Acting Prosecutor General Richard Anthony Fadullon said he has assigned Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Alexander Suarez to handle Richard Santillan's murder case.
The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) earlier filed before the Department of Justice (DOJ) the criminal cases against Calabarzon police regional director, Brig. Gen. Edward Carranza, and other police officers for the killing of Santillan and his female companion, Gessamyn Casing, last December in Barangay San Andres in Cainta, Rizal.
Carranza, Rizal provincial director, Col. Lou Evangelista, and Cainta police chief, Lt. Col. Pablito Naganag were charged with obstruction of justice.
Murder and planting of evidence charges were filed against seven officers from Cainta police station led by Lt. Sandro Ortega, four officers from the provincial office of the Philippine National Police Highway Patrol Group led by Capt. John Russel Barnacha, and 10 operatives of the Regional Special Operations Unit led by M/Sgt. Rene Eufracio.
The NBI stressed that “Santillan and Casing 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”.
“Needless to say, Santillan and Casing were like sitting ducks overwhelmingly vulnerable to attack and clearly unable to protect their lives,” the complaint stated.
Carranza and his men had claimed that the incident last December was part of a legitimate police operation against the so-called “Highway Boys” involved in drug trade, carnapping, robbery and killings in the Floodway in Cainta.
They claimed that the police operatives spotted the unregistered Toyota Fortuner that was supposedly being used by the syndicate in its operations, which at that time was being driven by Santillan.
They alleged they tried to flag down the vehicle but Santillan sped off resulting in a chase. When Santillan fired at the operatives, they said they were forced to retaliate.
The NBI also pointed out “the examination conducted on the clothes and the hands of the victims rendered negative results as to the presence of gunpowder nitrates”.