If found guilty, President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday night vowed to punish police officers behind the killing of a 17-year old Kian Delos Santos in an anti-drug operation in Caloocan City last week.
In a press conference in Malacañang on Monday night, Duterte said that he saw the tapes on TV and he agreed that there should be an investigation.
“Should the investigation point to liabilities by one, two or all, there will be a prosecution and they have to go to jail if convicted. That, I can assure you. There will be no luto-luto,” he added.
Since Duterte is the commander-in-chief of the police and military, he said that he would be “the person to condemn” the police. He also said that if the policemen responsible for the teenager’s death are found guilty of “rubout”, they will be sent to jail.
“I would be the last person to condemn them without a valid investigation. Better kung talagang ‘rubout’, kung ganoon maasahan niyo [Better if it’s really a ‘rubout’, you can assure], they have to answer for it, they have to go to jail,” the President told the reporters in Malacañang.
Duterte said he was able to view the closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage of Delos Santos being hauled by police officers to the alley moments before he was killed. The said footage convinced the President that it was not the usual case of a suspect who fought back as supposed by police.
Witnesses at the scene said that the police gave a gun to the teenager and told him to run for his life before he was shot dead.
Right after watching the tape of Delos Santos alleged dragging, the President instructed Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa to catch the policemen involved in Delos Santos’ death and put them to jail.
Duterte, however, said that he has chosen to not speak too much about the minor’s death since the Department of Justice (DOJ) has already ordered an investigation.
“The most prudent thing for me to do is to shut up and wait for the result of the investigation.” The President said.
Meanwhile, Duterte stressed that he will not visit the wake of Delos Santos, noting that people might misinterpret his visit as a chance for him to apologize to the bereaved family because the accusation against the police is true.
“Then I will be putting so many pressures sa mga pulis,” Duterte said.
“Matataranta na sila niyan. I cannot do that because ang organization sa PNP is under me. I cannot condemn them without validation [They will panic. I cannot do that because the organization of PNP is under me].” He added.