Most Filipinos afraid they’d end up like Kian delos Santos – Pulse Asia

Bea Cupin

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Most Filipinos afraid they’d end up like Kian delos Santos – Pulse Asia
In a poll held a month after the teenager's death, more than three-fourths of Filipinos who knew about Kian delos Santos said they were worried they or somebody they knew would meet the same fate

MANILA, Philippines – According to a September 2017 survey by Pulse Asia, “most” Filipinos are concerned that because of President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs, they could meet the same fate as 17-year-old Kian delos Santos, who was killed in an August 2017 police operation.

In the survey, at least 9 out of 10 Filipinos said they heard, read, or watched something about the teenager, who was killed by Caloocan City police, allegedly because he “fought back (nanlaban).” (READ: Understanding public support for Duterte’s drugs war)

Of those who said they knew of Delos Santos, more than three-fourths or 76% said they were “worried that they, a member of their family, a relative, or an acquaintance may experience the same fate as Delos Santos due to the implementation of the administration’s anti-illegal drugs campaign,” according to the survey firm.

The poll, held from September 24 to 30, 2017, surveyed 1,200 Filipinos. At the time the survey was held, it had been a month since Delos Santos was killed.

Investigations – criminal, administration, and legislative – were in full-swing by then. (READ: NBI: Cops murdered Kian delos Santos, planted evidence)

Days prior to the start of the survey, anti-Duterte groups staged protests to mark the anniversary of martial law and to call for an end of the killings linked to the war on drugs.

Pulse Asia noted that the fear of themselves or someone they knew ending up dead in the drug war was “shared by big majorities in each geographic area and socio-economic class.”

Of those who said they were aware of the teenager’s death, 13% were ambivalent about meeting the same fate; 11% said they were not worried.

Still in the same survey, 88% of those polled said they support the war on drugs. At the same time, 73% said they believed EJKs are happening in the war on drugs. 

Respondents were asked:

Kayo po ba ay nababahala/nangangamba na maaring mangyari sa inyo, sa sinumang miyembro ng inyong pamilya, kamag-anak o kakilala ang sinapit ni Kian delos Santos at iba pang napaslang dala ng operasyon laban sa iligal na droga? Masasabi ba niyong kayo ay (How concerned/worried are you that what happened to Kian delos Santos and others similar to him may happen to you, any member of your family, your relatives or acquaintances because of the operations against illegal drugs? Would you say that you are..)?”

Prior to being asked this question, respondents were told the following:

Noong gabi ng Agosto 16, 2017, habang nagsasagawa ng operasyon laban sa iligal na droga ang mga miyembro ng Northern Police District sa Brgy. 160 sa lungsod ng Caloocan, ay dinampot ang 17-anyos na si Kian delos Santos at pinagbabaril sa isang eskinita matapos umano itong manlaban.

Maraming kumondena sa insidenteng ito dahil iba ang nakasaad sa police report at ang nakuhanang pangyayari ng CCTV sa lugar at mga pahayag ng mga testigo. Dalawang araw matapos ilibing si delos Santos noong Agosto 26 ay nakipagpulong ang kanyang mga magulang kay Presidente Duterte.

Ipinangako ng Presidente na mabibigyan ng hustisya ang pagkamatay ni delos Santos kung mapatunayang nagkasala ang mga pulis. May narinig, nabasa o napanood na po ba kayo tungkol dito o wala pa?

(On the eve of August 16, 2017, while the members of Northern Police District in Brgy. 160 in Caloocan City were conducting an operation against illegal drugs, 17-year-old Kian delos Santos was taken and was repeatedly shot in an alley after allegedly resisting arrest.

Many expressed outrage over this incident because the police report is different from the CCTV footage and statements of witnesses.

Two days after Delos Santos’s burial last August 26, his parents met with President Duterte. The President vowed to bring justice to Delos Santos’ death if the police are proven guilty.)

Delos Santos’ death and the death of at least one other teenage boy – also at the hands of Caloocan police – sparked outrage around the country, both online and offline. Critics said the incidents only proved allegations that police took the law into their own hands in the implementation of the drug war.

The Philippine National Police (PNP) sacked key officials in the city and eventually replaced the entire Caloocan City police unit, as previous personnel were made to undergo training.

Administration allies have claimed the killings of the teens were meant to “destabilize” the administration.

Since the war on drugs began, it has been both popular and controversial. The PNP has been accused of resorting to extralegal means in chasing after suspects. To date, the PNP has tallied over 3,800 dead as a result of police operations.

It has also tallied tens of thousands of arrested suspects and over a million alleged drug personalities “surrendered” through a knock-and-plead door-to-door operation.

Police have also said that crime rates have gone significantly down since the drug war began, arguing that drugs are the root of many crimes.

Still the PNP has been ordered to stop all drug operations following a Social Weather Stations survey that showed a significant drop in Duterte’s trust and satisfaction ratings.

Previous surveys have also shown that while Filipinos support the drug war, they don’t believe police claims that the slain suspects “fought back” and that they too fear being victims of alleged EJKs–

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Bea Cupin

Bea is a senior multimedia reporter who covers national politics. She's been a journalist since 2011 and has written about Congress, the national police, and the Liberal Party for Rappler.