After Kian delos Santos slay, OFWs urged to 'reflect on Duterte's flaws'
MANILA, Philippines – Members of leftist group Bayan based in Hong Kong urged overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to rethink their support for President Rodrigo Duterte in the wake of the killing of 17-year-old Kian Loyd delos Santos, who was shot by police in Caloocan City.
Stressing the need to reflect on Duterte's shortcomings, Bayan Hong Kong and Macau chairperson Emman Villanueva said Delos Santos' case should be a cause of concern for OFWs.
Delos Santos, a Grade 11 student, was the son of an OFW. His mother is a domestic worker in Saudi Arabia. (READ: Our son, Kian: A good, sweet boy)
"The drug war implemented by a rotten and corrupt system and framed on murdering with impunity has also claimed family members of OFWs including innocent ones like Delos Santos," Villanueva said in a statement posted on the group's Facebook page.
"The cops who killed Delos Santos should be prosecuted for their abuse of power. But President Duterte should be viewed as equally guilty. His war on drugs has left a generation of families mourning for unnatural deaths."
Duterte enjoys overwhelming support from the OFW community. In the 2016 elections, he got 72% of the votes from overseas absentee voters. He also gained further support from the sector after promising to set up a department solely for OFWs. (READ: How Duterte gov't cared for OFWs in first 100 days)
Delos Santos' killing sparked outrage after CCTV footage and eyewitness accounts cast doubt on the police's version of events. Police claim Kian had a gun and fired at them first, but witnesses said the cops handed the gun to the teenager and ordered him to shoot.
Protests seeking justice for Delos Santos have been set for Monday, August 21, including one at the People Power Monument and another in Caloocan City.
Ahead of the organized activities, OFWs aligned with Bayan have also staged their own pocket rallies in Hong Kong.
Meanwhile, Migrante International extended its condolences to Delos Santos' family, especially to his mother, Lorenza.
"Lorenza has captured the hearts of OFWs and their families all over the world. We feel her sorrow because it is also ours. We mourn as she mourns," said the group in a statement.
"We call on all Filipinos around the world to rise up against Duterte's tyranny and fascist rule. We do not want more Kians to die because of Duterte's psychopathic war on drugs."
There are allegations that Delos Santos was a drug courier for his father and uncles, but National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) Director Oscar Albayalde said their investigation is focusing on whether or not Delos Santos was a victim of an extrajudicial killing.
At the Senate, lawmakers allied with Duterte are calling for an inquiry as well. Senator Risa Hontiveros, a member of the minority bloc, earlier said she has taken custody of the witnesses. – Rappler.com