IBP files complaint vs cops in Kian delos Santos slay

Lian Buan

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IBP files complaint vs cops in Kian delos Santos slay

Eloisa Lopez

The Integrated Bar of the Philippines cites eyewitness accounts, including a 13-year-old's testimony that the cops blindfolded and punched Kian delos Santos before he was shot dead

MANILA, Philippines – Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) national president Abdiel Fajardo filed on Monday, September 4, administrative and criminal complaints against policemen involved in the killing of teenager Kian delos Santos, using eyewitness accounts as basis.

A criminal complaint for planting of evidence, violation of domicile, violation of arrested person’s rights, and child abuse were filed against PO3 Arnel Oares, PO1 Jeremias Pereda, and PO1 Jerwin Cruz, the Caloocan policemen who conducted the drug raid that killed Delos Santos. Included in the criminal complaint is their station commander Chief Inspector Amor Cerillo and informant Nono Lubiras.

The IBP’s Fajardo also filed an administrative complaint for grave misconduct and gross neglect of duty against former Northern Police District (NPD) head Chief Superintendent Roberto Fajardo and former Caloocan City police chief Senior Superintendent Chito Bersaluna.

Eyewitness accounts

The complaints are based on the affidavits of 3 eyewitnesses who saw the cops and Delos Santos in Barangay 160, Caloocan City on August 16. (WATCH: The dark alley to Kian delos Santos’ death)

A 13-year-old witness, now under the custody of the Senate through Senator Risa Hontiveros, swore to seeing the cops and Lubiras make their way toward Delos Santos’ house around 8 pm.

The witness said Lubiras led the cops to Delos Santos’ house, where the policemen were heard telling the occupants, Walang gagalaw. Walang gagalaw. Itaas ‘nyo mga kamay ‘nyo (Don’t move. Don’t move. Raise your hands),” (WATCH: CCTV footage of Kian delos Santos dragged by Caloocan cops)

OMBUDSMAN COMPLAINT. IBP national president Abdiel Fajardo lodges administrative and criminal complaints against Caloocan policemen before the Office of the Ombudsman on September 4, 2017. Photo by Lian Buan/Rappler

According to the witness, when the cops left the house, Delos Santos’ sibling said the cops pointed their guns at them.

After a few minutes, Delos Santos crossed paths with the cops near the basketball court. 

“Itinuro siya bigla ni Nonong. ‘Siya po si Kian, siya ‘yung nag-aabot sa akin (Nonong suddenly pointed at him and said, ‘He’s Kian, he’s the one who gives me drugs),” reads the witness’ affidavit.

The witness added: Pagkapkap kay Kian, tinaas pa ang t-shirt niya pero walang nakuha. Pero maya-maya, biglang nagsalita ‘yung naka-sando, ‘Ano ‘to? Ano ‘to?’ Sagot ni Kian, ‘Sir, wala po ako diyan, sir. Hindi ko po alam ‘yan (They frisked Kian, they raised his t-shirt but found nothing. But a moment later, someone wearing a sleeveless top said, ‘What’s this? What’s this?’ Kian told them ‘Sir, I don’t have that. I don’t know that).”

The witness said the cops forced Delos Santos to take a gun-shaped object wrapped in a towelette but the teen refused. (READ: How Kian delos Santos was killed, according to police)

“Tumanggi si Kian, ‘Ayoko po, ayoko po!’ Nagalit ‘yung mga lalaki kay Kian. Biglang sinampal si Kian, kaliwa’t-kanan. Sinuntok siya at pagkasuntok, sinikmuraan ng dalawang beses (Kian refused, saying, ‘I don’t want to!’ The men got angry at Kian. They slapped him, left and right. They punched him and then hit him in the stomach).”

The witness said a man wearing a green shirt passed by and asked the cops whether they would take Delos Santos to the Barangay Hall or “baba (down there),” referring to the area’s basketball court. The cops chose the latter.

“Bigla nilang piniringan sa mata si Kian. Pinayuko si Kian at tinaas ang t-shirt niya para takpan ang ulo. Kinaladkad nila si Kian papuntang basketball court. ‘Yung naka-green naiwan doon para bantayan si Nonong (They blindfolded Kian. They pushed his head down and used his shirt to cover his head. They dragged Kian down to the basketball court. The man in green stayed behind to watch over Nonong),” the witness said in the affidavit.

The witness also said the cops instructed residents to enter their houses as they dragged the teen – a scene they’re already used to, according to the witness, as cops would always act that way during an operation.

“Una, kinakausap lang nila ‘yung lalaking hawak nila. Maya-maya tinulak nung isa ‘yung lalaking hawak nila, at napadapa ‘yung lalaking ‘yun. Habang nakadapa, ang narinig ko na sinabi ng lalaki ay, ‘Sir, huwag po! Huwag po!’ Bigla na lang nakarinig ako ng putok ng baril kaya nagtago ako sa likod ng gate, pero nakasilip pa rin ako at nakita ko na pinagbabaril nila, kasama ang isang lalaki na biglang sumulpot, ‘yung lalaking nakadapa. Pumasok ako agad sa loob ng bahay,” the witness said.

(At first they were just talking to the boy they were holding. Then they pushed the boy, who fell to the ground. While on the ground, the boy said, “Sir, please don’t! Don’t!” I heard a gunshot so I hid behind my gate, but I was still able to take a peek and I saw them shooting the boy who was on the ground. They were with another guy who suddenly appeared. I immediately entered my house.)

  Affidavit of 13 Year Old Witness in Kian delos Santos death by Lian Nami Buan on Scribd

Ombudsman’s jurisdiction

The complaint also stated: “The witness saw Pereda and Cruz frisk Kian and found nothing. Logically, the two sachets of shabu subsequently found on Kian’s body could only have been placed there by the police officers who accosted the minor.”

Former NPD chief Fajardo and former Caloocan City police chief Bersaluna were included in the administrative complaint, following the concept of command responsibility.

“Instead of taking corrective action, Respondents Fajardo and Bersaluna tried to justify the violations of law and lapses in PNP operational procedures committed by Oares, Pereda, and Cruz by accusing Kian and members of his family of being involved in the drug trade,” the complaint read.

It was Fajardo who told media that Delos Santos transacts 10 grams of shabu per day. It was Bersaluna who told a Senate inquiry that they belatedly “confirmed” Delos Santos’ alleged drug links through social media.

Similar criminal complaints have already been filed before the Department of Justice (DOJ), filed by the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).

Fajardo believes it’s the Ombudsman who has jurisdiction over the cases involving public officers, amid criticism against Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II for alleged prejudice. (READ: Can the Ombudsman take over Kian case?)

A petition to inhibit has been filed before the DOJ, citing Aguirre’s media statements that Delos Santos’ case is an isolated one, and merely collateral damage in the government’s war on drugs.

“Anytime the Ombudsman can always assume jurisdiction if the respondent is a public official regardless of the offense, in relation to his functions,” Fajardo said. – Rappler.com

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Lian Buan

Lian Buan is a senior investigative reporter, and minder of Rappler's justice, human rights and crime cluster.