The public seemed to have been galvanized into uniting in protesting the untimely death of a minor during an anti-drug operation last August 16, 2017 in Caloocan City.
Almost everybody now knows and are familiar with the name of the late Kian Loyd delos Santos a 17 year old teenager who allegedly fought it out with policemen during the said anti-drug operation and who caught three bullets that ended his life.
During the Senate inquiry into the incident, it was revealed that the victim was kneeling or was already slumped on the ground when his assailants pumped three bullets into his body. The investigation further revealed that it was three policemen from the Caloocan Police Community Precinct 7 who were involved in the incident and who are now relieved of their duties and placed under restrictive custody in their main headquarters.
Watching the Senate investigation into the matter one cannot help but notice glaring discrepancies in the testimonies offered by the police authorities invited to shed light on the matter. One Senator was puzzled as to why in the conduct of an autopsy no proper documentation was made by the authorities such as photographing the body of the victim during the process for records purposes. Is this not supposed to be standard operating procedure during autopsy in order to further bolster any future testimony that might be offered or made by the forensic examiner who conducted the autopsy? Another apparent discrepancy is the inability of the police authorities to offer satisfactory explanation as to the disappearance of the clothes Kian was wearing when he was shot and killed. His clothes particularly his shirt was needed in order to prove that he was in fact shot in the back as he lay slumped on the ground. Other discrepancies include the fact, as admitted by the police authorities, that Kian was not listed nor recorded as a drug user or pusher and that his reputation as such was only established through social media.
But what is really disheartening is the crude attempts by the three policemen who were involved to stick to their version of the incident that Kian shot at them with an unknown calibre of firearm and that in self-defense they retaliated to protect their lives against imminent danger and even death.
What was established during the Senate inquiry is that the victim Kian was shot to death at close range while already slumped or kneeling on the ground where he was subsequently found.
The desperate acts of the three policemen to justify their killing of Kian only shows how shallow they understood the declaration of the President about his war on drugs and how little they care and give regard to human lives.
By such an abuse of authority the entire campaign of President Rodrigo Duterte to wage a relentless war against drugs may start to unravel. If such kind of abuse is not prevented then truly any good thing that the Duterte administration has done with respect to its’ honest attempt to eliminate the drug scourge in the country has already failed.
There is no question that drugs must be stamped out in all levels of society but the abusive means to achieve such lofty goals will in itself lend to the destruction of the noble objective.
The oft repeated phrase “The end does not justify the means” aptly applies in the case of Kian Loyd delos Santos.
President Digong need not feel reluctant to visit the wake or even the burial of Kian since he is representing not only the police but the ordinary people themselves who may be victims of possible abuses perpetrated by the authorities.