MANILA - The criminal case on the killing of 17-year-old Kian Loyd delos Santos will be decided by the Department of Justice (DOJ) on the second week of November.
The DOJ's investigating panel handling the preliminary investigation into the complaint wrapped up its hearings on Friday.
Delos Santos was gunned down in a police operation by the Caloocan City Police Community Precinct-7 on August 16 on suspicion that he was a drug courier.
During Friday’s final hearing on the case, the second batch of respondents, composed of 12 more Caloocan City policemen, submitted their joint rejoinder-affidavit reiterating they could not be held liable for Delos Santos’ death because they were not at the scene of the crime when he was shot.
Delos Santos was gunned down by the group of PO3 Arnel Oares, PO1 Jerwin Cruz, and PO1 Jeremias Pereda, who, along with their superior, Chief Inspector Amor Cerillo (Police Community Precinct-7 chief), comprise the first batch of respondents. Oares, et al. argued Delos Santos fired at them first.
In their 10-page, joint rejoinder-affidavit, Police Officers 2 Arnel R. Cañezares, Fernan C. Cano, Diony B. Corpuz, and Police Officers 1 Silverio C. Garcia, Jr., J-Rossillini O. Lorenzo, Christian Joy G. Aguilar, Myrldon L. Yagi, Reynaldo Dan M. Blanco, Jr., Erwin C. Romeroso, Ferdinand R. Claro, Ceferino B. Paculan, and Ronald B. Herrera insisted they could not have stopped the shooting of Delos Santos, nor could they have questioned the judgment call and actions taken by colleagues Oares, et al.
“Could the other respondents prevent the shooting of Kian Delos Santos? The answer is definitely no. How can the respondents prevent PO3 Oares from shooting Kian Delos Santos when all the other respondents were in another place?
“Can anybody blame respondent Oares for firing at Kian Delos Santos if during that time, he strongly believes that his own life is in imminent danger? The answer is no,” the rejoinder-affidavit read.
Respondents also accused the camp of complaining spouses Saldy and Lorenza delos Santos, through the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO), of making “only bare allegations,” while they, on the other hand, presented defenses “all backed by solid pieces of evidence.”
Complainants had argued all 16 respondents must be held liable, citing the findings of the Philippine National Police Internal Affairs Services (PNP IAS) that the arrest was "illegal for want of a warrant of arrest,” Delos Santos “was not committing any unlawful acts,” and the arrest was “tainted with serious irregularities and marked with malice and evident premeditation to kill Kian Loyd delos Santos."
The complaint of spouses Delos Santos has been consolidated with that of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), which also accused Cerillo, Oares, Cruz, and Pereda of violation of domicile and planting of evidence on top of a charge for murder.