The ‘Oplan Galugad’ in Caloocan City which resulted to cops killing 17-year-old Kian Loyd delos Santos, drew mixed reactions to the current administration’s ‘war on drugs’, one from the Vice-President who called for an “independent investigation” into the death of the teenager.
Announced through her Sunday radio program “BISErbisyong Leni,” aired on RMN-dzXL 558 kHz, just a few hours after she visited Kian’s wake in Caloocan on Sunday morning, Vice-President Leni Robredo said that an “independent investigation” must be conducted due to the family’s lack of confidence with the current one and to ensure that the tragic incident won’t happen again.
“Yung atin lang ninanais, sana magkaroon naman ng independent na imbestigasyon, kasi lalong—alam mo iyon? Kapag hindi kampante iyong magulang sa klase ng imbestigasyon, hindi nabibigyan ng parang closure iyong kaso, at baka patuloy na nangyayari iyong ganitong nangyari kay Kian [What we only want is to have an independent investigation, because the more — you know? If the parents are not confident with the kind of investigation being done, the case would not be given some kind of closure and what happened to Kian might continue],” Robredo said.
She also agreed to the severity of the drug problem in the country but urged the Duterte administration anew to not do it inhumanely, to do it without denying human rights, especially those of the innocent victims.
“Sang-ayon naman tayo na malaki talaga iyong suliranin sa ilegal na droga, pero baka iyong pamamaraan, mayroong mas mabuti, na hindi iyong karapatang pantao na iyong nakasalalay, iyong mga inosente nabibiktima [We agree that we have a huge problem with illegal drugs, but maybe the ways, there are better ones that do not put human rights at stake and won’t victimize the innocent],” she said.
According to the police spot report, Kian fired a gun at the authorities which prompted the latter to fire back, killing the teenager.
However, closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage of the incident showed otherwise. In the footage, Kian was seen to be blindfolded and carried by two cops.
“Ta’s nakita namin sa video ng barangay, bitbit siya. Pa’no siya nakipagbarilan, bitbit nila. Piniringan daw ‘yung mata. Pinipilit nila magturo ng mga drug pusher eh wala namang alam ang anak ko,” [And we saw in the video of the Barangay, he was carried. How could he have exchanged gun fires when he was carried? He was blindfolded. He was forced to pinpoint drug pushers but my son didn’t know about it,]” Saldy delos Santos, Kian’s father, told Unang Balita (GMA).
In a phone interview with ABS-CBN News, Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Ronald Dela Rosa said that there is truth in Kian’s involvement in illegal drugs.
According to Dela Rosa, Kian acted as a “drug courier” for his father and uncles. This is why his name surfaced as one of the drug suspects in the area.
“Biktima lang ang bata at ginagamit ng ama. Bigyan siya ng pagkakataon na magbagong-buhay at matuto na mali ang ginagawa niya. Sumusunod siya sa utos ng kanyang pusher na ama. Bata pa, magbago pa yan [The kid was just a victim and used by his father. He should have been given a chance to change and to learn that what he was doing is wrong. He was following orders from his father who is a pusher, he was young, he would have changed],” Dela Rosa said in the same interview.
Dela Rosa added that according to the reports of the intelligence community, their neighbors are only scared to speak against the delos Santoses because Saldy is notorious in the neighborhood.
The PNP Chief expressed his disappointment with the results of the police operation, especially the death of the Grade 11 student but not on the operation itself as, according to him, there were intelligence that evidently pointed Kian as source of drug in the area.