Robredo: After conviction of Kian’s killers, probe ‘war on drugs’ next
Vice President Leni Robredo believes that following the conviction on Thursday of police officers who murdered Kian delos Santos, a thorough investigation on the administration’s war on illegal drugs should follow next.
“Dapat itong maging simula ng isang malalim na imbestigasyon, dahil ito ay nagpapatunay na may malaking problemang kailangan ayusin sa kampanya ng pamahalaan kontra sa droga,” Robredo, who is currently in Nepal for a speaking engagement, said in a statement.
“Ito ang tanging paraan para mabigyan ng hustisya ang mga ‘di makatarungang napaslang tulad ni Kian, at maiwasan ang patuloy na pagpaslang sa mga iba pang walang sala,” she added.
She also said that the guilty verdict against PO3 Arnel Oares, PO1 Jeremias Pereda and PO1 Jerwin Cruz stress the importance for law enforcers to avoid abuses in their implementation of the government’s “war on drugs.”
“Hindi nararapat na tanggapin na lamang natin na lahat ng pinapatay ay “nanlaban.” Kailangang sundin ang itinatakda ng Konstitusyon at mga batas sa pagpapatupad ng “war on drugs,” upang maprotektahan ang taumbayan laban sa pang-aabuso,” she noted.
“Tagumpay ng bayan ang hatol na murder sa mga pulis na pumatay kay Kian delos Santos, ngunit nais nating ulitin ang matagal na nating itinatanong: Ilan ba sa libo-libong pinatay sa “drug war” ang walang sala tulad ni Kian?” she asked.
Delos Santos was shot dead by Oares and Pereda while Cruz stood guard in August 2017, during an anti-drug operation by the Caloocan City Police. Police claim that the victim resisted arrest and opened fire at them, but witnesses and CCTV footage pointed that Delos Santos was dragged and was shot by police officers.
Oares, Pareda and Cruz were sentenced to reclusion perpetua without eligibility of parole. They were also directed by the court to pay Kian’s family P300,000 in damages. The “asset” used by the police officers in the operation remains at large and is now the subject of an alias warrant.
Official numbers from the Philippine National Police and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency place the death toll from the “war against drugs” at around 5,000, while human rights groups say the as many as 30,000 have died in the campaign against illegal drugs. /muf
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