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‘Without a fight’

By: Robert B. Roque, Jr.

The Caloocan City policemen insist that Kian Loyd delos Santos, the 17-year-old 11th grader whom they killed, was involved in illegal drugs.

After the slaying hit the headlines, Director-General Ronald dela Rosa, Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief, said Delos Santos delivered drugs for his father and uncle and presented a professed pusher who claimed to have had transactions with the victim. Next, the cops said Delos Santos sold 10 grams of shabu to his customers every day on a regular basis.

Most people, however, believe these cops are frantic to find justification for killing Delos Santos. They insist that Kian resisted arrest and shot it out during their anti-narcotics drive.

However, the CCTV video footage showed policemen dragging Delos Santos to the place where he was eventually shot.

The same footage sparked the anger of lawmakers, celebrities, human rights groups and majority of the people leading to the condemnation of the cops involved in the operation.

More importantly, results of the autopsy conducted by the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) forensic laboratory showed that Delos Santos was on the ground when he sustained a gunshot wound to his back, to the back of his left ear and one inside his left ear from the shooter who was standing up.

Doctor Erwin Erfe, chief of the PAO Forensic Laboratory, said it would appear as an intentional killing in forensics parlance. There were no indications that Delos Santos fought back.

He also questioned why the gun supposedly used by Delos Santos to fire at the cops was found near his left hand when the boy was right-handed. It was allegedly impossible for a right-handed person to shoot using his left hand unless he was a trained shooter or law enforcer.

Firing Line has been supportive of the administration’s anti-drug campaign. With addicts and pushers in jail, it would eventually result in a much safer environment for the public.

But the spate of killings from these police operations now includes the death of a teenager like Delos Santos who wanted to be a cop and was described by his family, neighbors and friends as a clean-living youth.

Should we now be wary not only of the addicts and pushers but the police as well who might attack us in case their asset points an accusing hand and says we are involved in illegal drugs?

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SHORT BURSTS. For comments or reactions, email firingline@ymail.com or tweet @Side_View. Read current and past issues of this column at http://www.tempo.com.ph/category/opinion/firing-line/

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