Malacañang: Conviction of Kian’s killers proves PH justice system working

Pia Ranada
Malacañang: Conviction of Kian’s killers proves PH justice system working

Gerard Carreon

President Rodrigo Duterte will not pardon the policemen convicted of murder, says Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang on Thursday, November 29, said the guilty verdict against the policemen who killed teenager Kian delos Santos proves that the Philippine justice system working.

“It is a triumph of justice. It shows that this country has a robust judicial system,” Presidential Spokesman and Chief Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo said in a news briefing on Thursday.

Panelo also said the conviction of the 3 cops disproved the assertion of administration critics that the campaign against illegal drugs can be probed by the International Criminal Court (ICC),

Responding to questions, the spokesman said Duterte will not pardon the cops.

“If the conviction is murder which is intentional, then I don’t think the President will pardon,” said Panelo.

Even before he was elected president, Duterte had declared that he would pardon policemen convicted of wrongdoing during an anti-drug operation, as long as he thinks they were in the right.

He has also promised to promote cops who massacre drug addicts and criminals. 

In the days after Delos Santos’ murder, the President had said that if the cops are proven guilty, they should “rot in jail.”

“From the very start, the administration’s policy was to be intolerant with any kind of abuse coming from the military as well as the police,” said Panelo.

Malacañang also lauded the prosecution and defense for “doing their homework” such that the trial took a “record” 6 months.

Of all the controversies hounding his campaign against illegal drugs, the Kian delos Santos case was among the incidents that made Duterte temper his usually aggressive messaging.

Delos Santos was the first in a string of high-profile killings of youths in anti-drug operations. –

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Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada is a senior reporter for Rappler covering Philippine politics and environmental issues. For tips and story suggestions, email her at