the wailing and weeping of Santiago’s wife, Agnes, as a funeral Mass was held for him in the small but packed Sumilang Chapel just a few blocks away from their house in Pasig City.
Wearing black shirts with “Justice for Emong Santiago” printed on them, Santiago’s relatives and supporters from the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption then marched to the Evergreen Crematorium, where his remains were cremated privately.
Santiago, 42, who was last assigned to the intelligence unit of the Bataan Provincial Police Office, was shot dead on Holy Wednesday, April 16, in Mandaluyong City.
The policeman had left behind a “link diagram” of policemen allegedly running an illegal drug peddling cell in Manila and in Central Luzon. His family and supporters believe this was the reason why he was gunned down.
On Friday last week, Agnes recalled how her husband was always aware of the dangers of his job, being an intelligence officer for the Bataan Police.
“He would always tell our son Miguel, ‘Do not be naughty. Be good. Everything I’ve earned, I’ve spent on you and your mom. But I can’t give you everything you want. Just take care of it because you never know, I could be killed by a syndicate one day,” she said.
She also said that her husband was protective of them, and that they had been inseparable in their 22 years of marriage.
“He was very protective of us, to the point that he wouldn’t let a fly land on us. I love my husband so much, I can’t take it that he left us. We’ve been inseparable for 22 years. Now we fear because we no longer have a protector,” Agnes said.
“Whoever did this, I just wish that they stop. And I want justice. God will take care of those behind this, but I want justice for my husband,” she added.
Meanwhile, Jonathan Morales, a former agent of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, said that Santiago, who knew him while they were growing up, was a policeman who was passionate and dedicated to his job.
“As an agent of law enforcement, he was a passionate policeman who envisioned a drug-free Philippines. He always helped other law enforcement agencies by providing information specifically on the illegal drug trade in his area of jurisdiction,” Morales, who now heads the Anti-Drugs Advocate movement, said.
Meanwhile, Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption founding chair Dante Jimenez commiserated with Santiago’s family and vowed to push for the resolution of the case.
“My sibling was also slain by drug syndicates in 1990, but it was a case of mistaken identity. You are not alone. We at the VACC will take cognizance of this case and will push for it to be resolved and those behind this crime to be punished,” he said.
The family has already asked the National Bureau of Investigation to investigate the case.
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