Slain cop’s wife seeks congressional probe, asks President’s help

BACOLOD CITY — The wife of Supt. Santiago Ylanan Rapiz, the policeman who was killed in a buy-bust operation in Dipolog City, called for a congressional inquiry on his death and appealed for President Rodrigo Duterte’s help for justice.

Michelle Rapiz, who read the family’s statement in a press conference at her husband’s wake in Rolling Hills Memorial Chapels here on Saturday, denied that her husband was involved in illegal drugs, saying the late police officer did not have any connection with Iloilo drug lord Melvin Odicta. He is not the retired Senior Police Office 4 Santiago Odicta Rapiz of Ivisan, Capiz, she added.

“Our family is calling for justice. My husband did not have wealth except his good name stained by allegations, which are untrue,” said the 53-year-old policeman’s widow, who was assisted by legal counsel Tranquilino Gale in meeting the local media.

She did not entertain questions after reading the press statement.

Mrs. Rapiz said that as the spouse, she is personally appealing for help from the President, as well as from senators and congressmen, for the conduct of congressional or senate inquiry on her husband’s case.

She said that her husband was “killed mercilessly” and was not accorded due process in the allegations that he was engaged in illegal drugs. She also said the suspected “shabu” found in his vehicle was planted.

“We called for this press conference to explain our side on the misleading reports and lies of the police in the death of my husband,” she added.

Rapiz was reported to have died in a buy-bust operation conducted by the Philippine National Police Counter Intelligence Task Force (CITF) and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) inside the campus of Andres Bonifacio College on the night of November 5.

Chief Insp. Joseph Ortega, officer-in-charge of Dipolog City Police Station, said in an earlier report that Rapiz was playing basketball at the school’s gymnasium that night and then went out to meet a buyer.

Rapiz received PHP50,000 in marked money for the suspected “shabu” (crystal meth). Sensing the presence of the authorities, he ran away while firing his pistol.

Operatives of CITF and PDEA operatives fired back at Rapiz, who ended up dead, Ortega added.

Rapiz, who hailed from Bacolod City, was the head of the logistics branch of Zamboanga del Norte Police Provincial Office at the time of his death.

He was one of the policemen from Negros Occidental and Bacolod City transferred to Mindanao after they were linked to the illegal drug trade.

A decorated police officer for his campaign against illegal drugs, Rapiz once headed the Bacolod City Police Office Drug Enforcement Unit and was the commander of the 2nd Provincial Mobile Group of the Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office.

He was also a former police chief in E.B. Magalona town, and in the cities of Escalante and Victorias. Nanette Guadalquiver/