THE Department of Justice yesterday formally started the preliminary investigation into the charges filed against 23 police officers implicated in the killing of the aide of former Biliran representative Glenn Chong.
But none of the respondents appeared during the hearing where they were supposed to file their counter-affidavits, forcing the handling fiscal, Assistant Prosecution Attorney Gina Yanga, to reset the proceedings.
“Only their representatives from the legal department of the Philippine National Police (PNP) were present,” Yanga said.
“They filed a motion seeking to extend the filing of the counter-affidavits,” she added.
The prosecutor gave the respondent-lawmen until June 17 to file their counter-affidavits.
The charges against them came after the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) filed before the DOJ criminal complaints involving the killing of Richard Santillan and his female companion Gessamyn Casing in Barangay San Andres in Cainta, Rizal last May 17.
The NBI named as respondents for obstruction of justice were Calabarzon police regional director Brig. Gen. Edward Carranza; Carranza, Rizal provincial director Col. Lou Evangelista; and Cainta police chief Lt. Col. Pablito Naganag.
On the other hand, two counts of murder and one count of planting of evidence were filed 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.