MANILA - (UPDATED) Sen. Bam Aquino said Friday he would seek a legislative inquiry into the death of a 17-year-old student in a drug raid on Wednesday, calling the boy's death "shocking and worrisome."
In a statement, Aquino said he would file a resolution calling for a Senate investigation into the shooting of Grade 11 student Kian Loyd Delos Santos in a police operation in Caloocan City.
“I plan to file a resolution kasi nakababahala talaga iyong news reports. Hindi lang iyan, may lumalabas pa na may paglilinlang sa pagpaslang,” Aquino said.
(I plan to file a resolution because the news reports are alarming. Not only that, there seems to be deception in the killing.)
In a report by ABS-CBN News' Dominic Almelor, the police spot report said the boy took out a gun and fired at cops when he saw them, prompting them to fire back.
But CCTV footage showed that two cops in civilian clothes accosted Delos Santos towards the direction where he was killed. Witnesses also told ABS-CBN News that they saw the officers blindfold and beat him before the shooting.
They said they followed the cops and saw how they handed a gun to Delos Santos and instructed him to shoot it then run. When he heeded these instructions, the teenager was shot dead.
“Makikita naman natin na hindi siya bumunot ng baril dahil dala-dala siya sa sulok, kaya kailangan itong maimbestigahan at maparusahan ang mga nasa likod nito,” Aquino said.
(It is obvious that he did not take out a gun because he was brought into a corner, that's why this has to be investigated and the people behind this should be punished.)
Senator Sherwin Gatchalian is also calling for an investigation into Delos Santos' death, saying the police may be at fault.
"Based on the video evidence presented so far in the media, it is quite possible that he was murdered by the policemen who accosted him," he said.
"A Senate investigation is therefore necessary to establish the true facts, and to ensure that the integrity of the PNP remains intact," he added.
Gatchalian said, while he still supports the administration's anti-narcotics drive, "it is imperative that we take all necessary steps to ensure that police impunity will never become status quo in the Philippines."
GORDON CALLS FOR ACTION
Sen. Richard Gordon, chair of the Senate committee on justice and human rights, said while it is good that the Caloocan police chief has vowed action if his men were proven to have erred, the Philippine National Police Internal Affairs Service should also move quickly to resolve this.
"Dapat mabilis sila. Ang bagal-bagal kaya dudang duda ang mga tao sa nangyayari," he told radio DZMM.
(They should be fast. They're so slow that's why people are suspicious.)
Gordon also reiterated his call for chiefs of police to submit to the Congressional oversight committee monthly reports of killings in their areas of jurisdiction.
"'Pag ganiyan, puwedeng ibigay sa amin 'yan at maka-accost namin 'yung chief of police, bakit wala kang ginagawa? Malfeasance yan, non-feasance or misfeasance. Puwede kang kasuhan," he said.
(That way, they can give it to us and we can accost the chief of police, why are you not doing anything? That's malfeasance, non-feasance or misfeasance.)
He said killings by cops, which have been happening even before the Duterte administration, are neither excusable nor justifiable. Inaction from many sectors, he added, is part of the problem.
"Ang talagang nakakahiya sa atin, wala tayong ginagawa lahat. Ang pulis, walang ginagawa. Ang Kongreso mag-iimbestiga, hindi naman papatuparin. 'Yung Justice Department, walang fina-file-an. Importanteng mapagalaw natin, pilitin natin ang ating gobyerno," he said.
(What's really shameful is that we are not doing anything. The police are not doing anything. Congress would investigate, but [the findings] wouldn't be implemented. The Justice Department is not filing cases against anyone. It's important that we force government to move.)
Gordon also cited the importance of keeping witnesses in the Delos Santos case safe.
"Importanteng diyan sa nangyari diyan sa 17-year-old na 'yan, at may testigo, kailangang makuha agad 'yung testigo at maipasa niyo sa pinagtitiwalaan niyo. Kung pinagtitiwalaan niyo ang inyong abang lingkod o si (Senator) Ping Lacson, ibigay niyo sa amin, tutukuyin namin," he said.
(In the 17-year-old's case, what's important is that there is a witness, and it is important that the witness is brought to someone trustworthy. If you trust yours truly or Ping Lacson, give the witness to us.)