Parents confront Kian delos Santos’ killers: ‘Ama ka rin’

Camille Elemia
Parents confront Kian delos Santos’ killers: ‘Ama ka rin’
Saldy and Lorenza delos Santos face off with the cops who 'snatched' their son's life

MANILA, Philippines – The parents of 17-year-old Kian delos Santos finally faced off with the 3 cops accused of killing their son at a Senate hearing on the case on Thursday, August 24. (READ: Our son Kian: A good, sweet boy)

During the hearing, Saldy and Lorenza delos Santos took turns vouching for their son’s integrity and character in front of the policemen who claimed that their son was a “drug courier.”

“Ang pangarap ng anak ko maging pulis. Kaya po siya nag-aral sa Lourdes dahil may criminology, tapos kukuhanin ‘nyo lang nang ganoong kadali (My son dreamed of becoming a policeman. He studied at Lourdes because it offered criminology, then you will just take him away like that),” Saldy said on Thursday, August 24.

“Paano ‘nyo nasabi na anak ko ay drug courier? Gigising 6 am, naglalatag ng biskwit, Zesto sa labas. Gigisingin ako ng 12 o’clock kasi maliligo siya, maghuhugas ng pinggan, magsasaing, at magaayos ng kanyang baon. Pagdating ng 7 o’clock uuwi na, tutulong sa pagligpit,” the father added.

(How can you say that my son is a drug courier? He would wake up at 6 am, then arrange biscuits and Zesto [in the store] outside. He will wake me up at 12 o’clock because he would take a bath, wash the dishes, cook rice, and fix his own food. He would come home at 7 o’clock to help us clean up.)

Saldy said his wife had been working hard abroad to finance the studies of Kian.

“Two years ang contract ng asawa ko pero ano sabi niya? ididirecho ko na para [sa pag-aaral] tapos sa isang saglit lang kinuha ‘nyo buong buhay. Ama ka rin,” Saldy said, addressing the cops, but he was immediately cut short by Senate public order committee chair Panfilo Lacson.

(My wife’s contract is for two years but what did she say? She will work straight [for his studies] then in one instance, you took his entire life. You’re also a father.)

Lorenza, for her part, said she brought up Kian and his siblings to be law-abiding and God-fearing people. Even if they’re poor, Lorenza said she taught her children to be content with what they have. She said Kian even helped her sell rugs in Balintawak when he was younger.

“Anak ko po si Kian; alam ko paano ko pinalaki. Pinalaki ko po na may respeto sa nakakatanda sa kanya, sa taong may katungkulan. Dahil po kami mahirap, isa lang po lagi sinasabi ko na lumaking matapat at may takot sa Diyos,” the mother said.

(Kian is my son; I know how I raised him. I raised him to respect his elders; people in authority. Because we’re poor, I always tell him one thing, to grow up with a strong faith and to fear God.)

Aside from Kian, the couple has 3 more children. Two have their own families.

Justice

Lorenza said even if the allegations against her son were true, he should not have been killed.

“Kung totoo ang binibintang sa aking anak, sana naman po binigyan ‘nyo ng karapatan na mabuhay. Sana binaril sa paa at least kahit papaano matatanggap ko, at ipaglalaban ko ‘yung ginagawa nila pero bakit ganoon? Winakasan nila ng ganoon- ganoon na lang ang anak ko na wala silang ebidensya,” she said. 

(If the allegation against my son were true, he should have been given the right to live. He should have been shot on the foot; I would have accepted that but why did it turn out that way? They just ended my son’s life like that, without any evidence.)

During the hearing, police testified that they conducted the raid not knowing their actual targets, and that they only “confirmed” Kian’s alleged drug links after the operation, based on claims of an arrested drug pusher and what they found on social media.

Asked if she was satisfied with the probe, the mother said, “Di po, gusto ko po mabigyan ng tamang hustisya anak ko (No, I want justice for my son).”

A representative from Kian’s school, Our Lady of Lourdes Senior High School in Valenzuela, also vouched for the teenager’s character.

Principal Michael Figueroa said Kian was a good student who had no record of any major school violation.

“In terms of behavior, he has never been involved in any drug-related incident, except for simple naughtiness like for example, he was caught cutting classes,“ Figueroa said.

Caloocan police killed the teenager for allegedly fighting back during an anti-drug raid. But CCTV footage and eyewitness accounts, as well as a paraffin test conducted by the Philippine National Police, indicated otherwise.

During the hearing, it was revealed that Police Officer 3 Arnel Oares, the leader of the operation, shot Kian.  – Rappler.com

Camille Elemia

Camille Elemia is Rappler's lead reporter for media, disinformation issues, and democracy. She won an ILO award in 2017. She received the prestigious Fulbright-Hubert Humphrey fellowship in 2019, allowing her to further study media and politics in the US. Email camille.elemia@rappler.com