Kian autopsy points to ‘intentional killing’
Contrary to police claims, 17-year-old Kian Loyd delos Santos was shot in the ear while lying prone in an alley, his killer standing over him, according to an autopsy conducted on Sunday by the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO).
All evidence point to “intentional killing” of the teenager during an antidrug operation on Wednesday in Caloocan City, said PAO medicolegal officer Erwin Erfe.
“There’s no evidence that would back up [the policemen’s story] that he fought back. He was lying face down, his shooter was standing above him,” Erfe said.
The gun used was a 9mm service firearm issued to members of the Philippine National Police.
Shot 3 times
Erfe said Delos Santos was shot thrice — the first penetrated his left back and pierced his lungs, and the second and the third hit the back and front of his left ear and shattered his brain.
The first and second shots were fired by the same person, he said, but he added that investigators were still trying to establish the position of the man who fired the third bullet.
“Delos Santos’ body did not have bruises or contusion that would suggest he fought back. Instead, the boy sustained injuries in the stomach, which suggest he was hit by something hard,” Erfe said.
PAO chief Persida Acosta said Delos Santos could no longer speak, but his wounds showed how he was killed after his arrest.
“These wounds will speak for him, and the wounds show there’s intentional killing,” Acosta said, adding a criminal case would be filed against Delos Santos’ assailants.
PNP Director General Ronald dela Rosa has ordered the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) to look into the death of Delos Santos in the drug operation amid an intensified antidrug campaign that has sparked widespread condemnation by the Catholic Church hierarchy and calls for a Senate inquiry.
“Chief PNP was very much dismayed with the result of the operations which resulted in the killing of the minor,” Senior Supt. Dionardo Carlos said in a briefing on Monday.
The PNP spokesperson said eyewitnesses had come out, disputing the police version of the incident.
“That’s why we have an investigation to find out the truth,” Carlos said.
The police claimed Delos Santos, a Grade 12 student, resisted arrest and fired at the police officers, prompting them to fire back.
But video footage of the incident showed that the police officers had already arrested the boy before the supposed shootout.
The PNP Internal Affairs Service is also conducting its own investigation.
The Caloocan City police chief, Senior Supt. Chito Bersaluna, and three other policemen who were involved in the incident, were relieved from their posts.
Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II on Monday said he was considering enlisting the relatives of Delos Santos and other witnesses in the witness protection program (WPP) of the Department of Justice.
“If they apply, we will consider putting them under the WPP,” Aguirre said in a text message to reporters.
He has directed the National Bureau of Investigation to look into the circumstances surrounding Delos Santos’ death. —With reports from Frances Mangosing and Marlon Ramos