PNP general fired after Kian slay is now highway patrol chief

Rambo Talabong
PNP general fired after Kian slay is now highway patrol chief
Chief Superintendent Roberto Fajardo is the police general who made headlines in 2017 for defending cops in the killing of 17-year-old Kian Loyd delos Santos

MANILA, Philippines – Chief Superintendent Roberto Fajardo, the police general sacked after the killing of 17-year-old Kian Loyd delos Santos, is now chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP) Highway Patrol Group (HPG).

Fajardo took office on Monday, June 4, replacing Chief Superintendent Arnel Escobal.

In the turnover ceremony of the traffic managing office, Fajardo urged his new personnel to do their best under his leadership, aiming to ease traffic along EDSA and to end carnapping incidents.

Defending cops after Kian slay: In 2017, one-star police general Fajardo made headlines when he defended cops in the killing of 17-year-old Delos Santos. Fajardo was then chief of the Northern Police District (NPD).

In Delos Santos’ case, cops claimed they conducted a regular drug raid and the teenager fought back. Investigations revealed, however, that the minor was killed while kneeling in a dark, damp corner of their neighborhood.

As the general watching over Caloocan among other northern Metro Manila cities, he was quoted as saying in Filipino, “People used to call him (Delos Santos) an addict and a pusher, but now that he is dead, he is now being described as kind.”

“People are riding on this, that he was kind and practically a saint. But before that, it seemed he was an addict and a pusher,” he added. (READ: Politics making Kian look more innocent than he is – police chief)

Facing nationwide outrage, Fajardo was sacked to prevent influencing probes.

Where has he been? Fajardo turned into a “floating official,” or a general without a position, for at least 5 months before he was assigned to the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO).

He was placed in the position by the recently utilized PNP oversight committee, which recommends police colonels and generals for positions.

According to sources, he earned the position with his operations mindset. After all, he also headed the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group in Metro Manila prior to his NPD post.

Asked by Rappler why he thinks he was chosen for the new position, he simply said, “I don’t know” and chuckled.

Fajardo belongs to the Philippine Military Academy Hinirang Class of 1987, a classmate of recently promoted Metro Manila Police chief Guillermo Eleazar. He is set to retire on September 18, 2020. – Rappler.com

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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.