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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Kian slay: Charges mount against 16 Caloocan cops

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THE Philippine National Police Internal Affairs Service said Monday it has found probable cause to file administrative cases against 16 Caloocan City policemen over the Aug. 16 killing of 17-year-old student Kian Loyd delos Santos.

The charges will include grave misconduct, serious irregularity in the performance of duty and serious neglect of duty, IAS Inspector General Alfegar Triambulo said.

Among those to be charged are Chief Insp. Amor Cerillo, precinct commander; Police Officer 4 Arnel Oares, the one who allegedly shot Delos Santos; Police Officer 1 Jeremias Pereda and Police Officer 1 Jerwin Cruz.

None of the policemen have submitted counter-affidavits.

The Justice department, meanwhile, has issued subpoenas to Cerillo, Oares, Pereda and Cruz.

Justice Undersecretary Erickson Balmes said the DoJ’s panel of prosecutors has required the respondent police officers to attend the preliminary investigation hearing on the criminal cases on Sept. 12 and 19.

The panel is headed by Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Tofel Austria, with Assistant State Prosecutor Amanda Garcia and Associate Prosecution Attorney Moises Acayan, as members.

The hearing was  slated after the National Bureau of Investigation filed criminal cases before the DOJ against the four policemen.

Oares, Pereda and Cruz were directly involved in the anti-drug operation that led to the killing of Delos Santos.

Aside from murder and planting of evidence, the respondents are also charged with violation of domicile under Article 128 of the Revised Penal Code. The three police officers have been relieved from their posts and are temporarily under the custody of the National Capital Region Police Office in Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig City.

While the police claimed Kian had fired on them first, prompting them to shoot back and kill him, CCTV footage, eyewitnesses and autopsy findings contradicted their story.

Separate complaints for murder and torture were also filed by the Delos Santos family through the Public Attorneys’ Office against the four police officers.

Aguirre said the NBI and PAO complaints would be consolidated for the purpose of the preliminary investigation. 

On Monday, the Integrated Bar of the Philippines filed criminal and murder charges against the four policemen for Kian’s death.

Abdiel Dan Fajardo, IBP national president, charged the respondents with murder, child abuse, violation of domicile and planting of evidence.

He said Oares, Pereda, Cruz, Cerillo as well as relieved Chief Supt. Roberto Fajardo and Senior Supt. Chito Bersaluna of the Northern Police District must also be held culpable for grave misconduct and gross neglect of duty punishable with dismissal from government service.

A copy of the complaint was not made available to the press.

Fajardo said the IBP has to protect the identity of the three witnesses, all minor.

“We just hope that with the witnesses’ affidavits, the Ombudsman could now act and investigate the case, assume jurisdiction and file information for murder, against the respondents, and remove from office the ranking officials for gross neglect of duty,” he said.


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