Police Supt. Santiago Rapiz yesterday returned to Negros Occidental in a coffin.
Rapiz, who received several awards for his campaign against illegal drugs, among others in Negros Occidental, ironically, was killed on Nov. 5 in Dipolog City, Zamboanga del Norte, following the result of a buy-bust operation, as claimed by the police.
The slain police commissioned officer had already asked for permission from his immediate officer to return to Bacolod City on Nov. 8, according to a source of the DAILY STAR.
But Rapiz, 53, died three days earlier than his scheduled return to Bacolod. He, indeed, returned, but in a closed casket.
The New People’s Army rebels in Negros, who came to his defense against his detractors, maintained that Rapiz had no criminal records, nor any involvement in illegal drugs.
The revolutionary movement even called for a thorough and indepth investigation into the killing of Rapiz, who spent almost his entire career as a law enforcer in Negros Occidental, by operatives of the PNP Counter Intelligence Task Force.
Negros Occidental Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr., who expressed his sympathy to the family of Rapiz, said that if somebody commits mistakes, it should be investigated and brought to court, as he opposes killings.
The remains of Rapiz were brought by his family from Dipolog to Bacolod City, where he lies at the Rolling Hills Memorial Chapel.
His casket was covered with a Philippine flag, with his cap placed above it. But there are no police honor guards assigned at the chapel, observers noted.
Rapiz, who used to serve as police chief of EB Magalona, and the cities of Escalante and Victorias, commander of the 2nd Provincial Mobile Group of the Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office, and former chief of the BCPO Drug Enforcement Unit, among other assignments, is scheduled to be buried Sunday at a memorial park in Bacolod City.
He has a daughter and son, who also joined the Philippine National Police, while his elder brother has already retired from the police service.*
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