The killing of Kian Delos Santos, a 17-year-old Grade 11 student, during an anti-drug operation by the Caloocan City police has understandably triggered outrage from the public the past three days.
This sentiment is evident particularly on social media, where netizens have expressed anger directed at President Rodrigo Duterte, his allies, and the Philippine National Police. The Filipino Scribe‘s op-ed on the incident, for example, already got almost 40,000 views in less than 48 hours. Evidently, “Kian” has now become the poster boy of the excesses of the government-initiated “War on Drugs.
Under normal circumstances, there should be no debate over expressing outrage toward police officers who killed a 17-year old boy. In the same way, there should be no second-guessing over condemning a neo-Nazi who intentionally rammed his vehicle into demonstrators protesting a gathering of White supremacists, with the goal of killing people. However, in a sad reflection of the hyper-partisanship of our society at present, that is not the case.
It’s sickening that way too many people frame these events in the context of party loyalties (Dutertards vs Dilawan and Democrat vs Republican). Showing respect for basic human decency should not be shrouded in partisanship.
As an example, a certain pro-Duterte female blogger asked, “Why is it that 17-year-old kid at the place where the cops conducted the drug raid?” The simplest possible answer to that is this – the family happen to live in the area!
Without saying it explicitly, the implication of her line of thinking is clear – the kid must have been involved in something nefarious because he was at the spot at the wrong time. If you learned that someone got killed and your first question is, “Why is he there?” instead of “Who killed him and why?” then there’s something wrong with you.
A pro-Duterte blogger asked, "Why is that 17-yr old kid at the place where the cops conducted a drug raid?"
Maybe because they live there?
— Mark Madrona #DefendPressFreedom (@FilipinoScribe) August 18, 2017
Early this Sunday (August 20), Philippine National Police-Caloocan presented to the media a self-confessed drug pusher named Renato “Nono” Loveras. He claimed that “Kian” Delos Santos is a drug courier and that he has personally transacted with him in the past. For his part, PNP Chief Ronald Dela Rosa went a step further and claimed that the slain minor was indeed used by his father and his uncles as a drug courier.
These are clear attempts at smearing the reputation of “Kian” and his family to justify the way he was executed by elements of PNP Caloocan. It is likely that the so-called witness was just paid or intimidated to say the things he said. And even assuming that what Loveras and Dela Rosa said is true, the minor still didn’t deserve to get killed that way. Nobody deserves to be killed that way. Inste
Obviously, there must be a thorough investigation on this. Nevertheless, we can’t deny that the CCTV footage and the eyewitness accounts so far are overwhelmingly against the PNP’s version of events. Sadly, a dead person cannot defend himself anymore.