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‘Kian begged for his life before cops shot him’

The witnesses, neighbors of Delos Santos aged 31 and 13, appeared during preliminary investigation earlier this week and affirmed their affidavits supporting the murder and torture charges against four Caloocan policemen tagged in the killing. Michael Varcas, File

MANILA, Philippines — Two more witnesses in the killing of student Kian Loyd delos Santos during an anti-drug operation in Caloocan City last August have surfaced at the Department of Justice (DOJ).

The witnesses, neighbors of Delos Santos aged 31 and 13, appeared during preliminary investigation earlier this week and affirmed their affidavits supporting the murder and torture charges against four Caloocan policemen tagged in the killing.

In their separate affidavits obtained by The STAR, the two detailed how Delos Santos begged for his life.

“One of the two police officers held Kian by the neck while the other one his hands... Kian said, ‘Tama na po, may exam pa ako bukas’ (Stop, I still have an exam tomorrow). But they ignored him,” one of the witnesses said in his affidavit.

According to the witness, the policemen dragged Kian to a basketball court and told the residents present to go home.

The other witness corroborated this account of the incident and provided details of what transpired next.

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“The group of men brought the teenager to a dark dead-end near our house. At first they were talking to the boy. Later on, one of the men pushed the teenager to the ground and he shouted, ‘Huwag po! Huwag po’ (Don’t! Don’t)!”

The witness said she heard gunshots afterwards and saw the teenager lifeless before she ran inside the house.

She said more policemen arrived in the area.

The witness later found out that the slain teenager was Delos Santos.

The first witness detailed how Delos Santos was arrested by police after being tagged by an asset.

She said Delos Santos was punched several times and slapped in the face by the policemen. 

The witness said one of the police officers searched Delos Santos’ body for drugs but found nothing.

Another policeman brought out a sachet of shabu and insisted that it was owned by Delos Santos, according to the witness.

A total of 16 witnesses have been presented by the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) and National Bureau of Investigation to support the charges against Chief Insp. Amor Cerillo, Police Officer 3 Arnel Oares and Police Officers 1 Jeremiah Pereda and Jerwin Cruz, all of Caloocan police community precinct 7.

The PAO had submitted to the Department of Justice (DOJ) closed-circuit television footage and the results of the forensic exam conducted by the PAO indicating that Delos Santos was lying face down when shot three times – twice in the head and once at the back.

The policemen have denied the murder and torture charges in their counter-affidavits submitted to the DOJ. 

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