NATIONAL Capital Region Police Office chief Director Oscar Albayalde on Saturday relieved, effective immediately, Caloocan City police chief Sr. Supt. Chito Bersaluna “to pave the way for an impartial investigation” into the death of 17-year-old Kian Loyd delos Santos during an anti-illegal drugs operations earlier this week.
Police implicated in the killing alleged that Delos Santos, who was wearing loose clothing at the time, had shot at officers which prompted them to fire back.
Caloocan City Mayor Oscar Malapitan, meanwhile, called for an emergency meeting of the local peace and order council for a parallel investigation being done by police.
Earlier, Albayalde said he still needed to see the CCTV footage for his appreciation of what, in his view, happened during the shooting incident, Malacañang in a statement condemned what it called Delos Santos’ “deeply regrettable” death, reminding law enforcement authorities “to be wary of the reckless exercise of power and authority.
In the Senate, Senator Nancy Binay joined in the outrage and vowed policemen involved in the killing of minors during anti-drugs operations would have their “day in the Senate investigations.”
“We in the Senate will act on this. To the rogue cops, you will have your day in the Senate investigations, you will all be made accountable for murder,” Binay said as she expressed outrage over the latest killing of a minor in the Duterte administration’s war on drugs.
The senator named a few minors killed in the ongoing war on drugs, including five-year-old Danica May Garcia; five-year-old Francisco Manosca; Kristine Joy Sailog, 12; and Emmanuel Lorica, 17.
She said these children were victims of mistaken identity and “collateral damage.”
The three policemen involved in the killing of Delos Santos during an anti-illegal drugs operations have been relieved from their posts, according to their senior officers.
The NCRPO chief said the Regional Investigation and Detective Management Division and Philippine National Police-Internal Affairs Service had started a probe on the incident.
Albayalde said during the interview that the IAS will get a copy of the video footage from Barangay 160 for review.
Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella’s latest pronouncement was in stark contrast to what observers were his insensitive remarks Friday, calling the Delos Santos killing a “happily isolated” case.
Saldy delos Santos, father of victim Kian Lloyd, accused the police of unjustly killing his son after footage from the barangay CCTV showed two men, not in uniform, dragging the teenager to where he was found dead.
The police,owever, maintained the teenager fought back, saying “the boy opened fire at them first, so they were compelled to return fire...” the Caloocan police spot report read.
The family of Delos Santos said they would use a footage of a barangay CCTV camera that showed policemen carrying the teenager, contrary to claims he fired a gun while trying to escape.
“The deaths of these children are extremely enraging and brought me a heavy heart. And like every parent, I fear for the safety of my children. Kian could have been my son or daughter, or any policeman’s child for that matter,” Binay said.
In her statement, Binay raised rumors policemen were given a “quota” as part of the campaign against illegal drugs.
“I also call on the leadership of the PNP to not turn a blind eye to these deaths; and investigate and arrest those responsible for the killings,” she added.
The National Union of People’s Lawyers, meanwhile, used the terms “happily, haply, hapless, or helpless”—alluding to a controversial statement from Abella about the killing of Delos Santos.
In an allusion- and alliteration-filled statement, NUPL president Edre Olalia demanded accountability for the slay of Delos Santos during an anti-illegal drugs operation in Caloocan City last Wednesday.
“Make no mistake about it,” NUPL president Edre Olalia said in a statement.
“The responsibility for the cold-blooded, unmitigated, premeditated and brutal murder of Kian Lloyd and the culling of hapless and helpless others ultimately goes straight all the way up. Neither happily nor haply,” he added.
In audio and video recordings of a Mindanao Hour briefing on Friday, Abella—asked about Delos Santos’ killing—could be heard saying the incident “happily, I think, is isolated.”
Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre himself has directed the National Bureau of Investigation to probe Delos Santos’ killing.
Abella reiterated that “mistakes and illegal acts will not be tolerated,” despite the President’s own endorsement “to plant guns to show that drug suspects resisted arrest.”
“Having said this, the President, who continues to vigorously pursue the dismantling of drug apparatus, ensures that erring enforcers will be properly investigated. The task of building a nation worthy of all demands participation of all citizens, and this incident challenges the nation to be more vigilant,” he said.
Rights groups have warned Duterte, who has said he would be “happy to slaughter” three million drug addicts, may be orchestrating a crime against humanity.
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