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Informant, drug suspect implicating Kian is same person – witnesses

Rambo Talabong
Informant, drug suspect implicating Kian is same person – witnesses
Did police betray their asset by nabbing him the day after he helped in raiding Kian delos Santos' neighborhood?

MANILA, Philippines – Did police use their informant in the drug raid that killed Kian delos Santos then nab him the next day? Witness accounts say so.

According to accounts accompanying the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) complaint against cops involved in the killing of the boy, a certain Nono Lubiras pointed Delos Santos as involved in the drug trade at the evening of August 16.

When cops and Lubiras saw Delos Santos, an IBP witness supposedly heard Lubiras say: ““Siya po si Kian, siya yung nag-aabot sa akin.”” (That is Kian, he’s the one I get drugs from.)

The killing followed. (READ: NBI: Cops murdered Kian delos Santos, planted evidence)

The next day, cops conducted another police operation in the area and arrested Lubiras, named Renato Loveras in their report for his involvement in the drug trade. This was reinforced by the witnesses saying Lubiras was a known drug pusher in their neighborhood.

When Delos Santos’ case elevated to national attention and sparked public outcry, police presented Lubiras to the media on August 22 to say once more that he got drugs from the teenager.

In the span of a week, Lubiras helped out cops, was nabbed, then made to face cameras. Does this mean that there was a case of betrayal? Not necessarily.

According to sources privy to police operations, informants cooperating with police should just be “knowledgeable” of illegal activity, and not necessarily be “sangkot” (involved) in it themselves.

“Informants who are guilty of crimes cannot ask protection from police at magyabang sila na tumulong sila sa operation,” (They cannot brag that they helped in the police operation) a source said.  (READ: How the PNP’s one-time, big-time operations work)

Nonetheless, the witness accounts still clash with the cops’ claims in their report.

According to the police account, Delos Santos was not targeted by the operation, but just so happened to fire at them when they chased a group of men they found suspicious during the operation. –

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Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers the House of Representatives and local governments for Rappler. Prior to this, he covered security and crime. He was named Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs. In 2021, he was selected as a journalism fellow by the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics.