Ombudsman starts own probe into Kian delos Santos' death
MANILA, Philippines – The Office of the Ombudsman started its probe into the death of 17-year-old Kian Loyd delos Santos, who was shot dead by police during a drug raid in Caloocan City on August 16.
Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales announced this on Tuesday, August 29, after a Senate budget hearing on her office's proposed 2018 budget. (READ: Can Ombudsman take over Kian case?)
"We already started our fact-finding investigation. The Military and Other Law Enforcement Offices (MOLEO) of Ramos is here. He has already started the fact-finding investigation," Morales told reporters in an interview, referring to Deputy Ombudsman Cyril Ramos who heads the MOLEO.
Morales also said they have already started sending out subpoenas for documents and witnesses.
Police shot Delos Santos for allegedly fighting back during an anti-drug operation. CCTV footage and witnesses' testimonies, however, indicate that the boy was a victim of an extrajudicial killing.
Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon said he talked to Morales, who supposedly confirmed that her office has indeed "concurrent jurisdiction" over Delos Santos' case, as it involves government officers with a salary grade below SG27.
"The Ombudsman has confirmed that she has concurrent jurisdiction with the DOJ (Department of Justice) insofar as Kian's killing is concerned. But, because of the MOA (memorandum of agreement), it's the DOJ that's assuming jurisdiction. She is, in fact, conducting a fact-finding investigation on the same case, on a number of issues," Drilon said.
In the Senate probe into the teenager's death, Drilon slammed Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II for his "bias" and asked Aguirre if he would be willing to have the case transferred to the Ombudsman.
Aguirre, however, rejected the proposal because it might make the DOJ look "incompetent" and incapable of conducting an impartial probe. (READ: Aguirre: What's the difference between kids killed by addicts, cops?)
"If [the] Ombudsman can conduct [a] preliminary investigation on impeachable officials, how much more ordinary policemen? So that only indicates the erroneous interpretation of the secretary (Aguirre) in the desire to just assume jurisdiction over the investigation," Drilon said.
On Tuesday, a formal petition was filed before the DOJ seeking its inhibition from conducting a preliminary investigation into the murder and torture complaints against Caloocan City cops.
"The Office of the Ombudsman is the best forum to conduct the preliminary investigation for this case given the impartiality of this constitutionally-mandated body," said the petition. – Rappler.com
In these changing times, courage and clarity become even more important.
Take discussions to the next level with Rappler PLUS — your platform for deeper insights, closer collaboration, and meaningful action.
Sign up today and access exclusive content, events, and workshops curated especially for those who crave clarity and collaboration in an intelligent, action-oriented community.
As an added bonus, we’re also giving a free 1-year Booky Prime membership for the next 200 subscribers.
You can also support Rappler without a PLUS membership. Help us stay free and independent by making a donation: https://www.rappler.com/crowdfunding. Every contribution counts.