By Martin Sadongdong
The Philippine National Police (PNP) maintained that the slain security aide of lawyer Glenn Chong was not tortured and the wounds found on his body were obtained when he fought the lawmen, but Chong’s camp believes otherwise as they slammed Friday the supposed drug matrix released by authorities.
Superintendent Paul Carpio, chief of Rizal Provincial Police Office (PPO) Crime Laboratory, said Richard Santillan, Chong’s security aide, sustained 21 gunshot wounds but added he found “no signs of torture marks” on his body.
In an earlier press conference, the Calabarzon Police Regional Office (PRO-4A) led by Chief Superintendent Edward Carranza showed photos of Santillan’s body to prove that the victim had no torture marks.
Santillan was shot dead by police last December 10 in Cainta, Rizal in what police said was an encounter with members of Highway Boys, an organized crime syndicate.
Chong slammed the drug matrix supposedly released by Carranza during the same press conference. A link diagram shared by Chong implicated Santillan in the alleged drug operation of the HIghway Boys.
Santillan was described as the driver of an alias “Barry,” whom police said was the financier and supplier of unlicensed guns and illegal drugs of the Highway Boys. The diagram said Santillan was driving a Toyota Fortuner (NOF 845) to deliver drugs and guns to their customers.
The vehicle was the same car used by Santillan when he was shot dead by police last December 10, but Chong said it was registered to his name. Aside from Santillan and Barry, at least 24 other persons were included in the drug matrix.
Chong criticized the drug matrix released by the police saying it contradicts the earlier statement of Carranza when he said he does not know Santillan.
“For the record, we don’t know Santillan. We don’t even know Chong and his Smartmatic issue,” Carranza said.
But Chong said the drug matrix proves that the police have been keeping an eye on Santillan for some time already as they have identified the members of Highway Boys. He said the police obtained Santillan’s picture in his Facebook account, including details of his trips and the political events he attended as his aide.
” If they fished out a picture of Richard Santillan in his Facebook page for their supposed drug matrix, it means the operatives of Carranza knew what stuff were posted and shared by Richard Santillan,” he claimed.
He noted that this was contrary to police claims that Santillan’s photo was obtained from the investigators who conducted surveillance against his aide.
Earlier, Chong said the drug matrix only showed the police were already in a state of “panic” because the operation that led to the death of Santillan “must have been approved by him [Carranza].”
“Because the operation resulted in the torture, murder and setup of Richard Santillan wouldn’t be carried out without the approval of General Carranza’s office, it is reasonable to presume he approved it as the Regional Director,” Chong said.
Carranza appealed to the parties involved to allow the investigators to handle the probe and refrain from injecting false claims by posting unverified statements in social media. He also reiterated that Santillan’s death was a result of a legitimate police operation and he was not tortured, murdered or set-up.
When Santillan was shot dead by police last December 10, a police report said that he was accompanied by a woman, who was included in the drug matrix released by the Calabarzon police, describing her as a partner or girlfriend of Santillan.
Chong identified the woman as Gessamyn Generales, 39, of General Santos City, who went to Manila two months ago and rented an apartment in the area because she applied for a job abroad.
Generales held a despedida or farewell party which Santillan had attended.
“Nang gabing pinaslang sila, nandoon siya sa kanyang despedida party o salu-salo. Umangkas siya kay Richard Santillan nang pauwi na ito dahil madadaanan lang ang kanyang tinutuluyan (The night they were killed, [Generales] was in her despedida party. She hitched a ride to Richard Santillan who was on his way home [in Pasig City] because her apartment was along the way),” Chong said.
“Napunta si Richard Santillan sa bahay kung saan ang salu-salo dahil kinuha niya ang ilan pang mga sulat ng mga bata na humihingi ng regalo sa Pasko (Richard Santillan went to the house where the party was held because he collected some letters from children who asked for presents this Christmas),” he added.
Chong earlier stated that Santillan was about to attend a gift-giving activity for indigent children in Cainta, Rizal when he was shot dead by police.
Chong said they got hold of a “ticket” of Generales proving that she was supposed to go back to General Santos City the day she was killed.