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Protests to demand justice for slain student set on August 21

MANILA, Philippines (4th UPDATE) – Concerned citizens will stage a rally at the People Power Monument on Monday, August 21, to demand justice for Kian Loyd delos Santos, the 17-year-old student killed in anti-drug operations in Caloocan City.

The rally, called "Tama Na! Protesta laban sa patayan," will take place at 6 pm on Monday at the People Power Monument in Quezon City.

University professor Sylvia Claudio first posted about the rally on her Facebook page on Saturday, August 19.

"If possible, no organizational posters. Let's make this about our common humanity," Claudio said.

Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) also announced on Sunday, August 20, that it would hold a "Walk for Justice" on Monday to demand that those responsible for Delos Santos' death and other extrajudicial killings be punished.

The group will assemble at Sta Quiteria Parish in Caloocan City at 4:30 pm on Monday, then walk to the crime scene at 5 pm and to Delos Santos' wake at 6 pm.

Delos Santos is one of 81 people killed in a number of operations held this week to counter crime, drug peddling, and drug use. (READ: Our son, Kian: A good, sweet boy)

The Department of Justice has already ordered an investigation into Delos Santos' death.

Delos Santos' death has fueled criticism of President Rodrigo Duterte's war on drugs, which has killed thousands since he took office on June 30, 2016.

On Monday, August 21, Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella acknowledged the people's right to assemble. 

"The President has said time and again that he will allow mass protest as long as it does not cause public inconvenience or compromise public safety. This is consistent with PRRD’s philosophy that criticism – good or bad – is part of the territory of anyone working in the government," Abella said in a statement.

"Having said this, we enjoin protesters to fully cooperate with police authorities who are expected to exercise maximum tolerance during the event." – Rappler.com