MANILA- The Department of Justice (DOJ) has placed the parents of slain 17-year-old Kian Loyd Delos Santos under provisional coverage of the Witness Protection Program (WPP).
Lorenza and Saldy Delos Santos met with Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II on Tuesday, a day after meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte in Malacañang. The Chief Executive had promised them there would be no cover up of the case, where several police officers were tagged.
It was still unclear whether the parents had sought to be placed under WPP custody. Those given DOJ protection are individuals facing threats.
The Delos Santos family on Friday filed a murder complaint against relieved Caloocan City police station 7 chief Chief Inspector Amor Cerillo, and the 3 officers tagged in the slay of their son, PO3 Arnel Oares, PO1 Jerwin Cruz, and PO1 Jeremias Pereda.
The death of the 12th grader had sparked public outcry and had raised doubts on the conduct of police operations under the government's campaign against illegal drugs as evidence indicated that he was executed.
A closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage showed that two cops in civilian clothes accosted Delos Santos towards the direction where he was supposedly killed on Aug. 16. Witnesses said they saw the cops hand the teen a gun, and then told him to run for his life.
The Ombudsman on Tuesday announced its own probe on the boy's slay, an incident that has also prompted a Senate inquiry.
Other agencies that have launched their own inquiries are the Philippine National Police and the National Bureau of Investigation, an attached agency of the DOJ.
Earlier, Sen. Risa Hontiveros, who has custody of witnesses in the slay, had said Aguirre should inhibit from the DOJ investigation, citing his alleged bias in the case.
She also said witnesses should not be placed under the WPP's custody, saying it would be like “delivering sheep into the lion’s den.” --with a report from Johnson Manabat, DZMM