MANILA (UPDATE) — Caloocan City police chief Senior Supt. Chito Bersaluna has been relieved of his position in the wake of a teenage boy's death during an anti-illegal drugs operation conducted by police and as the government has ordered an investigation into the killing.
Metro Manila police chief Director Oscar Albayalde said Saturday he has ordered the removal of Bersaluna from his post effective immediately. He has vowed an impartial investigation into the death of Kian Loyd Delos Santos, 17, who was killed on Wednesday.
Police Chief Insp. Ilustre Mendoza, deputy chief for administration, meanwhile has been designated as officer-in-charge.
Delos Santos, a Grade 11 student, was killed after police alleged that he shot at officers, which prompted them to fire back.
CCTV footage and a witness' account have cast doubt over the officers' version of the events.
Surveillance footage showed 2 officers accompanying Delos Santos to the spot where the boy was killed. A witness alleged that the police beat up the victim, gave him a gun by force, and told Delos Santos to run for his life.
Speaking to ABS-CBN News, Bersaluna said that although he has yet to speak to Albayalde he understands and respects the police director's decision.
Bersaluna earlier said that he is ready to face any probe following doubts on the conduct of police operations.
Albayalde earlier ordered the dismissal of the police officers involved in the incident from their posts.
The Department of Justice on Friday directed the National Bureau of Investigation to probe Delos Santos' death, which has sparked public outrage over the conduct of police operations.
-report from Raffy Santos and Ron Lopez, ABS-CBN News