MANILA- (UPDATE) The 17-year-old boy whose death sparked public outrage and raised questions on the conduct of police operations has been laid to rest as his family cried for justice.
Kian Loyd Delos Santos was buried on Saturday afternoon at the La Loma Cemetery in a ceremony attended by hundreds and watched by thousands more on social media.
The boy's burial comes amid his family's and supporters' cry for justice and an ongoing probe launched by the government.
During the rites, hundreds of onlookers scrambled for space to get a closer look, blocking those who carried the teen's casket into his crypt, his final resting place among multi-level niches at the cemetery.
Earlier, the teen's funeral car-a truck bedecked with flowers where his casket was placed- made a stop at Caloocan City's Police Community Precinct 7, the station where the cops linked to his death were assigned.
Wearing "Justice for Kian" t-shirts, the slain teen's family attended his funeral mass Saturday morning at the Sta. Quiteria Church.
Saldy Delos Santos, father of the slain teen, gave a tear-jerking message and ode to his son at the mass rites.
Delos Santos was killed in a controversial anti-drug operation last Aug. 16. Policemen alleged that the teen was a drug runner for his father and uncle, an accusation that his family has strongly denied.
The incident has drawn public condemnation as evidence, including security footage and witness statements, suggest that the teen was executed.
A CCTV footage showed that two cops in civilian clothes accosted the minor towards the direction where he was killed. Two officers have admitted that they were the ones seen dragging the boy in the footage, but one officer denied this during a Senate hearing.
Witnesses said they saw cops hand the teen a gun, and told the latter to run before firing shots.
Autopsy results showed that the boy sustained fatal gunshot wounds to the head while he was already on the ground kneeling and turning away from the police.
Malacañang on Friday said the teen's killing was a "wake-up call" for reforms in the government and law enforcement agencies after the Philippine National Police drew heavy criticism over the incident.
“Kian's case is a wake-up call for the need to reform government institutions, even law enforcement agencies - a challenge that the President voiced from the beginning of his campaign for the presidency,” Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said in a
Relieved Northern Police District chief Roberto Fajardo admitted to senators at a hearing on Thursday that the police established Delos Santos' alleged drug links only after the deadly operation.
Another relieved official, former Caloocan City police chief Senior Supt. Chito Bersaluna meanwhile said posts on social media were used to verify the slain teen's alleged drug involvement.
The family of the slain teen on Friday filed a complaint for murder against Caloocan City police station 7 chief Chief Inspector Amor Cerillo, and PO3 Arnel Oares, PO1 Jerwin Cruz, and PO1 Jeremias Pereda- officers tagged in the teen's slay.
Oares, Cruz, and Pereda were also charged with violation of the anti-torture law.