Baguio students remember Kian in UP candle light rite
BAGUIO CITY—- About a hundred students of the University of the Philippines Baguio gathered for a candle-light ceremony on Thursday night (Aug. 16), the city leg of a nationwide indignation rally on the first year anniversary of the shooting of 17-year-old Kian Delos Santos.
Delos Santos was shot during a supposed clash with Caloocan City policemen, who believed the grade 12 pupil was a drug peddler.
He was one of three teens killed in August during violent police operations.
At about 6 p.m. at the campus lobby, UP students laid down candles around a huge poster that said, “End State Fascism.” Other students wielded messages like “value human rights, value human lives.”
The students said extrajudicial killings have worsened under the administration of President Duterte, with 20 people dying each day under his brutal war on drugs.
In Manila, opposition senators also marked the first death anniversary of Kian by blasting anew the war on illegal drugs.
Detained Senator Leila de Lima, one of the bloody campaign’s staunchest critics, said in a statement that the murder of Delos Santos opened the eyes of the Filipinos to the culture of violence in the country.
For his part, Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan, Liberal Party president, asked the government to go after big-time drug peddlers.
“It is a farce and a tragedy that one year after, another P6.8-billion worth of shabu has slipped past the Bureau of Customs, even as the guilty in the P6.4-billion shabu smuggling last year have yet to be punished. Go after the big-time smugglers of illegal drugs,” he said.
In a separate statement, Senator Bam Aquino, another LP member, said the Philippines should not remain silent on the spate of killings.
“Ilan pa ba ang kailangang mapaslang bago natin makita na ang lipunang dumadanak ang dugo ng mahihirap ay puno lang ng pagdurusa at hindi makalilikha ng maliwanag na bukas?” Aquino said.
“Huwag sana tayong maging manhid sa patayan at karahasan na nangyayari sa ating mga lansangan,” he added.
Police claimed that Delos Santos was a drug runner and insisted that he fought back during a police operation.
Delos Santos died due to a gunshot wound in the head, an indication that he was shot while kneeling and defenseless, the prosecution said. With a report from Darryl Esguerra
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