Malacañang distances itself from Aguirre remarks on Kian slay

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang distanced itself from the "opinion" of Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II that the death of Kian delos Santos has been "blown out of proportion."

"That is the opinion of Secretary Aguirre but, from the Palace point of view, this is a serious matter and we have given it the kind of due attention," said Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella on Thursday, August 24, during a Palace briefing.

"Like we have said, there is depth and seriousness regarding the matter," he also said.

But President Rodrigo Duterte's spokesman sought to soften his statement by adding, "On the other hand, it is also wise to make sure everything is continuously in perspective."

On Wednesday, August 23, Aguirre downplayed the death of Delos Santos, which has sparked outrage among citizens, saying it was an isolated case.

"This has been blown out of proportion by the media, that's why you think it's such a big issue. He's only one of the many thousands abused by the police if indeed there was abuse," he had said in Filipino during his department's budget hearing at the House of Representatives.

Duterte himself stayed away from Aguirre's kind of messaging, telling media he was angered by the CCTV footage showing Delos Santos was dragged by supposed police to the alley where he was shot.

The President promised that cops proven to have murdered Delos Santos will "rot in jail."

However, he said Delos Santos' death will not change the way his administration will implement its campaign against illegal drugs. –

Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at