3 cops convicted in Kian killing beat 15-day deadline for appeal
The three policemen found guilty of killing 17-year-old Kian delos Santos in an anticriminality operation last year have filed separate motions appealing their conviction.
Former Caloocan policemen PO3 Arnel Oares and Police Officers 1 Jeremias Pereda and Jerwin Cruz filed their motions for reconsideration on Dec. 14, the last day of a 15-day deadline set by Judge Rodolfo Azucena Jr. of the Caloocan City Regional Trial Court Branch 125.
On Nov. 29, in what was hailed as the first conviction of policemen tasked to carry out President Rodrigo Duterte’s drug war, Azucena sentenced the three accused to reclusion perpetua, or up to 40 years in prison without parole, for killing Delos Santos at Barangay 160 in Libis Baesa District, on Aug. 16, 2017.
According to Pereda and Cruz, the prosecutors “failed miserably” in establishing their guilt “beyond reasonable doubt.” They also claimed that the judge failed to take note of the “contradicting statements of the witnesses.”
The two policemen said that Oares’ admission that he was the one who shot Delos Santos should have absolved them from the murder charges. They maintained that they did not take part in the shootout that led to the teenager’s death.
No proof of conspiracy
“There was no prosecution witness who testified how a conspiracy transpired among the accused. The prosecution relied heavy on the CCTV camera footage. However, the prosecution failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the person referred to in the video was Kian delos Santos. Clearly both Pereda and Cruz did not kill Kian,” their motion read.
In his separate motion for reconsideration, Oares argued the same points but appealed only for partial reconsideration. He said the court was not able to take cognizance of the presumption of innocence as well as the presumption of regularity in the performance of his official duties.
“The negative result of the paraffin test on Kian delos Santos does not prove that he did not engage Oares in a shootout. It was uncontested that the test on Kian was conducted several days after he had undergone complete autopsy examination,” Oares added.
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