MANILA - Public Attorney's Office Chief Persida Acosta on Monday denied she urged cops who allegedly shot dead 17-year-old Kian Delos Santos to turn state witness.
Acosta said her statements in a radio interview that the accused officers can turn state witness if they so decide may have been misconstrued.
"Hindi ko sinabing yung bumaril ang gagawing state witness. Most guilty yung bumaril. Hindi pwedeng maging state witness at ma-discharge kung ikaw ang pumatay, unless may mastermind ka," she told ANC's Headstart.
"Pero yung mga lookout lang sa grupo, sabi ko nga mag-isip-isip na sila…pwede sila, yung walang ginawa at di man lang tumulong," she said.
The PAO chief cited reports that there are more or less 12 cops in the operation that killed the 17-year-old Delos Santos. She said those who served as "lookouts" can be state witnesses.
"Di ko sinabing yung gunman ay gawing state witness. Di nakikinig nang mabuti sa interview yung iba eh. Konklusyon nang konklusyon, tapos magfe-fake news. Masama po yun," she said.
"Sabi nila, chef daw ako, taga-luto ng kaso. Wala akong nilutong kaso," she added, explaining that she had always sought justice in the 27 years she had been a lawyer after she lost a sibling.
Acosta is serving as legal counsel to the Delos Santos family after the 11th grader was killed in an drug sweep in Caloocan City on August 16.
Police alleged that Kian was a drug courier for his father and uncles, but officers told a Senate inquiry that they only learned about his drug links a day after the operation that killed him.
CCTV footage also caught Delos Santos supposedly being dragged by two cops in plain clothes towards the place he was killed.
Public outrage has been brewing over Kian's death, with many saying he was among the casualties in the name of President Rodrigo Duterte's war against drugs.