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Teen who wanted to be cop killed in anti-drugs operation

By JEL SANTOS, with a report from Kate Louise Javier & Francis T. Wakefield

An overseas Filipino worker (OFWs) is seeking justice for her 17-year-old son who was killed by policemen on allegations that he resisted arrest during an anti-drugs operation in Caloocan City Wednesday night.

“Gusto namin ng hustiya! cried Lorenza delos Santos, 43, who came home from Saudi Arabia early yesterday morning to attend the funeral of her slain son, Kian Loyd delos Santos, Grade 11 student whose dream was to become a cop.

Caloocan Police claimed that he was a drug runner, but Barangay 160 officials said the student was not included in their drug watchlist.

Lorenza, a domestic helper in Saudi Arabia, said that she kneeled before her employer and begged to just allow her to go home to the Philippines.

“Humagulgol po ako nang malakas matapos ibalita sa akin na patay na si Kian. Lumuhod talaga ako at nagmakaawa po ako sa amo ko para makauwi lang,” she said in between sobs.

“Nagkakatulong po ako sa ibang bansa dahil nag-aaral at may pangarap ang mga anak ko. Tapos, ito lang gagawin ng mga pulis sa isa kong anak,” she added.

The mother of Kian said that her son wanted to become a cop someday. His dream, she said, kept him in school.

“Gusto niyang maging pulis. May pangarap siya. Pero hindi niya alam na pulis din pala ang kikitil sa kanya,” Lorenza said.

KIAN’S PLEA
A 13-year-old witness, in a recorded interview, claimed she saw Kian being punched and slapped by four policemen. She said they were not wearing uniforms but all armed with guns.

“Nakita ko po na sinampal at sinuntok nila si Kian nung wala silang makuha nung kinapkapan siya. Wala silang nakuha kaya nagalit sila,” the witness said.

The witness said Kian pleaded for his life. “Tama na po! Tama na po! May test pa ako bukas!”

She said that the policemen grabbed and pulled him. Such was confirmed by a closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage of Barangay 160.

Seen on the footage was a man, who was identified by witnesses as Kian, being manhandled by policemen as they passed by a basketball court. The men playing at the court said that it was Kian.

Meanwhile, the spot report released by Caloocan Police, stated that Kian resisted arrest by pulling out a gun and firing at policemen.

The witness said she later followed Kian to the place where he was brought, and there she heard one of the policemen telling Kian to fire the gun. He was brought near the dead end of a lot where there’s no light, she said.

“’Ito ang baril. Iputok mo tapos tumakbo ka’ Iyan po sinabi nung isang pulis,” she recalled.

Kian, she said, did not follow the cops. He instead ran away.

“Doon po nakita ko na si Kian na tumatakbo. Pinagbabaril na po siyan nun. Nanginginig po ako sa takot,” the witness said.

APPEAL TO DUTERTE
“Pangulong Duterte, sana naman ay siguraduhin ng mga pulis na hindi inosente ang pinapatay nila,” the mother said.
Lorenza said that she is calling the attention of President Duterte on the unjustifiable killing of her son, adding her son was “killed like a pig.”

She said their family was supporting his war against drugs, but because of what happened to her son, her eyes were opened that even innocent lives are at risk.

“Ayaw din po namin sa droga, Pangulong Duterte. Sinusuportahan ko po namin dati ang kampanya niyo laban sa bawal na gamot, pero ngayon, nabuksan na po ang mata namin na pati pala mga inosente ay nadadamay,” she said.

BATO ORDERS PROBE
Philippine Natonal Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa has ordered a probe into the killing of Kian.

In an interview during the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) celebration of the 116th Police Service Anniversary at Camp Bagong Diwa in Bicutan, Taguig City, Dela Rosa assured that he will leave no stone unturned to determine if Caloocan City policemen indeed summarily executed the victim.

“May imbestigasyon. Papaimbestigahan natin iyang mga ganyan at hindi natin iyan palalampasin. Isipin mo bata papatayin mo?,” Dela Rosa said.

“Anong klaseng pulis ka? Pulis kaba? Pinapatay mo iyung bata? How old, 17? Ganon ka na ba kawalang puso, what if ganon ang gagawin? Kung ikaw pulis ka gaganunin kapatid mo kaya ma-take iyun na babarilin ng walang ka rason rason?,”
he added.

Meanwhile, Senior Supt. Chitlo Bersaluna, Caloocan Police chief, said the Delos Santos family should appeal in court if they feel that there was injustice in the killing of Kian.

“Meron po tayong husgado. May karapatan po ang mga feeling na-agrabyado,” Bersaluna said in a radio interview.

4 COPS RELIEVED

National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) chief Director Oscar Albayalde announced in a radio interview yesterday that four cops, including the Police Community Precinct (PCP-7) commander, were immediately relieved for the death of Kian.

“Ni-restrict natin sila (involved policemen) sa ating HQs (headquarters),” Bersaluna confirmed.

Yesterday, the National Police Commission (Napolcom) went to the area to investigate the case.

Also, Commission on Human Rights arrived in the area and probed what happened to Kian.

Napolcom and CHR took a copy of the CCTV footage and interviewed witnesses.

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