The death of a 17 year old may just be the drawback that will make President Duterte’s unlawful actions against his war on drugs be taken now in serious considerations, which the majority of the public had overlooked in the past in the hopes that the President will fulfill his promise to eradicate the root cause of the drug problem in the society.
The citizens’ dismay and misgivings are spreading like wildfire in the social media sites, expressing their concerns and calling out for justice and a proper investigation for the minor who was killed in the process.
Kian de los Santos was a 17 year old student at Our Lady of Lourdes College in Gen. T. De Leon in Valenzuela City, Metro Manila who was accused of being a drug peddler.
What has caught the outrage of the public was not about what the Police have been insisting since the news broke about, the student being an alleged drug peddler but of the too many questions surrounding the boy’s death.
Earlier police report stated that boy was an ‘unidentified man’ they just encountered and that he was not even the target on August 16’s anti-drug operation but now, the police insists that Kian was a ‘new drug suspect’ after receiving a statement from a witness who claims to know Kian and had received drugs from him for 3 months.
Another factor that is unsettling around the boy’s death was that it was caught on CCTV footage. The footage showed two police officers dragging de los Santos with another police officer following them. It was a moment away before the boy was seen lying on the ground, shot and dead. It seems that according to the images, the police already had the custody over the boy and that they had control over what would happen next.
In their defense, the police insisted that the boy fought back and that they had no choice but to shoot him contradicting to what the boy’s friend who was not identified had said, that Delos Santos only begged the police officers to stop beating him.A mere 17 year old boy against three fully grown men raises doubts against their statements. Even several eyewitnesses had stated that police had beaten up Kian and that they also gave him a gun and forced to run away only to shoot him further questions the police’s actions.
Barangay officials and even the neighbors had identifiedthe boy in the footage as Kian but the police insist that it was a police asset. The prosecution also stated that the public should not jump to conclusions as well and that the CCTV footage needs to be enhanced in order to identify who was really the one being dragged.
But it wasn’t the only thing that is baffling about the boy’s death. With the autopsy done on the boy’s cold corpse, the incident is something that really should be further investigated. According to Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) Chief Persida Acosta, the forensic had found out two entry wounds to the head and another at the boy’s back.
“Three fatal wounds ang nakita at yung isa ay treacherous wound (3 fatal wounds were seen, and one of them was a treacherous wound),” Acosta told the reporters.
A treacherous wound is caused by an assailant to ensure execution against a victim in legal terms. The treachery can be used as an aggravating circumstance, a basis for murder charge that can or will be used against the Caloocan police officers.
There are also reports saying that the boy was shot while lying down.
With this in mind, the public and even the supporters of the administration are raising reasonable doubts against the actions of the law enforcers and the President’s.
Kian Delos Santos’ case is a wake up call to remind everyone that we should no longer tolerate unlawful actions to eradicate the problem. Yes, Kian was an alleged drug peddler but it was for the court law to decide and not for the police officers who just wanted a quick solution in order to gain immediate results.We are talking about human lives here, not just some poultry farm animals getting killed. Human lives that the law has sworn oath to protect above anything else.
The end cannot justify the means. We should no longer tolerate the death of innocent lives the President has called ‘collateral damages’. We should no longer consider the use of violence against a crime when we have the law.
What the President should focus on now is not eliminating the petty criminals in the alleyways who are just going on the flow with the bigger criminals, but correcting the corrupt system of the government which the bigger criminals rely on protecting them. Killing these small-time drug criminals will not resolve the problem but the uprooting of the root cause of the problem, the narco-politicians, drug lords and corrupt law enforcers. The President himself has admitted he had not done much against his war on drugs compared to what he has promised on eliminating the drug problem in just 6 months.
It’s already been a year, it is time for the President to make bigger actions, to put into use the list of big-time drug lords he has. It is time to put this to an end.