Kian Loyd delos Santos, 17, killed in Caloocan anti-drug operations: latest updates, video

MANILA, Philippines - The bloody war of President Rodrigo Duterte's government against illegal drugs and crime sparked a fiery debate anew as 17-year-old student Kian Loyd delos Santos of Caloocan was gunned down in recent police operations.

A Catholic student, Kian delos Santos, 17, one of the youngest victims of the President Duterte's war-on-drugs.
#JusticeForKian: A Catholic student, Kian delos Santos, 17, one of the youngest victims of the President Duterte's war-on-drugs.
On Wednesday night, Caloocan City police officers reported that Kian was "nanlaban" (law enforcement term for resisting arrest or fought back) during their "one-time big-time operation" in Barangay 160 in the area. Allegedly, the Grade 11 student drew his firearm and "directly shot" at the police, which prompted Police Officer 3 Arnel Oares to fire back, and kill the student.

Policemen claimed two small sachets of suspected shabu, one .45 caliber gun, and four fired cartridge cases were recovered at the scene of the encounter.

Kian, a Our Lady of Mount Carmel College student, was not included in its list of suspected drug personalities, but he was tagged as a drug runner "based on a statement of another arrested drug suspect," Caloocan City Police Chief Senior Supt. Chito Bersaluna told CNN Philippines.

CCTV footage of the incident

Obtained CCTV footage from barangay officials raised doubt on police report. The figure, believed to be Kian, is being carried by two men to a place where his body was later found.

CCTV footage of the incident Kian death
Kian Loyd Delos Santos is taken by crime scene operatives (SOCO) after he was killed in a police operation on August 16. Photo Credit: ABS-CBN News
Witnesses said the teenager was forced to hold a gun, fire and run.

Kian's family cries for justice

Delos Santos's uncle, Randy, insists that if Kian was really armed, the police should have seen it right away as he was wearing loose boxers.

"Naka-boxer shorts lang 'yan. .45 maisusukbit mo sa boxer shorts? Maging makatotohanan lang tayo," he said.

Kian's mother Lorenza, an overseas Filipino worker (OFW) flew in from the Middle East on Thursday, seeking justice for her son.

Lorenza Delos Santos, mother of Kian Delos Santos cries for justice. Photo Credit: ABS-CBN News
Lorenza Delos Santos, mother of Kian Delos Santos cries for justice. Photo Credit: ABS-CBN News

“Hindi masama yung anak ko, hindi nga naninigarilyo yung anak ko eh. Sana, tulungan niyo naman po ako. Ang dami pa namang nagmamahal sa anak ko … napakainosente ng anak ko mahal na mahal ko yan,"
Lorenza said.

#JusticeForKian artwork posted by PJ’s Art Box on Facebook.
#JusticeForKian artwork posted by PJ’s Art Box on Facebook.
Palace on 17-year-old's death in Caloocan: An 'isolated' case

Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said the President will not tolerate any abuse committed by policemen. He also described Kian's killing as "isolated.

Abella said this even though the President has repeatedly said that he will defend or even pardon cops who are carrying out anti-illegal drug operations.

“He will defend the police in their carrying out of duties. However, he will not tolerate any abuse and any breaches of the law,” Abella said.

Meanwhile, Caloocan Police Chief Bersaluna said the four policemen involved were relieved "to give way to the investigation."

Netizens voice out #JusticeForKian

On Twitter, #JusticeForKian trended with netizens expressing outrage over the alleged extrajudicial killing of an innocent teenager.

Hontiveros condemns series of killings

Akbayan Senator Risa Hontiveros on Friday condemned the series of killings due to police operations that led to 32 deaths in Bulacan, and at least 20 in Manila, including Kian, one of the youngest victims of the President's war-on-drugs.

READ: Senate majority to probe Kian Loyd Delos Santos’ death

The Senator also expressed grave concern over the government's attitude. "This butchery does not deserve a pat-on-the-back from the President. It deserves an investigation", she said. "Duterte commending 32 deaths and dismissing innocent lives lost as collateral damage reinforce impunity among our state forces," she said.

On Wednesday, Duterte was quoted saying: "That's beautiful. If we can only kill 32 every day, then maybe we can reduce what ails this country."

Since Duterte's first day in office, 8,000-12,000 deaths due to the war-on-drugs have been recorded.

Hontiveros also appealed to the Philippine National Police to respect and uphold human rights. "I know of many decent policemen and women who are faithful to their duty to serve and protect. Let not the murderous tendencies of one man transform you into a killing machine," she urged the PNP.

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