Carranza, 22 others rapped

May 19, 2019
Edward Carranza

THE National Bureau of Investigation has filed appropriate charges against Calabarzon police regional director Brig. Gen. Edward Carranza and 22 other police officers before the Department of Justice (DoJ) in connection with the killing of Richard Santillan, aide of former Biliran representative Glenn Chong, in Cainta, Rizal last December.

Sued for obstruction of justice were Carranza, Rizal provincial director Col. Lou Evangelista, and Cainta police chief Lt. Col. Pablito Naganag.

In a referral-complaint, the NBI also sought the filing of two counts of murder and planting of evidence charges against seven officers from Cainta police station led by Lt. Sandro Ortega, four officers from provincial office of the Philippine National Police Highway Patrol Group led by Capt. John Russel Barnacha and 10 operatives of Regional Special Operations Unit led by M/Sgt. Rene Eufracio.

The murder charges was filed by the NBI against the policemen because Santillan’s companion Gessamyn Casing was also killed during the incident last Dec. 9 in Cainta.

Citing accounts of witnesses as well as results of its forensic examination, the NBI concluded that the incident was a rubout and not a shootout as claimed by the police.

The NBI stressed that Santillan and Casing were unarmed and that there was treachery in their killing -- a key element of murder.

“Truth be told, (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 day, (Santillan and Casing) were like sitting ducks overwhelmingly vulnerable to attack and clearly unable to protect their lives,” the NBI complaint read.

The NBI explained that testimonial and physical pieces of evidence did not support the policemen’s narrative of a legitimate shootout.

With these findings, the NBI alleged that the police operatives involved in the operation conspired to kill the victims.

As to the criminal liability of Carranza, the NBI alleged that he is liable for obstruction of justice “by disseminating false information in the Senate hearing, even purporting, under oath, that the said shooting incident was legitimate.”