MANILA - An activist priest and several youth groups on Tuesday asked the Department of Justice to inhibit itself from investigating the death of 17-year-old Kian Delos Santos during a police operation.
The 3-page motion said the Office of the Ombudsman should handle the case due to Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre's alleged bias against Delos Santos.
"Ilan pong mga pahayag na sinabi niya (Aguirre) ay this case has been overblown by the media at saka sinasabi niya, ano raw ba ang kaibahan ng pagpatay ng isang drug addict sa bata, sa pagpatay ng pulis sa isang bata," said youth leader Karla Yu.
(He said the case has been overblown by the media and that there is no difference between killings perpetrated by policemen and drugs users.)
Among those who filed the motion were Fr. Robert Reyes, the groups Millenials Against Dictators, University of the Philippines (UP) Bukluran System, Student Council Alliance of the Philippines and Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila UNESCO Club.
PRIEST BLASTS AGUIRRE
Reyes, who earned the moniker "running priest" because of his unconventional means of protest, also called for the resignation of Aguirre, whom he accused of making "making a mockery of the justice system."
He also questioned Aguirre and President Rodrigo Duterte's meeting with the parents of Delos Santos last Monday
"Dinala na po kaagad ang magulang ni Kian sa Malacañang. Nakipagkamayan ang mga magulang ni Kian sa Presidente, case closed, tapos na. Iyan po ay bahagi sa paglalaro, sa biro-birong ginagawa sa katarungan,"
"E ang malalim na tanong po sa lahat ng EJK (extrajudicial killing), kung mayroong trigger man, sinong mastermind."
(They have brought Kian's parents to Malacañang. Kian's parents shook hands with the President, suggesting that the case is now closed. That is part of the mockery of justice they have committed. The bigger question in all EJKs is that if there was a trigger man, who was the mastermind.)
The police’s killing of Delos Santos has drawn condemnation, as evidence, including security footage and witness statements, suggest that the teen did not fight back as police alleged.
AGUIRRE REJECTS QUIT CALLS, OMBUDSMAN TAKEOVER
The justice secretary said the Ombudsman had no jurisdiction over the Delos Santos case.
The Ombudsman, he said, only handles cases against public officials of a certain salary grade. The operatives tagged in the August 16 raid that killed Delos Santos earns less than this.
The DOJ also rejected resignation calls against Aguirre.
While [the] SoJ (Secretay of Justice) respects the view of everyone to express themselves freely, he will stay for as long as he enjoys the trust and confidence of the President," Justice Undersecretary Erickson Balmes said in a statement. With Johnson Manabat, ABS-CBN News