PAO lawyers push trial for 4 cops in Kian delos Santos killing
The Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) on Monday insisted that the four Caloocan City policemen tagged in the killing of Grade 12 student Kian Loyd delos Santos should face trial, saying no less than the Philippine National Police has determined that they should be indicted.
In their reply to a police statement on the case, PAO lawyers told the Department of Justice (DOJ) that Chief Insp. Amor Cerillo, PO3 Arnel Oares and Police Officers 1 Jeremias Pereda and Jerwin Cruz should be held accountable for murder and violation of Republic Act No. 9745, or the Anti-Torture Act of 2009, for shooting Delos Santos during a drug raid on Aug. 16.
They also asked the DOJ panel of prosecutors not to give weight to the police officials’ claims that they were wrongfully accused of the crime and that the killing of the 17-year-old was justified.
“There is more than sufficient evidence to prove the culpability of the respondents,” said the PAO lawyers, who were representing Delos Santos’ parents Saldy and Lorenza delos Santos.
For one, the PAO said the PNP’s Internal Affairs Service (IAS) concluded in its Sept. 4 precharge investigation report that Delos Santos’ arrest was illegal since he was not caught committing a crime.
The PAO lawyers said the IAS also noted that a surveillance camera footage showed that the policemen did not bring Delos Santos to a police vehicle after he was arrested in violation of the PNP’s protocol.
Instead, the boy was taken near the Tullahan River where he was shot dead by the policemen, who claimed they were only forced to kill Delos Santos after he resisted arrest and opened fired at them, the IAS said.
The PAO said the police officers’ actions were a “clear transgression of the established rules and principles of the PNP Operational Procedures in conducting police operation.”
“The honorable body cannot turn a blind eye on the findings of the PNP-IAS of the existence of conspiracy among [the] respondents,” the PAO lawyers said.
“The claim of the [parents] that their son… has been unjustifiably killed is bolstered by the findings of the PNP-IAS that there is evidence to show that [the] respondents… unlawfully and unjustifiably [used] their firearms to shoot Kian delos Santos,” they added.
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