Isolated? Kian is 54th minor killed in drug war, says children's rights group

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 04 2017 02:56 PM

MANILA - Kian Delos Santos is the 54th minor killed in the war against drugs, according to the Children's Legal Rights and Development Center, a human rights organization for children.

Speaking to ANC, Executive Director Rowena Legaspi said this shows that the killing of the 17-year-old student is not isolated, contrary to what the Malacañang Palace said previously. 

"We have documented at least 54 cases since July 2016 until August 2017. Kian was actually the 54th case. So it's not an isolated case," she said Monday.

According to Legaspi, most of the killings they recorded involve riding-in-tandem vigilantes, although there are also cases involving authorities, similar to what happened Delos Santos.

Among the cases Legaspi's group handled is that of 17-year-old Hideyoshi Kawata, who was killed in a buy-bust operation in Bagong Barrio, Caloocan City last January. 

Police said their real target was Kawata's father who fled during the operations. They claimed that the teen, holding a machine gun, blocked their way when they tried to pursue their target. 

Two months later, armed men also abducted a 16-year-old boy instead of the teen's brother, their real target, who was not around at that time.

"Armed men were looking for the kuya. But they could not find the elder brother so they took the 16-year-old boy... Unfortunately, after the 5th or 6th day, the minor was found dead with bullets," she said. 

Also in March, a clubfooted teenager, Raymart Siapo, was abducted and killed by at least 14 gunmen in Navotas. Witnesses say they heard the assailants tell Siapo to run before he was killed.

Legaspi said they are having a hard time following up on the killing of minors under the drug war because some of the incidents were not recorded by the police.