Minors who witnessed killing of Kian stay under Church protection
Two minors, cousins who witnessed to the killing of 17-year-old Kian Loyd delos Santos on Aug. 16 in the hands of the police, will remain under the custody of the Diocese of Caloocan.
The decision was reached after an hourslong standoff on Saturday that began with an agreement to turn them over to the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG).
The CIDG arrived at San Roque Cathedral in Caloocan City at around 2:30 p.m. on Saturday with the father of one of the minors, a cousin of the other minor. The police was eventually joined by Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption.
San Roque Cathedral was supposed to be the site of the turnover of the two witnesses, until the father began to have second thoughts.
Over the next few hours, according to Commission on Human Rights Chair Chito Gascon, who arrived to assist in diffusing the situation, there was an “exchange of views over who would continue to take care of the two minor witnesses in Kian’s case.”
“With the help of [Caloocan Bishop Pablo Virgilio David], it was clarified who would continue to provide the witnesses with protection,” he added.
The CHR chair said that staying under the protection of the Church was the wish of both minors, who remained ready to cooperate with law enforcement until Delos Santos’s case reached court.
Both the father and two minors are now under the custody of the Church and are in good spirits, according to lawyer June Ambrosio of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, who was also at San Roque Cathedral on Saturday night. /atm
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