3 policemen guilty of killing Kian delos Santos — court
Police officers involved in the death of Kian delos Santos were found guilty of murder by the Caloocan City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 125 on Thursday.
PO3 Arnel Oares, PO1 Jeremias Pereda and PO1 Jerwin Cruz were convicted of killing Delos Santos in August 2017.
“In Criminal Case No. C-102925, the court finds accused […] guilty of the crime of murder defined and penalized under Article 248 of the Revised Penal Code as amended by Republic Act No. 7659,” the decision penned by RTC Judge Roldolfo Azucena Jr. said.
The three officers were acquitted of planting evidence on Delos Santos, as the prosecution failed to prove the accusations against the officers.
All three were sentenced to reclusion perpetua without eligibility of parole. The Supreme Court has defined reclusion perpetua as “imprisonment for at least thirty years after which the convict becomes eligible for pardon.”
A maximum sentence of 40 years imprisonment without parole is now being imposed after death penalty was prohibited in 2006.
Aside from that, they were directed to pay Delos Santos’ family P100,000 as civil indemnity, P100,000 for moral damages, P45,000 for actual damages, and P100,000 for exemplary damages.
Meanwhile, an alias warrant has been issued against police asset Renato Perez Loveras alias “Nono”, who is still currently at-large.
Delos Santos — a Grade 11 student — was believed to be part of the illegal drug trade although he was not the initial target of a police operation in Barangay 160, Caloocan City.
Police claimed that Delos Santos resisted arrest and opened fire at them when he was apprehended, but closed circuit television (CCTV) camera footage showed lawmen dragging the victim before he was found shot to death.
The death of Delos Santos drew widespread condemnation of President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on illegal drugs, but former officials of the Northern Police District (NPD) claimed that Delos Santos was a known drug-runner in his community.
Since Duterte took office in 2016, the administration’s drug war has claimed almost 5,000 lives since he took office in 2016, according to official government data from the Philippine National Police and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).
However, opposition groups place the number at around 11,000 to 30,000. Duterte is currently facing complaints before the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity. /cbb
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.