MANILA Two top officials of the Rizal Provincial Police, along with at least 14 other policemen, were relieved from their posts on Thursday in connection with the encounter which resulted in the death of Richard Santillan, the security aide of lawyer and election reform advocate Glenn Chong.
I have issued the relief of the Provincial Director of Rizal, I have ordered the relief of the chief of police of Cainta. I also talked with the Highway Patrol Group for the relief of the Highway Patrol Unit team of Rizal, Chief Supt. Edward Carranza, Police Regional Office 4A (Calabarzon) head, said in a statement sent to reporters.
All other policemen involved in the operation were also ordered relieved, he added.
Ordered sacked were Rizal Provincial Police director, Senior Supt. Lou Evangelista, Cainta police chief, Supt. Pablito Naganag and 10 members of the Calabarzon Regional Intelligence Group and four cops from the Cainta Police.
Named as Evangelista's replacement was Supt. Dionisio Bartolome while Supt. Gauvin Unos was named as Naganag's replacement.
Carranza, meanwhile, insisted that there are proper procedures to be observed in providing information on its operations.
I told him (Chong) we have procedures in the Philippine National Police. I told him di kami puwede boka boka (we cannot just say anything). We have procedures, Carranza said in a statement sent to reporters.
Carranza made the remark after the former Biliran congressman cried foul over police allegations that his slain bodyguard is a member of a syndicate and described the alleged encounter as orchestrated by lawmen.
Chong confirmed that Santillan was his aide but denied that the latter was involved in illegal activities. He also accused the PNP of hiding the police report on the incident as he demanded justice for the death of Santillan.
Carranza said he already talked with Chong on Wednesday and requested to secure the personal belongings of Santillan.
While he ordered the relief of the involved policemen, Carranza stood by his men's report that it was a legitimate operation.
Based on the police report, Santillan was involved in carnapping activities and in selling illegal drugs. Some 60 grams of shabu were also reportedly seized from him.
He is reportedly a member of the Highway Boys crime group which was tagged in gun-for-hire, carnapping and selling of illegal drugs activities in Cainta and nearby areas.
We are not saying that our police was wrong. What we are saying is that there may be an excessive force, said Carranza.
We call it administrative relief so as not to influence the investigation, he added.
Santillan died after he allegedly traded shots with policemen when he reportedly ignored a checkpoint.
Police said Santillan sped off with the sports utility vehicle he was driving when lawmen tried to stop the vehicle to check on the registration of his car.
The sticker of the vehicle stated that it was registered in 2015. (PNA)
Source: Philippine News Agency