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Bato taps CIDG to investigate Kian's death

A neighbor and friend of slain student Kian Loyd delos Santos refuses to leave his wake in Caloocan City yesterday. AP

MANILA, Philippines – Philippine National Police Director General Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa has ordered the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group to look into the death of 17-year-old student Kian Delos Santos, who was killed in anti-drug police operation in Caloocan City last week.

Chief Superintendent Dionardo Carlos, PNP spokesman, said Monday that a separate investigation will be conducted by CIDG aside from the automatic inquiry by the Internal Affairs Service.

According to its websites, among the CIDG's functions is to investigate "all major cases involving violation of the Revised Penal Code." It is also tasked with investigating prosecuting smuggling, profiteering and "other crimes of such magnitude and extent as to indicate their commission by highly placed or professional syndicates and organizations." 

The four officers of the Caloocan City Police Station involved in the killing of Delos Santos have already been relieved from their posts and now under the restrictive custody of the National Capital Region Police Office. They will later be transferred to CIDG custody.

Carlos said the subjects are on floating status, which means they are still part of the police service but do not have a unit assignment.

Senior Superintendent Chito Bersaluna, head of the Caloocan police, has also been administratively relieved to ensure the impartiality of the investigation.

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“The chief PNP was dismayed with the result of the operation, kaya nga ito ‘yung ating iniimbestigahan, the incident that resulted to the death of Kian,” Carlos said in a press briefing at Camp Crame in Quezon City.

READ: Dela Rosa sorry over boy's death, defends drug war killings

Carlos said that Caloocan City police personnel were conducting an “Oplan Galugad” operation based on the intelligence report that Delos Santos was being used as a drug courier by his father and uncle. "Oplan Galugad" is also sometimes used for operations to search for contraband in jails and prisons.

Carlos added that they are also investigating the after-action report submitted by the Caloocan police as well as accounts of the witnesses and closed circuit television camera footage.

“Yung after report na sinasabi nila , to ang nangyari. Now, may mga lumalabas na eyewitnesses, CCTV footage, kung tutugma ‘yun sa sinasabi nila na naganap... kaya nagsasagawa tayo ng imbestigasyon para makita natin ang katotohanan,” Carlos added.

Carlos stressed that the operation did not target Delos Santos who, according to reports, was just closing their sari-sari store when picked up by the cops.

“We extend the deepest sympathy of the PNP leadership over this unfortunate incident. With the sincerest assurance of highest resolve to serve the best interest of truth and justice,” Carlos said.

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