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Bato: Despite Kian’s death, anti-drug ops to continue

Despite the death of 17-year-old student Kian delos Santos, Philippine National Police Director General Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa says anti-drug operations will not lie low. FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines – Philippine National Police Director General Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa said Tuesday that there will be no let up in anti-drug operations despite the outrage brought by the death of 17-year-old student Kian delos Santos at the hands of Caloocan City cops.

“Alam natin na ang general intention ng ating pangulo na gusto talaga niyang tuunan ng pansin at bigyan ng solution itong drug problem ng ating bansa, but at the same time ayaw niya ng pang-aabuso. Ayaw niya mang-abuso ;yung mga pulis” dela Rosa told radio station dwIZ.

“While ongoing ‘yung ating pagdidisiplina ng ating mga tauhan, patuloy pa rin ‘yung ating kampanya. Hindi po ‘yan hihinto,” he added.

READ: Bato taps CIDG to investigate Kian's death

Dela Rosa said cops behind the alleged killing of delos Santos were put under restrictive custody a day after the incident. Police officers have been administratively relieved in the past and then later reinstated. Superintendent Marvin Marcos and 18 others from the police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group-Region 8 have, for example, were relieved over the death of Ronaldo Espinosa, mayor of Albuera, Leyte and a drug suspect, while in government custody.

They are back in active service. 

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Dela Rosa admitted that he was dismayed by the outcome of the operation that resulted to the death of delos Santos. Closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage from the area suggests Delos Santos was manhandled by police.

The CCTV footage, however, told a different story from the after-action report by the operating cops that delos Santos resisted arrest.

Bato: The order is to end drug trade, not kill people

“Hindi ko masasabi na blunder kaagad ‘yan pero ako mismo personally dismayado ako sa resulta ng operation dahil bakit namatay yung bata? Courier man siya o hindi, pero hindi dapat patayin kung talagang hindi nanlaban,” the PNP chief said.

READPNP: Let's not generalize drug war based on Kian's death

“’Yun ‘yung pagkadismaya ko sa operation. Kung totoo man ‘yang binaril na walang kalaban-laban ‘yung bata. Ang utos ko po ay mag-operate tayo ng droga at hindi pumatay nang pumatay,” Dela Rosa continued.

Examination by the Public Attorney's Office, meanwhile, showed delos Santos sustained three gunshot wounds, one in the back and two through his head. He was shot to death while on the ground based on the trajectory of the bullet coming from a 9-mm gun.

His death forced various government agencies to launch investigations, while concerned citizens staged a protest Monday night at the EDSA People Power Monument to condemn the incident.

President Rodrigo Duterte assured the public that cops involved in the death of delos Santos will be held liable if proven guilty.

He has repeatedly said in public speeches that he will pardon police officers facing cases over the government's war on drugs.

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