PHILIPPINE National Police Director General Ronald dela Rosa on Monday took media to task for focusing on the killing of 17-year-old Kian delos Santos and other teenagers in the war on drugs, saying it might cause people to rebel against the authorities.
“Why do you keep coming back to Kian?” Dela Rosa said in Filipino in Camp Bagong Diwa. “It’s like you’re arousing the sentiment of the people to rebel against the government because the police did wrong.”
Dela Rosa also complained that media did not publicize to the same extent the losses among police.
“You don’t write about the positive. Or if a cop gets stabbed in Caloocan, you don’t cover that very much, but keep going back to Kian…. What’s behind it?”
Dela Rosa also reminded officers to be more careful as they might be recorded on CCTV or on smart phones, and the media would blow up footage that showed police in a negative light.
He again went back to Delos Santos, who was seen being dragged away by two policemen on CCTV footage.
“Almost every day, it’s on the news,” he said about the Kian delos Santos case.
“I’m not questioning you. That’s your work, in search for truth, in search for whatever. That’s your job,” he told journalists. “But I’m just saying we’re being hit.”
Dela Rosa said police must win the “battle of perception” against other groups out to demolish their image.
The parents of Kian on Monday asked the Justice department to reject the appeal of the Caloocan policemen to dismiss the complaint against them, saying the respondents should be prosecuted for killing their son on Aug. 16.
In a reply to a counter-affidavit filed by suspects Chief Inspector Amor Cerillo, Police Officer 3 Arnel Oares, and Police Officers 1 Jeremiah Pereda and Jerwin Cruz of Caloocan City police community precinct 7, Saldy and Lorenza Santos said the autopsy report showed that Kian’s body was shot at close range, disproving the police claim that there was a shootout.
“Physical evidence speaks for itself. The foregoing wounds belie the claim of the… respondents that there was a shootout,” read the pleading filed through the Public Attorney’s Office.
Among the wounds sustained by Kian was a near-contact gunshot in his left ear.
Kian’s parents also said the evidence sumitted, including testimony of witnesses, were sufficient to establish probable cause on the charges of murder, torture, planting of evidence and violation of domicile. Rey E. Requejo
The PAO and the National Bureau of Investigation presented 16 eyewitnesses in earlier hearings. Most of them saw Kian already under custody of the respondents before he was shot dead—refuting the police claim of shootout.
Also submitted to DOJ panel were CCTV footages in the area operated by the barangay and results of the forensic exam conducted by the PAO indicating that Kian was lying face down when shot three times–twice in his head and once at the back.
The complainants also cited the findings of the PNP-Internal Affairs Service of the existence of conspiracy among respondents PO3 Arnel Oares and PO1s Jeremias Pereda and Jerwin Cruz adding that the former has found that they employed “excessive force’” that resulted in Kian’s death.