Duterte on Kian’s killing: Cops went out of line

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STO TOMAS, Batangas -- “That is really bad.”

That was how President Rodrigo Duterte described the drug operation that killed 17-year-old Kian Lloyd Delos Santos in a drug operation in Caloocan City.

Delos Santos was shot dead on the night of August 17 by police officers who claimed that the minor had fired at them when he saw them coming.

But several witnesses, however, said the police had beaten up the boy, gave him a gun and forced him to run before shooting him.

“I’m not justifying yung sa Caloocan [incident]. That is really bad. Hindi naman in the performance of duty ‘yon,” Duterte said, who has repeatedly said he would defend police who have killed drug suspects in line with their duty.

The President reiterated his oft-repeated warning to the police: “What I reminded again the military and the police is that it should be in the performance of duty. That you are not allowed to kill a person who is kneeling down, begging for his life. That is murder.”

“That is murder,” he said.

The President on Monday night, Aug. 21, said policemen involved in the killing of Delos Santos would rot in jail if proven guilty.


No ‘luto-luto’

“I agree that there should be an investigation. Should the investigation point to liabilities, my warning to all is there will be a prosecution and they have to go to jail. That I can assure you. There will be no luto-luto (whitewash),” he told reporters.

The President said that, after the killing of Delos Santos, he immediately called up Philippine National Police Chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa to immediately put in jail the policemen involved.

“The media did not know it but right after it happened, I called Bato (and said,) ‘Arrest the guys and place them in jail to wait for inquest.’ That will continue if it’s murder,” Mr. Duterte said.

He added that he also ordered the National Bureau of Investigation to investigate the case.


No to abuses

“Now, let us be clear on this…I said I would protect those who are doing their duty. I never promised to protect those who are supposedly engaged in doing their duty but committing a crime in the process –  abuses. That cannot be done,” the President said.

“So, when you make an arrest, it must – you calibrate. If he’s just using a stick or a bat, then you immobilize him. Shoot him in the hand. If he’s using a gun or a bolo or a knife, and you think that your life is in danger, that will justify the policeman to kill you,” he added.

However, the President said the government war against drugs would continue, even if it costs him the presidency.

“Now, you want me to change? No. You want - you’ll - I’ll be destroyed? Yes. I’ll be impeached? Correct. I am not. I can be impeached. If you want, shoot me. But I will not change my policy,” Mr. Duterte said.

“There will be war against drugs because I have to protect - that’s my oath of office - the mass of population… I have that sworn duty to defend the people and protect the Republic,” he added. –

The Filipino Express

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