Why Kian’s death is a breaking point for Duterte’s drug war
Autopsy shows that the 17-year-old was intentionally killed by police
Aug 22, 2017
Evidence points to the “intentional killing” of 17-year-old Kian Lloyd delos Santos, the latest victim of President Rodrigo Duterte’s ongoing war on drugs, who was shot dead on Aug. 16 in an antidrug operation in Caloocan City.
According to a report by the Philippine Daily Inquirer (PDI), the autopsy conducted on Aug. 20 by the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) suggests that the teenager did not fight back and that he was intentionally shot and killed.
This is contrary to previous reports that said delos Santos fought back, forcing police to shoot him. “There’s no evidence that would back up [the policemen’s story] that he fought back. He was lying face down, his shooter was standing above him,” said PAO medicolegal officer Erwin Erfe in the PDI report.
“Delos Santos’ body did not have bruises or contusion[s] that would suggest he fought back. Instead, the boy sustained injuries in the stomach, which suggest he was hit by something hard,” he added, explaining that the Grade 12 student was shot three times.
Reports also showed that “the gun used was a 9mm service firearm issued to the members of the Philippine National Police (PNP)” and that the teen was killed after his arrest.
The PNP, meanwhile, defended itself by citing intelligence reports that tagged delos Santos as a “newly identified” drug runner, another PDI report said.
But even President Rodrigo Duterte has expressed the possibility that these intelligence reports may be wrong. He also affirmed the need for further investigation, after having watched the tapes released by media.
“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 (You just can’t say, ‘this intel,’ later on it could be wrong),” Duterte said in a press conference held in Malacañang last night.
Duterte also warned everyone—police included—that people behind the crime will “go to jail,” if investigations prove that delos Santos was indeed killed by mistake.
“If it is really rubout, they (police) have to answer for it. They have to go to jail,” he stressed.
Justice for Kian
Delos Santos’ untimely death yet again sparked the anger of protesters, urging them to take to the streets yesterday and head to the People Power Monument “to condemn the the Duterte administration’s bloody and brutal war on drugs and to call for an “impartial” investigation on the killings,” PDI reported yesterday.
Although the deaths have not stopped and there have been younger victims lost to the drug war in the past year, Kian was a tipping point of sorts.
“He has become a central figure because his death is the only one that has evidence [against the police],” said Shamah Bulangis, secretary general of Akbayan Youth.
Aside from Akbayan Youth, other groups present at the demonstration were “Millennials Against Dictators, Block Marcos, Youth Resist, Student Council Alliance of the Philippines, and The Silent Majority, among others.”
Header image courtesy of Bullit Marquez/AP Photo via Philippine Daily Inquirer
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