MANILA (UPDATE) - President Rodrigo Duterte has met with the parents of Kian delos Santos, whose death sparked public outrage and calls for a review of the Duterte administration's brutal war on drugs.
Duterte assured Saldy and Lorenza, parents of the slain teenager, that there would be no cover-up in the investigation and only due process will prevail in the handling of the case.
“Wala akong ano na mag-kapote ng abuso. Hindi trabaho ng Presidente ‘yan,” the Presidential communications office quoted Duterte as saying to the parents.
“Trabaho namin is proteksyon ng tao.”
The meeting at the Malago Clubhouse in Malacañang Palace came two days after Delos Santos' burial, wherein hundreds showed up and voiced calls for justice. Delos Santos was killed during an anti-drug sweep in Caloocan City last August 16.
The meeting between the President and Delos Santos’ parents was also attended by Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre, Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) chief Persida Rueda Acosta, and Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption founding chairman Dante Jimenez. PAO is giving legal services to the Delos Santos family.
In a video posted by Presidential Communications Assistant Secretary Margaux Uson, Lorenza also thanked the President for his assurances.
“Pinangako naman po niya sa amin na sa lalong madaling panahon ay tutulungan niya kaming malutas ang kaso dahil hindi po niya papayagan na kung sino man ang nagkasala ay dapat paparusahan,” Lorenza said.
“Alam naman po natin na si Pangulong Duterte ang presidente natin so wala na pong agam-agam na pagtitiwalang buong puso na makakatulong siya na mapadali ang pagresolba ng kaso.”
The police’s killing of Delos Santos has drawn condemnation, as evidence, including security footage and witness statements, suggest that the teen was executed.
A closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage showed that two cops in civilian clothes accosted Delos Santos towards the direction where he was supposedly killed. Witnesses said they saw cops hand the teen a gun, and told the latter to run for his life.
Autopsy results also revealed the boy sustained gunshot wounds to the head while he was already on the ground kneeling and turning away from the police.
The family of the slain teen on Friday filed a complaint for murder against Caloocan City police station 7 chief Chief Inspector Amor Cerillo, and PO3 Arnel Oares, PO1 Jerwin Cruz, and PO1 Jeremias Pereda -- the 3 officers tagged in the teen's slay.
Oares, Cruz, and Pereda were also charged with violation of the anti-torture law.