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Duterte: No pardon for cops in Kian’s death

By GENALYN D. KABILING, with a report from Jeffrey G. Damicog

President Duterte is not taking hook, line and sinker the police information claiming that a teenager slain in a recent police raid was a drug courier.

The President said intelligence information on 17-year-old Kian Loyd Delos Santos could be wrong and might not even be used in court proceeding.

“No, intel is intel,” the President said during a media interview in Malacañang last Monday night, when asked if he believes Delos Santos was a drug runner as claimed by the police.

“There is no probative value. You cannot use it in court and to the people. Those are just information gathered by the police and the military. It is an internal thing. Hindi mo masabi na, ‘Itong intel na ito’. Maya-maya mali iyan,” he added.

The President has assured that policemen behind the killing of Delos Santos would rot in jail if proven the incident was a rubout.

Duterte endorsed an investigation into the death of Delos Santos during anti-drug raid in Caloocan, and ordered the arrest of the cops involved.

“Kung talagang rubout kung ganun, maasahan ninyo, They have to answer for it. They have to go to jail so I am sorry,” he said.

Asked if he would pardon Delos Santos’ killers, Duterte said: “No because I saw the evidence.”

Delos Santos was among those killed in last week’s massive anti-drug operations in Metro Manila. His death triggered public outrage after CCTV footage contradicted the official police account that he fired at the arresting cops first.

Duterte said he saw the CCTV footage showing Delos Santos being dragged by some police officers. He said the video must be scrutinized to determine if it was a “portrayal of the true incident.”

Nonetheless, the President reminded anew policemen to keep the anti-drug operations within the bounds of the law.

He said cops are authorized to shoot at the suspects if they resist arrest but are not allowed to commit murder.

“You have no duty to murder a person. To arrest him, and if there is resistance to overcome his arrest, and in the process killing him, ‘yan ang performance of duty,” he said.

“Pero ‘yung arestado na, nakaupo na diyan, barilin mo, that’s another thing. That would be murder or homicide,” he added.

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II has refused to remove a Caloocan City prosecutor who made prejudiced statements against the Grade 11 student.

Aguirre reacted to the call of Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon to remove Caloocan City Prosecutor Darwin Canete from handling the case of Delos Santos for saying that the 17-year-old boy was not totally innocent of illegal drugs trade.

“I simply cannot order the relief of Prosecutor Darwin Canete from the case of Kian De Los Santos. In the first place he is not handling the case. No case has yet been filed,” Aguirre explained in a statement.

“How can I relieve a prosecutor from a case which he is not handling? How can I relieve him from handling a case that has yet to be filed?,” he pointed out.

The secretary said “for cases of death under investigation in Caloocan, he is tasked to gather the relevant factual antecedents of such cases upon the invitation of the police.”

“And that is all that he did in the case of Kian de los Santos’ death,” he said.

Once criminal complaints against policemen involved in the death of Delos Santos, the secretary said the case is raffled off to prosecutors.

“And Prosecutor Darwin Canete, the one who gathered the facts of such a case, is no longer included in the raffle of the case,” Aguirre assured.