By JEFFREY G. DAMICOG ● JEL SANTOS
Murder and torture complaints were filed yesterday before the Department of Justice (DoJ) against the policemen involved in the killing of Grade 11 student Kian Loyd delos Santos.
Assisted by Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) Chief Persida Acosta, Kian’s parents – Saldy and Lorenza – filed the complaints against the suspects more than a week following his death on August 16.
“The wheels of justice will turn now, run its course,” Acosta told reporters.
“We hope this will be resolved expeditiously by the DoJ for not more than 60 days from today,” she added.
The charges were filed against Chief Inspector Amor Cerillo, the relieved commander of Caloocan City Police Community Precinct 7; PO1 Arnel Oares, PO1 Jerwin Cruz, and PO1 Jeremias Pereda.
Tagged as a drug runner, Kian was killed by policemen during an anti-drugs operation in his neighborhood in Barangay 160, Caloocan City, on the August 16.
Kian’s family disputed the claims of police that Kian resisted arrest by firing a .45-caliber pistol and that two sachets of shabu were found in his possession.
Acosta expressed confidence that there is a strong case against the respondents.
“Malakas because of the help of the CCTV,” she said.
“There are witnesses that we presented today,” added Acosta. She said they have so far three witnesses including one
‘Choleng’ who saw policemen dragging Kian that night.
“Mayroon pa kaming isa na cellphone mismo ng eyewitness. We might be retrieving the footages, whatever footages are there ,” she added.
The PAO chief also hopes to get the testimonies of other witnesses taken by Sen. Risa Hontiveros.
“We hope that the Senate, Sen. Ping Lacson, will turn over today sa DoJ para matapos itong preliminary investigation,” Acosta said.
Apart from the criminal complaints, Acosta said administrative charges also will be filed before the National Police Commission (NAPOLCOM) against the four policemen.
“Baka next week pumunta kami ng Napolocom for the admin,” Acosta told reporters.
Despite the striking pronouncements of Justice Secretary Vitalliano Aguirre II on Delos Santos’s case, the grieving family of the slain teenager said they still trust that justice would be served because of the recent statements of President Duterte and the support of various groups.
Recently, the justice secretary has questioned the credibility of the three witnesses, two of them minors, who have been been placed under the protection of Sen. Rissa Hontiveros, a member of the opposition.
Hontiveros said that the witnesses sought her for protection due to threats they have been receiving.
Randy Delos Santos, 38, uncle of Kian, said that their family is still optimistic that the policemen involved in the death of Kian would be held accountable.
He said that they are holding on the promise of President Duterte, and the support of many groups.