Police Officer 1 Jeremiah Pereda, PO1 Jerwin Cruz and PO3 Arnel Oares, who conducted an anti-drug operation that resulted in the killing of Kian Loyd delos Santos, attend the Senate hearing on Thursday. Senate PRIB, File

NBI files murder cases vs 4 cops, asset in Kian killing
Audrey Morallo (philstar.com) - September 1, 2017 - 12:36am

MANILA, Philippines (First Published August 31, 8:06 p.m.) — The National Bureau of Investigation on Thursday recommended the filing of murder charges against three cops, their immediate superior and their alleged informant involved in the anti-narcotics operation that led to the “merciless” killing of a teenager in Caloocan City more than two weeks ago.

The death of 17-year-old Kian Loyd Delos Santos has sparked some of the most intense criticisms to date of President Rodrigo Duterte’s relentless campaign against illegal drugs.

Delos Santos’ death on August 16, one of the more than 80 tallied in a span of just three days that week, has highlighted the accusations against policemen that they were summarily executing drug suspects they caught, a charge that they deny.

READ: Prosecutors to handle preliminary probe of Kian case named

NBI investigators said that the “collective acts” of PO3 Arnel Oares, PO1 Jeremias Pereda and PO1 Jerwin Cruz and their station commander Chief Inspector Amor Cerillo had one single purpose: to kill Delos Santos.

The NBI is an attached agency of the Department of Justice, which is leading the probe.

The lifeless body of Delos Santos was found along a dark alley in a neighborhood in a Caloocan village.

The police said that the teenager, whom they claimed was a drug courier, fired at them, prompting them to defend themselves.

READ: Kian’s alleged drug activities 'validated' through social media posts

However, witnesses and CCTV footage disputed the police account and said that Delos Santos was armless and was not involved in illegal drugs.

“Based on the foregoing, there exists probable cause to charge all of herein subjects for murder,” the NBI investigators said.

NBI: Kian killed while kneeling

According to the NBI, the negative results of the paraffin examination conducted on the hands of the victim would disprove the police statement that the teenager offered violent resistance.

The photographs of Kian’s body, the bullet marks on the concrete wall, the trajectory of the bullets in the head of the teenager and the blood stains bellow the bullet dent would show that Delos Santos was shot while in a kneeling or fetal position, according to the investigating body.

“These circumstances further negate the claim of PO3 Oares and his cohorts that Kian engaged them in a shootout,” the report said.

Kian would have sustained wounds in the front of his body if he really fired upon the arresting officers, the NBI said.

It added that the arresting cops did not really have any intention to bring Delos Santos to the police station, based on the location where his body was found.

According to the NBI, the account of a witness would prove that the alleged arrest of a certain Nono, who police said was their asset, was staged to conceal “the crime these police officers have committed.”

“It was also admitted during the Senate inquiry that [Chief Inspector] Amor Cerillo was in the area when the incident took place,” the report added.

Last week, the Public Attorney’s Office filed cases against the three policemen involved in the operation.

PAO filed charges for murder and for violation of the country’s anti-torture law, according to Persida Acosta, the head of the office.

READ: Duterte meets with Kian's parents

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