MANILA—Protesters gathered outside the Philippine National Police (PNP) headquarters in Camp Crame, Quezon City on Thursday morning to condemn the increasing number of fatalities in police operations against illegal drugs and crime.
Fr. Robert Reyes, also known as the "running priest," and 16 members of Youth Resist denounced the PNP's alleged "policy to kill," following the deaths of 19-year-old Carl Arnaiz and 14-year-old Reynaldo de Guzman.
"Hindi po biro ang buhay. Huwag niyo pong balewalain. Huwag niyo turingin na parang walang kwenta ang mamayan na sa tingin nyo ay pwede niyong walisin. Hindi po. Ang bawat pong isa sa amin anak ng Diyos pati po kayo pangulong duterte anak po kayo ng Diyos," Reyes said.
The group "dropped dead" to protest the killings of the young victims, the latest of which is De Guzman who was found with 30 stab wounds and his head wrapped with tape.
"Ito po ay parang reenactment lang ng napakaraming bumagsak na kabataan. Hindi lang kabataan kung 'di [ay] iba pang mga mamamayan. Karaniwan mga mahihirap na walang pangalan, hindi mo kilala, marami walang trabaho, yun ang common denominator, mga masang Filipino kaya sana panawagan ng mga kabataan sana itong pagsasadula ng mga nangyayari nung nakaraang 14 na buwan ay tumigil na," Reyes said.
The Student Council Alliance of the Philippines also condemned the killings and sought justice for the young victims.
The Arnaiz case made headlines after police fended off allegations of irregularity in another Caloocan raid that killed another teenager, Kian Delos Santos.