Saldy delos Santos, center, and his wife Lorenza, second right, grieve over the coffin of their son Kian Loyd delos Santos, a 17-year-old student, who was killed in an alleged anti-drug crackdown during his funeral, Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017, in suburban Caloocan city, north of Manila, Philippines. Murder complaints were filed Friday against Philippine police officers in connection with the killing of a teenager that has sparked an outcry against the president's anti-drug crackdown, which has left thousands dead. AP/Bullit Marquez

Kian's mom: Cops threatened witnesses
( - August 28, 2017 - 7:40am

MANILA, Philippines — The police officers charged for the killing of teenage student Kian Loyd delos Santos advised a few witnesses to maintain their silence, according to the victim's mother.

During the Senate hearing last week, the three policemen facing charges for the death of Kian denied that the person they were seen dragging in a security footage was the victim.

"Your honor, kami po 'yung nasa CCTV pero 'yung sinasabi pong si Kian hindi po si Kian 'yun. 'Yun po ay aming asset, alpha po namin 'yun," PO1 Jerwin Cruz told the Senate panel.

READ: Cops on CCTV footage: Asset being dragged, not Kian | It's Kian in video, cops admit; NPD chief sacked

Lorenza delos Santos, Kian's mother, said that a witness confirmed that it was indeed Kian that the policemen were holding and not an informant.

"Lumapit na 'yan sa akin at the time na nakaburol si Kian sabi, 'Ate, kilala namin 'yung mga pulis at kilala naming na si Kian yung kinakaladkad kaya lang nung that time tinakot kami ng mga pulis na... 'wag kayo magsalita.' Parang binantaan sila so 'yung ginawa nila hindi na sila nagsalita kumbaga nanahimik for the safety," Lorenza said in an interview with ANC's "Headstart".

Witnesses willing to give statements despite threats

Kian's mother added that the witnesses were willing to give their testimonies despite threats from the police personnel.

"Ako naman, kung talagang gusto ninyo tumestigo, wala namang problema kung talagang nakita ninyo kasi kayo rin naman yung nako-konsensya, kaya kung gusto ninyo at kakailanganin kayo... willing naman daw sila," she said.

Public Attorney's Office chief Persida Rueda-Acosta said that they have six witnesses who have given their testimonies upon filing the charges against the three suspects.

This is aside from the three witnesses under the custody of the Senate upon the request of Sen. Risa Hontiveros.

Last week, Kian's parents, accompanied by lawyers from the PAO filed murder and torture charges against PO3 Arnel Oares, PO1 Jerwin Cruz and PO1 Jeremias Pereda.

“We filed two criminal cases… first case is murder because of the presence of treachery and abuse of superior strength and other aggravating circumstances and qualifying circumstances. Second, for violation of Republic Act No. 9745, the Anti-Torture Law of 2009, involving the torture of minor resulting in death,” Acosta said last week.

President Rodrigo Duterte, who has condemned the killings and said that he had Philippine National Police Director General Ronald dela Rosa detain the police officers involved, held a closed-door meeting with the delos Santoses on Monday. — Patricia Lourdes Viray

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