MANILA, Philippines — Lawmakers and right groups chorused in condemning the killing of a 17-year-old student by Caloocan police during an anti-drug operation in the city Wednesday night.
Kian Loyd Delos Santos, a Grade 11 student, was seen in a CCTV footage being dragged by two policemen in a dark place where he was reportedly shot. Reports quoting Kian’s father said the boy did not have a gun and was not in possession of shabu at the time of the raid, contrary to the claims of the police.
A witness also said the police forced Kian to hold a gun before asking him to run and shooting him.
Over 70 persons have been killed in separate police operations in Bulacan, Manila, and Camanava area in recent days amid the Duterte administration’s unrelenting bloody war against illegal drugs.
Caloocan Rep. Edgar Erice, a member of the opposition at the House of Representatives, said the “collateral damage” to the campaign was “unacceptable.”
“The Philippine National Police on its misguided war on drugs is now terrorizing our communities and collateral damage is unacceptable,” he said.
Erice called on the church to look into the incidents.
ACT Teachers party-list Rep. Antonio Tinio said the incidents of killing “is yet another proof that Tokhang is a fascist, anti-poor tool in the guise of an anti-drug campaign.”
Anakpawis party-list Rep. Ariel Casilao called the recent drug raids as “mass killing” and urged Congress to reject the P900 million budget being proposed for 2018 for Oplan Double Barrel Reloaded.
“We condemn this act of madness, as if the accused comes from poor sectors, the result is consistently gruesome. This is identical to a martial law rule, an outright symptom of failure of the justice and law enforcement system, total disregard of basic rights of the people and tantamount to reign of impunity,” Casilao said.
“War on drugs is not even a war, as victims are helpless, like the case of the Grade 11 student killed in Caloocan, we demand justice for him and all the victims, and call on various sectors to unite as this exhibition of atrocity should have no place in a supposedly democratic and free society in the country,” he added.
Magdalo party-list Rep. Gary Alejano said President Rodrigo Duterte was heartless and does not deserve to be called the father of the nation.
“Saan hinuhugot ni Pangulong Duterte ang sinasabi niyang mahal niya ang mga Pilipino kung wala siyang pakundangang pumapatay ng libo-libo?” said Alejano.
[Where did President Duterte draw his statement that he loves the Filipinos if he kills thousands ceaselessly?]
“Paano siya maituturing na ama ng bansa kung siya ay natutuwa pa sa mapait na sinasapit ng kanyang mga anak? Walang puso si Duterte,” he added.
[How can he regard himself as the father of the nation if he takes delight in the bitter plight of his children? Duterte has no heart.]
Alejano also reminded the police to live up to their mandate of protecting the people, instead of acting like the President’s “private army.”
“Sa mga sangkot na miyembro ng kapulisan sa pagpaslang ng mga suspetsado, ilegal ang utos na ito [To the police involved in the killing of people suspected of being linked to drugs, this order is illegal]. You serve and protect the Filipino people. That is your oath. You are not the private army of Duterte,” he said.
“Hindi habambuhay nasa p’westo si Duterte. Huwag n’yong sirain ang pangalan ng PNP at ng inyong mga kasamahan na tunay na nagsisilbi sa bayan [Duterte won’t be in power forever. Don’t destroy the name of the PNP and your co-workers who truly serve the nation]. Please remember that you are not only killing the suspects, you are also killing our democracy in the process,” Alejano added.
In a statement, the Association for the Rights of Children in Southeast Asia (ARCSEA) expressed outrage over the recent spate of drug-related killings.
“The killing of Kian Lloyd Delos Santos is enraging. It not only exposes police brutality but the Duterte government’s bloodlust, claiming even innocent lives of children and youth,” Madella Santiago, ARCSEA executive director, said.
Santiago feared that with the new deadline imposed by the President of up to 2022 to solve the drug menace, more lives would be lost, including those of the innocent.
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