THE National Bureau of Investigation on Thursday filed murder charges against the Caloocan City policemen involved in the killing of teenager Kian delos Santos in an anti-drug operation.
The NBI said the killing, which Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II described as “which appears illegal,” has sparked public outrage and calls to end killings under the Duterte administration’s war on drugs.
Charged were former Caloocan City Police Station 7 commander Chief Inspector Amor Cerillo and the three officers directly tagged in the shooting—Police Officer 3 Arnel Oares, PO1 Jeremias Pereda and PO1 Jerwin Cruz
The policemen have been relieved from their posts and, according to National Capital Region Police Office chief Director Oscar Albayalde, are temporarily under the care of the Metro Manila police headquarters support service in Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig City.
Delos Santos, 17, was killed in an anti-drug operation on Aug. 16, with police alleging that he shot at pursuing officers, prompting them to fire back.
Delos Santos was laid to rest on Aug. 26 at the La Loma Cemetery in a ceremony attended by hundreds who called for justice for his death, and demanded an end to the drug-related killings.
The Grade 11 student’s killing has also prompted a Senate inquiry
President Rodrigo Duterte has promised justice for Delos Santos’ death, even meeting Kian’s parents this week, but said his anti-drug campaign would continue.
According to reports, a CCTV footage and witness accounts of Kian’s shooting have cast doubt on the officers’ version of the events.
Surveillance footage showed two officers dragging Delos Santos to the spot where the boy was killed
Witnesses also alleged that the police beat up the victim, gave him a gun by force, and told Delos Santos to run for his life.
Two of the policemen admitted they were the men shown in a CCTV footage with their arms around Delos Santos shortly before he was shot.
However, PO1 Cruz denied this and said it was not Kian they were dragging at the time but a police asset.
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