Let's not forget Kian delos Santos, lawmakers say
MANILA, Philippines – Opposition senators on Thursday, August 16, took time to remember Kian Loyd delos Santos, the 17-year-old boy killed by Caloocan policemen in an anti-drug operation one year ago today.
The boy's death sparked public outrage, prompting President Duterte at the time to temper his messaging in the anti-drug campaign.
Senator Risa Hontiveros:
"The act of remembering is an act of defiance against the killings. To forget is to give consent… We have the duty to remember. Amid the deluge of fake news and the systemic attempt at data obfuscation and revisionism to cover up the thousands who have died under President Duterte's brutal drug war, we must not allow Kian and all the EJK victims to be rendered nameless, invisible and forgotten.”
Senator Paolo Benigno IV:
“Ilan pa ba ang kailangang mapaslang bago natin makita na ang lipunang dumadanak ang dugo ng mahihirap ay puno lang ng pagdurusa at hindi makalilikha ng maliwanag na bukas?
Huwag sana tayong maging manhid sa patayan at karahasan na nangyayari sa ating mga lansangan. Matuto tayo mula sa kabataang Pilipino na pursigido sa bawat hamon at hindi nawawalan ng pagmamahal sa kapwa. Kapit lang! Ituloy natin ang laban.”
(How many more people have to be killed before we acknowledge that this violence will lead to suffering and not to a bright future? Let us not get numbed by all the killings and violence happening on our streets. Let us learn from the Filipino youth to continue fighting. The fight goes on.)
Senator Francis Pangilinan:
“Justice has yet to be served one year after the brutal murder of Kian de los Santos… It is ironic that the President ran and won on the campaign to wipe out drugs in 3 to 6 months. Now, he's talking about giving up and resigning, but willing to turn over the presidency to the son of the dictator.
Poverty, hunger, and social injustice are still the problems that ordinary Filipinos face every day, in the rising prices of goods and the growing insecurity in jobs. The country's leaders are duty-bound to focus on easing, if not removing, these pains of their citizens.”
Senator Leila de Lima:
“Ang pagpaslang kay Kian ang nagpamulat sa marami sa atin hindi lamang sa karahasan, kundi maging sa mga kapalpakan ng War on Drugs ni Duterte.
Ang paghahanap ng katarungan sa sinapit ni Kian ang siya ring naging panawagan ng libo-libong naulila ng mga biktima ng madugong polisiya ng rehimeng Duterte, na pawang mga maralita, kabilang na ang mga walang kalaban-laban at inosenteng bata.
(The slay of Kian opened the eyes of many not just to the violence but also the failures of Duterte's war on drugs. The search for justice for Kian is the same call of the thousands of families of poor victims, including defenseless and innocent children.)
For now, we pause and pray for your victims. As we remember Kian, we remember how we need to stand up and protect human rights, democracy and morality in our society.”
Malacañang said it was Kian’s death that led to clearer orders on the drug war.
“The death anniversary is significant because this incident led to the President’s clarification on his official pronouncement on his drug war. He will support the police if the killing is legal. He will prosecute the police if the killing is illegal. That’s the importance of this year’s commemoration,” said Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque.
“It’s a warning to policemen make sure that they use force when there is absolute necessity and when it is proportional otherwise they will be prosecuted,” he added.
Only 5 involved in the killing have been jailed while 4 others were cleared of command reponsibility.
Senior Superintendent Chito Bersaluna, the Caloocan City police chief sacked after the killing, was even promoted to Bulacan provincial police chief. (READ: Duterte tells Kian delos Santos' parents they will have justice)
For Roque, this is already justice for Kian: "That’s justice – that 5 individuals are in jail because of the killing of Kian."
In a Senate hearing, Bersaluna said the Caloocan police, under his leadership, had "confirmed" the minor's involvement in illegal drugs only via social media. (READ: WATCH: The dark alley to Kian delos Santos' death)
Caloocan police claimed they were only retaliating when Kian fought back. The Philippine National Police and the Public Attorney's Office, however, refuted this, concluding that Kian was on his knees when he was shot. – Rappler.com