Dela Rosa admits Kian killing ‘was an overkill’

Rambo Talabong

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Dela Rosa admits Kian killing ‘was an overkill’
(UPDATED) The Philippine National Police chief says Kian delos Santos may have been shot too many times. 'Maraming tama yung bata. Parang nasobrahan, nasobrahan.'

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa admitted his men may have taken it too far in killing Kian delos Santos during a drug raid.

“Based on the ‘yung (the) forensic reports, it was really an overkill. Maraming tama yung bata. Parang nasobrahan, nasobrahan (The boy was shot many times. It seems it went too far, it went too far),” Dela Rosa said.

He was answering Senator Loren Legarda, who had asked him what he thought of the 17-year-old’s slay, during her interpellation of the PNP’s budget on Tuesday, September 5.

According to autopsy reports, Delos Santos was shot twice in the head while he was kneeling, face down. The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), with its own probe, concluded that the teen was murdered. (READ: LIST: Minors, college students killed in Duterte’s drug war)

The budget briefing came immediately after Dela Rosa attended the second session of the Senate probe into the case of Delos Santos, where the top cop was grilled by legislators to tears.

Asked by Legarda whether he thinks his cops intentionally killed Delos Santos, Dela Rosa said that the most he can say is Delos Santos was “namatay” (died), but not “pinatay“(killed with intention).

Legarda then asked top officials of the PNP how they have tried to curb drug-related vigilante killings, to which the PNP Director for Operations Chief Superintendent Camilo Cascolan replied that they have operations targeting such acts through police checkpoints, and patrols.

The result of all police operations has so far yielded a drop in all crimes, save for murder and homicide. (READ: Except for killings, all crimes drop in Duterte’s 1st year)

The PNP is asking for P131.26 billion for its 2018 budget, P900 million of which will be allocated to Project Double Barrel Reloaded, which encompasses all of the law-enforcement agency’s anti-drug efforts. 

The budget briefing was suspended early, up for continuation, as the senators of the finance committee had to attend their regular session.

Before adjourning, the committee asked the PNP for data on killings from 2007 to 2017 so that, according to them, they could “contextualize” them. –


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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.