MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte does not tolerate abusive cops, the president's chief legal counsel said Tuesday, amid public outrage over the killing of 17-year-old Kian Loyd delos Santos during a police operation last week.
Atty. Salvador Panelo Jr. said Duterte has been clear that while he backs cops in the war against illegal drugs, the abuses done by police authorities will not go unpunished.
"Pag ang resulta ng imbestigasyon ay talagang may rubout diyan, hindi pupuwde 'yan. Kailangan makulong 'yan," Duterte's chief legal aide told DZMM on Tuesday.
The cops who conducted the anti-drug operation said 11th grader Kian Loyd delos Santos tried to shoot them but CCTV footage showed the teen was dragged by 2 men before he was killed.
An autopsy conducted by the Public Attorney's Office (PAO) found that the 17-year-old Delos Santos sustained gunshot wounds to his back, inside his left ear and the back of his left ear.
The location of the gunshot wounds to his ears showed that Delos Santos was on the ground when he was shot, according to PAO's forensic experts.
In a press conference on Monday, President Duterte said the cops behind the killing of Delos Santos in Caloocan should go to jail if found guilty.
"I would be the last person to condemn them without a valid investigation. Better kung talagang 'rubout', kung ganoon maasahan niyo, they have to answer for it, they have to go to jail," he said.
Meanwhile, Panelo said he welcomes the call of Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle for a multi-sectoral dialogue to chart a common path to solving the drug problem.
But he said the dialogue should have been done long before the death of Delos Santos, stressing that the drug problem in the country has already reached an "unsurpassed magnitude."
"I appreciate the concern of the Cardinal except that dapat noon pa 'yan e. Now it has reached an unsurpassed magnitude na nagimbal tayong lahat," he said.