The Philippine National Police on Saturday defended its autopsy report on drug war victim Kian Delos Santos, insisting it was conducted with strict adherence to standard operating procedures.
The PNP Forensic Group issued the statement after forensic pathologist Dr. Raquel Fortun earlier said the police and the Public Attorney’s Office did not properly examine the remains of the 17-year-old boy.
“The autopsy findings of the PNP’s expert witness which were presented as one of
PNP…the prosecution’s evidence during the trial of the criminal case significantly led to the conviction of the personnel involved, the court sentencing the accused to 40 years imprisonment without parole and the indemnification of the heirs of Delos Santos,” the PNP Forensic Group said in a statement.
The group said its expert witness’ findings helped put behind bars the three Caloocan cops who killed Delos Santos in 2017.
The forensic group also said it has conducted “honest, serious and sincere forensic examination free from any personal or political agenda” since its establishment in 1945.
Fortun, however, said on Thursday that the PNP report almost had no information in it.
She said only surface cuts were made on Delos Santos’ body, and that there was no examination of the boy’s internal organs.
She also revealed that she found a bullet on the victim’s neck area that was not reported in previous autopsies.
Fortun said the bullet could be matched to the gun that was used to kill Delos Santos.
For his part, former PNP chief Sen. Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa said cases related to the deadly drug war of the Duterte administration should be filed in Philippine courts and not before the International Criminal Court.
“If Fortun’s findings are true, file the case. We have the NBI to investigate. File the case before our courts and not before the ICC. They do not have jurisdiction over us,” Dela Rosa said in a radio interview.
“You can hang me anytime if you can prove that I am guilty. You can hang me in front of the Filipino people. You can hang me through the decision of the Filipino courts. But my god, not by a foreigner,” he added.
The ICC earlier said the government’s efforts to investigate and prosecute the alleged crimes against humanity in the Philippines were not satisfactory.
The ICC resumed its investigation into the bloody drug war and Davao Death Squad killings on January 26.
More than 6,000 drug suspects were killed in police operations in the country during Duterte’s term from 2016 to 2022, official tallies show.
Rights groups, however, estimate the figure could go as high as 30,000, including those who were killed by vigilantes and unknown perpetrators.