MANILA-Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II has ordered the reassignment of Caloocan Senior Assistant City Prosecutor Darwin Cañete to Mandaluyong.
Citing the "interest of the service," Aguirre issued the order on Tuesday, the same day he also ordered the placement of the parents of slain teen Kian Loyd Delos Santos under the provisional coverage of the Witness Protection Program.
"In the interest of the service and pursuant to the provisions of exisiting laws, Darwin G. Canete, Office of the City Prosecutor of Caloocan City, is hereby reassigned to the Office of the City Prosecutor of Mandaluyong City," Aguirre said in a department order.
Cañete, a vocal supporter of President Rodrigo Duterte, caught public attention after he commented that the slain teen could not be "super innocent" of drug links.
He told the Philippine Daily Inquirer in an interview that it was "too far fetched" that Delos Santos was a "totally innocent boy" planted with illegal drugs.
Video courtesy of Johnson Manabat, DZMM
Delos Santos, a grade 12 student, was gunned down in an anti-drug operation last Aug. 16 after police claimed that he resisted arrest.
A closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage however showed two cops in civilian clothes accosting Delos Santos towards the direction where he was supposedly killed. Witnesses said they saw the cops hand the teen a gun, and then told him to run for his life.
His death had sparked public outcry and had raised doubts on the conduct of police operations under the government's campaign against illegal drugs as evidence indicated that he was executed.
The Ombudsman on Tuesday announced its own probe on the boy's slay, an incident that has also prompted a Senate inquiry.
-- With a report from Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News