Remains of drug war victim Kian exhumed

Ghio Ong - The Philippine Star
Remains of drug war victim Kian exhumed
This November 29, 2018 photo shows the apartment tomb of Kian Delos Santos, a teenager killed in an anti-drug police operation in Caloocan City last year.
The STAR / Michael Varcas

MANILA, Philippines — A day before his fifth death anniversary, the remains of Kian Loyd delos Santos, who was killed during the Duterte administration’s war on drugs, were exhumed yesterday.

Fr. Flavie Villanueva led the blessing of the tomb of Kian before the remains were exhumed at the La Loma Cemetery in Caloocan.

Kian’s cadaver was evicted from his grave since the five-year burial lease had expired.

Villanueva said Kian’s remains would be reexamined by forensic pathologist Raquel Fortun and buried again in the same cemetery.

Villanueva’s advocacy group, Project Paghilom, helps families of drug war victims exhume the remains of their dead and subject them to re-autopsy after the five-year burial lease has lapsed.

Fortun, one of only two forensic pathologists in the country, also helps the families of drug war victims by looking into their deaths.

A student at the time, Kian was killed by police while on his knees during Oplan Tokhang near his house in Sta. Quiteria, Caloocan in 2017.

Closed-circuit television footage showed him pleading for his life, saying, “Tama na po, may exams po ako bukas,” before he was shot dead.

Kian’s death drew public outrage and caught the attention of the International Criminal Court regarding extrajudicial killings related to the war on drugs.

In 2018, the Caloocan City Regional Trial Court convicted three police officers of the murder of Kian.

Kian’s uncle, Randy delos Santos, who exhumed the remains, said the victim became the “face” of abuse of power by police.

“Siguro sa pamamagitan ng kanyang kuwento, tinanggap ng lahat na may extrajudicial killings at pag-abuso sa kapangyarihan mula sa mga alagad ng batas,” Delos Santos said.


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