MANILA - A police official has come forward to explain why slain teenager Kian Loyd delos Santos, who was right-handed, was holding a gun with his left hand when he allegedly shot it out with police.
Metro Manila police chief Oscar Albayalde said delos Santos was scaling a fence when he was allegedly being pursued by policemen in a drug operation in Caloocan City last week.
"Allegedly Kian used his left hand while trying to jump over a fence, that's their story. All of this is part of an investigation," said Albayalde who has talked to the suspects in the killing of the 17-year-old.
The NCRPO chief said one of suspects, PO3 Arnel Oares, admitted that he was the one who pursued and shot at Delos Santos in what he claims to be a "running gun battle" that ended with the victim trying to scale a fence.
If this is true, Albayalde said it would also be very hard for the police officers to select a portion of the body to shoot, especially because the drug operation was conducted in the evening.
"Especially in a dark alley like that and you're being shot at, it's really very hard for you to select the portion the body where you're going shoot your target," he said, stressing that shooting back is normal if a cop is shot at by a suspect.
The killing of delos Santos has drawn nationwide attention after CCTV footage showed two men dragging the teenager to a certain spot before he was shot.
Two witnesses interviewed by ABS-CBN News said the police punched delos Santos several times and then gave the teenager a gun, telling him to fire the gun before running away.
A police spot report earlier said the police found a caliber .45 pistol, 4 slugs and 2 sachets of shabu from the slain teenager.
The three police officers involved in the shooting are now under investigation.
Northern Police District (NPD) Director Supt. Roberto Fajardo was also relieved from his post after earlier claiming that Delos Santos, an 11th grader, was involved in the illegal drug trade as a "runner" and was a "known drug personality" in Caloocan City.
'TIME, WEATHER MAY HAVE AFFECTED PARAFFIN TEST'
Meanwhile, Albayalde said the paraffin test showing Delos Santos did not have gunpowder residue does not automatically mean the 11th grader did not fire a gun.
Albayalde explained that weather conditions and the time lapse between the incident and the day the paraffin tests were conducted may have affected the results.
"One factor probably is the time lapse when the test was conducted, and the humidity, wind velocity, and wind direction, and probably the weather. Negative results of nitrate are not really not that conclusive," he said.
Autopsy results by the Public Attorney's Office (PAO) forensic laboratory showing the 11th grader was shot twice in the head and once in the back as a "finishing shot" may also be inconclusive, the NCRPO chief said.
"The allegation is they are pursuing Kian. So when you're pursuing, when you're shooting at somebody, when you're running after him while you shoot, you go nearer and nearer and nearer," he explained.
A separate autopsy report by the Philippine National Police (PNP) Crime Laboratory has shown the teen was only shot twice in the head, contradicting the PAO report.
Based on this result, a medico legal officer said a "finishing shot" is impossible as they did not find soot or stippling that would suggest that Delos Santos was shot pointblank.
Meanwhile, the NCRPO chief clarified that the probe on Delos Santos' death is focused on the question of whether or not he was summarily executed, not on whether or not he is a drug courier.
He said the Philippine National Police - Criminal Investigation and Detection Group is already looking for other witnesses to help them in the probe.