Palace: Kian death a wake-up call for government
The death of 17-year-old Kian Loyd delos Santos during a drug operation in Caloocan City was a “wake-up call” for the government, Malacañang said Friday.
“Kian’s case is a wake-up call for the need to reform government institutions, even law enforcement agencies—a challenge that the President voiced from the beginning of his campaign for the presidency,” Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said in a statement.
Delos Santos was shot dead on the night of August 16, by police officers who claimed that the minor had fired at them when he saw them coming.
But several witnesses, however, said the police had beaten up the boy, gave him a gun and forced him to run before shooting him.
President Rodrigo Duterte has said the killing of Delos Santos was not in the performance of duty of the police.
He has vowed that police officers involved in the minor’s killing would rot in jail if proven guilty.
“The President has clearly stated that the war against drugs is not a license to break the law,” Abella said.
“He has already directed a fair and impartial investigation on the death of Kian de los Santos as he assures the public that he would not tolerate any illegal act or wrongdoing committed by erring policemen,” he added.
But Malacañang said the government’s no-nonsense war on drugs would continue despite criticisms from human rights groups.
“Those found responsible would be held accountable before the law. This incident, however, would not deter the Administration from the task of reducing criminality and illegal drugs,” Abella said.
During his second State of the Nation Address (Sona), Duterte said his war on drugs would be “unrelenting.”
“The campaign against illegal drugs would continue. As the President has declared time and again, it will be pursued relentlessly,” he said.
On Friday, lawyers from the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) filed before the Department of Justice (DOJ) criminal complaint against the Caloocan police officers reportedly involved in the killing of Delos Santos.
“We hope this serves as a reminder to the PNP personnel to follow the established PNP policies and operational procedures; that their personnel are properly guided in the conduct of police operations, particularly in the adherence to the rule of law and due process,” Abella said. JPV
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