MANILA — A new witness to the murder of Kian Delos Santos, a 17-year-old student killed in anti-drug operations in Caloocan City on August 16, identified the two cops who allegedly pulled the trigger.
During the second hearing into Kian’s slay, the 31-year-old witness, identified only as alias “MC,” put the blame on PO3 Arnel Oares and PO1 Jeremias Pereda, who are already facing charges.
Another cop, PO1 Jerwin Cruz, also linked to Kian’s murder, was not identified by MC.
The three policemen remained evasive with their answers when Senator Risa Hontiveros directly asked them if they were indeed responsible for Kian’s death. Again, they invoked their right against self-incrimination like they did during the first appearance in the Senate probe.
Chief Insp. Amor Cerillo, the precinct commander during the operation, earlier revealed that based on ballistic tests, it was Oares who shot Kian.
Hontiveros asked him if the ballistic tests were “reliable” and Cerillo replied with a “yes.”
“We can trust the crime laboratory result taken from the firearms of my men,” Cerillo said.
Another teenager was killed in Caloocan City two days after Kian was killed, 19-year-old Carl Angelo Arnaiz. Reports showed that he was killed in a similar way as Kian — bullet wounds in the back.
However, the Philippine National Police (PNP) claimed that Carl tried to rob a taxi driver prior to an alleged shootout with responding policemen.
MC, meanwhile, said that she decided to testify before the committee because many of her friends, including Kian, were allegedly being killed but cases were never pursued.
“Madami na pong napapatay sa amin na walang kalaban-laban (There are many helpless victims being killed in our city),” the 31-year-old witness told the Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs during the second hearing on Kian’s slay.
“Ang mga pulis po lagi na lang dahas, hindi po sa batas. Marami na po akong kaibigang namatay sa lugar namin pero wala pong nangyari. Ilang taon na po ako, 31, bata pa lang po ako, 11-years-old pa lang po ako nakatira na ako sa lugar na yun, wala pa rin pong pagbabago (The cops, they rely on violence, not the law. I have many friends who were killed but nothing happened. I’m 31-years-old now, I lived there since I was 11-years-old and nothing has changed),” she added.
In her testimony, MC said that it seemed like Caloocan City police did not seem to mind hurting civilians while they pursued suspects.
“May mga pulis na nagpapaputok, parang wala silang paki kung may matatamaan (The police, when they shoot, don’t seem to care if civilians get shot),” MC said.
MC admitted she did not know that the boy was Kian until her sibling told her about it.
“Sinabi po sa akin ng kapatid ko: ‘Ate, ‘di mo ba kilala yung nakita mo kagabi? Si Kian ‘yun (My sibling told me: ‘Sis, don’t you recognize who you saw last night? That was Kian).”
MC said that she saw a teenage boy being beaten up by men and that she also heard the boy pleading “Sir, ‘wag po, sir (Sir, please don’t, sir!).”
She is among the three witnesses currently placed under the Senate’s protective custody. The other two are minors.