Kian memorial is for all EJK victims, too

Eloisa Lopez
Kian memorial is for all EJK victims, too


A memorial marker for slain 17-year-old student Kian Loyd delos Santos is unveiled in Caloocan City a year after his death

MANILA, Philippines – The memorial marker for Kian Loyd delos Santos at the San Roque Cathedral, Caloocan City, does not only serve to remember the boy, but also mirrors the current situation in the country. 

These were the words of Randy delos Santos, uncle of the slain teenager, after the unveiling of Delos Santos’ memorial marker on Friday, August 18, at the San Roque Cathedral.

Ang marker na iyan ay pag-aalala sa bata,” Randy told Rappler in a phone interview. “Ang marker na iyan ay nagsisilbing salamin sa nangyayari sa ating lipunan, nagsisilbing paalala na mayroong extrajudicial killings (EJKs), at ang batang ito ay namatay dahil sa EJK.”

(That marker serves to remember the kid. That marker serves to mirror what’s happening in our society, a reminder that extrajudicial killings exist, and that Kian is a victim.)

Apart from Delos Santos’ death, the memorial marker notes that he was only one of 81 victims killed within 4 days from August 15-18, 2017, in Metro Manila. 

It also mentions the thousands who have been killed in the ongoing war on drugs. 

Nawa ang panandang ito ay magsilbing alaala sa mga buhay na pinaslang, mga asawang nabalo, at mga anak na naulila,” the marker reads.  (May this marker serve as a reminder of the lives of those killed, their widows, and the children they left behind.)

Remembering the victims

At the Mass after the marker was unveiled, Caloocan Bishop Pablo Virgilio David also spoke about the thousands of slain victims. 

“Woe to you who call addicts ‘non-humans’ deserving of death. Who gave you the right to pass judgment on people who are sick?” David said. “You claim to care about the future of young people in this country. What future awaits them if they end up dead on a street alley after a ‘legitimate police operation’?”

“Woe to you who claim to be waging a war against illegal drugs but are killing its victims instead of saving them! You who order law enforcers to murder when their mandate is to protect the citizens and defend their right to a safe and secure environment.”

“Woe to you who blindly follow unjust and unlawful orders! You who blindly obey the command to ‘kill drug suspects if they resist arrest!’ Woe to you who plant evidence in order to justify murder!”

EXTRAJUDICIAL KILLINGS. The marker also serves a reminder that extrajudicial killings exist in the Philippines. Photo by Maria Tan/Rappler

Kian was killed on August 16 last year in what the police called was a “shootout.” Law enforcers claimed that the 17-year-old was a drug courier. 

The claim was later on debunked by several eyewitnesses and CCTV footage that showed the cops dragging the teen. Autopsy results also showed that Kian was killed while kneeling down.

The 3 policemen charged with the murder of the teenage boy will face the court for the last two times on August 23 and 30 before a decision is made.

A Senate resolution filed by Senator Risa Hontiveros seeks to declare Delos Santos’ death anniversary, August 16, as a National Day of Remembrance “for all victims of extrajudicial killings under the Duterte government’s bloody war on drugs.” –

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