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Nation

Kian’s kin wants hope for other victims

Marc Jayson Cayabyab - The Philippine Star
Kianâs kin wants hope for other victims
In this Aug. 15, 2018 photo, parents and children from Caloocan gathered in Beasa Libis, Brgy 160, on the site where Kian delos Santos was shot, to offer flowers and prayers.
Akbayan / Released

MANILA, Philippines — An uncle of Kian delos Santos, the teenager killed by three Caloocan police officers on Aug. 16, 2017, yesterday said it pained him that justice remains elusive for thousands of other victims of the government’s war on drugs.

Randy delos Santos said it was high time for him to reach out to other families and give them hope at a time when the International Criminal Court (ICC) has asked victims to come forward.

“Mabigat yung bagay na makita ang kapwa kong biktima, na mapakinggan, paniwalaan, at bigyang diin ang kanilang kuwento (It is important for the stories of the victims’ families to be heard and believed),” Delos Santos told The STAR yesterday.

Delos Santos said he has used his time to assist other victims of the drug war and help them recover from the trauma of losing their loved ones.

He said the latest development involving the complaint against President Duterte and his allies for crimes against humanity may take years to resolve, but it opens a ray of hope.

Retired ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda concluded her three-year preliminary examination into human rights abuses in the country and asked the pre-trial chamber to open an investigation.

Delos Santos said it would take years for the ICC to resolve the case, “but this is where hope is.”

He prays the ICC case would move forward to put a spotlight on the abuses committed in the narcotics crackdown.

Thousands of victims have been killed in police operations for allegedly fighting back, an allegation their families have denied. Others have been shot dead by gunmen on motorcycles.

“This is a venue to show the world that this is not an isolated case or that the victims were collateral damage,” Delos Santos said.

Former Staff Sgt. Arnel Oares and Patrolmen Jeremias Pereda and Jerwin Cruz were sentenced to life in prison for killing Kian in Baesa, Caloocan during a drug sweep.

Caloocan Regional Trial Court Judge Rodolfo Azucena Jr. said in his landmark ruling in November 2018: “Never has homicide or murder been a function of law enforcement. The public peace is never predicated on the cost of human life.”

KIAN DELOS SANTOS
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