DepEd condemns Kian delos Santos' death
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Education (DepEd) on Sunday, August 21, said it condemns the killing of one of its students, Kian Loyd delos Santos, by Caloocan police during an anti-drug operation in the city.
"The Department of Education strongly condemns the shooting of Kian Loyd Delos Santos, a Grade 11 student of Our Lady of Lourdes Senior High School in Valenzuela, by elements of the Caloocan police," the DepEd said in a statement.
The department said it "denounces all forms of violence against our students, teachers, and personnel," and echoed the call for an impartial investigation into Delos Santos' death last Wednesday, August 16.
The 17-year-old allegedly fought back against police during an operation last Wednesday, August 16, but CCTV footage showed otherwise. Eyewitnesses also said the kid was handed a gun by police, and was ordered to pull the trigger and run.
The kid's death has triggered outrage from citizens, politicians, the Church, and many other sectors, and has highlighted once again the bloody war on drugs campaign of the Duterte administration, which has been linked to at least 7,000 deaths, including minors. (READ: Our son, Kian: A good, sweet boy)
"While we acknowledge that law enforcement is an important aspect in the government's comprehensive efforts to battle illegal drugs, ensuring accuracy of information and upholding the rule of law should not be compromised," the department said.
As part of the anti-drug abuse campaign, the department recently announced that it will begin its random drug testing program of students and teachers in public and private high schools in September.
DepEd said this would allow her department to determine the prevalence of drug users among students and teachers and help assess the effectivity of school-based and community-based prevention programs.
However, DepEd said the results will be confidential and won't be an alternate "tokhang" – in reference to the Philippine National Police's Oplan Tokhang. – Rappler.com