Kian's father rues support for drug war

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 21 2017 09:49 AM | Updated as of Aug 21 2017 09:58 AM

Mrs. Lorenza Delos Santos, mother of Kian Delos Santos, weeps as she is surrounded by Kian's classmates during the wake at the family’s residence in Caloocan, Friday. The 17-year-old Grade 11 student was killed during an anti-drug operation, when he allegedly fought back against the arresting officers. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - The father of slain 17-year-old Kian Delos Santos on Monday said he was in pain for supporting the government's war on drugs, the same campaign that claimed the life of his son.

The 11th grader, whom police accused of being a drug courier, was killed in an alleged shootout with law enforcers during the bloodiest week of the government's anti-narcotics drive.

"Masakit. Masakit sa amin na sumuporta tapos ang anak ko ang naging biktima pa," Kian's father, Saldy, told ANC.

(It hurts. It hurts that we supported the campaign, but our son ended up a victim.)

Saldy also appealed to President Rodrigo Duterte: "Tulungan niya kami. Bigyan niya ng hustisya ang anak ko. Papapanagutin lang po kung sino ang may gawa sa anak ko."

(Help us. Give justice to my son. Hold his killers accountable.)

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.

Saldy said he and his family were willing to take a drug test to dispute their alleged illegal activities.

He also dared Dela Rosa to interview neighbors who could prove that Kian was a good child.

"Ang mga ka-barangay ko po ang magpapatunay kung anong klaseng bata iyan. Mabuting bata po ang anak ko, naghahanap buhay po kami nang maayos. Wala pong barkada... Ni hindi nga po marunong magmura," Saldy said.

(My neighbors will prove what kind of child he was. My son was good, we were working for a decent living. He did not have a gang. He doesn't even know how to curse.)

Kian, Saldy said, had simple wants. A day before his death, the teenager asked for a bike from his mother, an overseas worker, even though all his friends have recently received cars from their parents.

"Naghihirap siya (nanay ni Kian) sa ibang bansa para mapag-aral ang anak niya, hindi para maging drug courier," Saldy added. (His mother works abroad so that Kian can go to school, not so that he could be a drug courier.)

Saldy will bury his son on Sunday.

The teenager's death has sparked separate investigations by the Senate, police, National Bureau of Investigation and Commission on Human Rights.