Senator Panfilo Lacson on Tuesday admitted that he was baffled on the alleged links between former Biliran Rep. Glenn Chong and the killing of his aide, Richard Santillan, who was killed in a shootout with policemen in Cainta, Rizal, last December 10.
“ I’d like to piece it together, piece the evidence together. I’m looking for the connection. Because, the police know that if a crime happened, there are three—opportunity, motive and instrument,” he said.
Lacson there was an instrument and opportunity in the incident, but he has yet to ascertain the motive.
“That is what I wanted to be cleared,” said Lacson, a former Philippine National Police chief.
Lacson did not buy the assertion of Chong that he was the “real target” of the ambush for being “anti-Smarmatic” after exposing what he claimed as massive cheating in the vice presidential post during the last elections.
Chong, who is running for senator in the coming polls, maintained that his aide was killed by the police to warn him. “Pinitik, pinatay si Richard para pitikin ako,” he insisted.
But Lacson said he was not convinced that the police would go after Santillan and not Chong if he was the real target.
“Why kill Santillan not you? You’re the forefront of the supposed motive,” Lacson asked.
Chong also said that if he is killed, there will be howl of protests and chaos since he became popular after he exposed the alleged cheating for the position of vice president between former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos and Vice President Leni Robredo.
However, Lacson said he is still not convinced on the supposed connection between the Smarmatic and the police.
Chief Supt. Edward Carranza, PNP-Region IV-commander had emphasized there was no rubout as Chong claimed, since it was Santillan who was driving the Fortuner together with members of the Highway Boys Group, which engaged lawmen in a gunbattle.
He said they did not know the target. “It just so happened he was inside the vehicle. He was driving the vehicle, they shot it out with policemen.”
“Our minds are not closed. Both sides. If they have available evidence, they just present them. But one thing, we are definite about this—this group was involved in Highway Boys, also tagged in the killings of our policemen, illegal drugs… One guy who was killed—was identified that day as Richard Santillan.
The police official also rejected the claim of Chong that he was the target because of the accusations he hurled against Smartmatic.
“We don’t know him..He’s not that prominent. I learned about Smartmatic, but I don’t know him,” said Carranza.
Supt. Joseph Arguelles of Police Regional Office 4-A also denied the allegations of Chong that Santillan was kidnapped, tortured, and killed. He testified before the Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs hearing chaired by Sen. Panfilo Lacson that the evidence showed that there was a shootout.
He said that Santillan was able to fire shots while outside the vehicle where he eventually died from gunshot wounds.
The result of trajectory of bullets from Rizal provincial crime laboratory also showed that Santillan was moving from the driver side to the passenger side of the vehicle while the firefight was ongoing.