MANILA - Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre said Monday he was open to giving protection to the family of 17-year-old Kian Loyd Delos Santos, who was killed in an anti-drug operation last week.
The 11th grader was killed in an alleged shootout during the bloodiest week under the government's anti-narcotics crackdown. Church leaders on Sunday condemned the killing.
"Yes, if they apply," Aguirre said in a text message, when asked if Delos Santos' family could be admitted to the witness protection program. The family's witnesses may also avail of the program, he said.
The National Bureau of Investigation is investigating Delos Santos' killing separately and the Senate will launch its own inquiry this week.
The chief of the Philippine National Police, Director General Ronald dela Rosa, said on Sunday that Kian delivered drugs for his father and uncle and presented to media a professed pusher who claimed to have had transactions with Kian.
Several witnesses claimed Kian was mauled by policemen, given a gun and told to run for his life.