Kian could not be that innocent, says fiscal
“Too far-fetched,” Caloocan City prosecutor Darwin Cañete said of the possibility that Grade 11 student Kian delos Santos was a “totally innocent boy planted (with) P16,000 worth of drugs” by the police.
“I am not saying they did not kill the kid. The (police) should be held accountable if ever it’s a proven EJK (extrajudicial killing). But making the kid super innocent? I am not buying it,” Cañete told the Inquirer in an interview.
“EJKs are wrong, and if proven, the (police) should be punished. But use facts, not emotions,” he added.
Cañete, a Duterte supporter, took to social media and dissed media’s coverage of the killing of Delos Santos whom police described as a shootout during an anti-illegal drugs operation on Wednesday night in Caloocan.
The Caloocan prosecutor first gained public attention in June when his social media account encouraged the killing of “yellow forces,” people or groups critical of President Duterte.
Cañete’s June 13 post read: “Fact is, YELLOWS are EVIL. You don’t talk to them, YOU KILL THEM. After you kill one, you find another to DESTROY. Like COCKROACHES.”
‘Too black and white’
While indirectly saying that the grade 12 student could not be all that innocent, Cañete said: “The media narrative is too black and white. Without evidence, it would be unfair to ascribe which one is guilty or innocent.”
As to the skin markings, (there is) “no way for us to know. I leave that to the expert investigators,” he added.
“It is two-sided. The police have a right to self-defense but also the duty to avoid unnecessary loss of life. We cannot second guess what is there on the ground. We can only pray that they make the right call every time,” Cañete said.
“Let me put it this way…If there were no minors committing crimes, we wouldn’t have Kiko’s Juvenile Justice Law now, would we?” he said.
He was referring to Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006 (Republic Act 9344), authored by Sen. Francis Pangilinan.
The law states that a child who is 15 years old or younger at the time of the commission of the office shall remain exempted from criminal liability. The offender, however, will be subjected to an intervention program from the government.
President Rodrigo Duterte, who has often criticized this law, has proposed lowering the current age of criminal liability from 15 to nine years old.
At scene of the crime
“Always interesting to see the kind of martyrs yellow media picks. Specifically if you know the stuff they conveniently downplay,” Cañete said in one of his Facebook posts on Friday.
Cañete said he was called an hour after the incident to observe the Scene of the Crime Operatives processing the crime scene, and noticed that the skin markings on the boy made him “believe the sachets (of shabu) were lodged there for quite some time even before the shooting.”
He added that policemen do not plant over 10 grams of “shabu” (crystal meth) on random strangers.
“For what purpose? These are PO1s, low rankers. (Are) you telling me (that) in the short span that they’ve been policemen, they already have a reason to kill the kid,” he said in a text message.
“Why (pick) P16K worth of drugs when a fraction will suffice if the intent is to plant?” he added.
Asked about the CCTV footage that had captured two policemen dragging Delos Santos, the prosecutor asked, “Are we even sure it was the kid on CCTV? The CCTV should be enhanced before (people start) jumping to conclusions,” he added.
In an earlier comment on Facebook, Cañete said netizens should wait for the Senate hearing on August 22, when “our policemen will present their side. It is better to wait … so the full truth can be revealed.”
Chief Supt. Roberto Fajardo of the Northern Police District earlier said that reports identified Delos Santos as being involved in illegal drugs. He also described their ongoing operations as “normal.”
He said: “You know, in these times, young and old get used (in drug operations). Hindi sila nauubos. ”