MANILA - Vice President Leni Robredo visited the wake of a 17-year-old boy killed during an anti-drug operation and promised legal assistance to his family early Sunday.
According to her staff, Robredo went to the wake of slain 11th grader Kian Delos Santos in Caloocan City straight from Naga City, Camarines Sur.
Robredo was accompanied by Delos Santos' father Saldy as she inspected the area where the teenager was killed.
“Sabi naman namin, kung anong desisyon nila at kung anong tulong na puwede naming igawad, tutulong tayo," Robredo said in her weekly radio show, Biserbisyong Leni.
Delos Santos was shot dead by policemen on Wednesday in what they said was a drug bust and shootout. Witnesses however said Kian was mauled and given a gun before he was told to run and then shot.
The Vice President was accompanied by Atty. Jose Manuel Diokno of the Free Legal Assistance Group who volunteered his help to the Delos Santos family.
Robredo called for an impartial investigation into the incident and again said the Duterte administration should rethink its approach to fighting illegal drugs.
“Sang-ayon naman tayo na malaki talaga iyong suliranin sa ilegal na droga, pero baka iyong pamamaraan, mayroong mas mabuti, na hindi iyong karapatang pantao na iyong nakasalalay, iyong mga inosente nabibiktima,” she said.
Speaking to radio DZMM, Saldy Delos Santos said he also asked for "security" for his family. He also deplored allegations from the Caloocan police that his son was a drug courier.
"E kasi nga po, kaya po nilang gumawa ng kung anu-anong kwento. Kaya po nilang manira ng mabuting mamayan," he said.
Caloocan police on Sunday presented a self-confessed drug pusher who said that Kian was a drug courier, a charge that the Delos Santos family has denied.
Besides Robredo, Senator Risa Hontiveros and Caloocan Mayor Oscar Malapitan have visited Kian's wake.
Hontiveros, in a statement on Sunday, said her office has taken custody of the witnesses in Kian's killing to ensure their safety.