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Duterte vows to jail cops linked to OFW son’s slay
By Manolo B. Jara August 23, 2017
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MANILA: President Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte, who has repeatedly aired support for the police in his brutal and bloody war on drugs, appeared to have changed his tune when he vowed he would jail the lawmen found responsible for the killing of the son of an overseas Filipino worker (OFW) widely believed as a “rubout.”

“If it is a rubout they have to answer for it. They have to go to jail,” Duterte told a media briefing late on Monday night at Malacanang Palace over the killing of Kian Loyd delos Santos, 17 and a Grade 11 student, that caused nationwide anger and indignation.

Duterte met mediamen even as thousands of protesters braved heavy rains and floods on Monday night to converge at the People Power Monument along historic Epifanio delos Santos Avenue (Edsa) to condemn the death of Kian and demand an end to rising killings from the war on drugs.

Edsa was the scene of the People Power revolution that resulted in the ouster of the 20-year strongman rule of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos in February 1986.

Duterte told Malacanang reporters he saw a tape on TV that showed Kian was already arrested by policemen in civilian clothes when he was killed for allegedly shooting it out with them in suburban Caloocan City in Metro Manila exactly a week on Tuesday night.

Based on this, Duterte said he ordered an investigation and the arrest of the policemen involved as he emphasised: “If there is criminal liability, I will order the prosecution to the full extent of the law.”

But even with Duterte’s vow for justice for Kian and his family, Chief Superintendent Roberto Fajardo, the chief the Northern Police District that covers Calolocan, claimed that Kian was an alleged drug dealer.

“What they used to call him is addict and pusher. Now that he is dead, he suddenly became good,” Fajardo told reporters, an accusation which, however, was heatedly denied by Kian’s family.

But Fajardo’s claim also did not sit well with Secretary Salvador Panelo, the chief presidential legal counsel, who emphasized police could not just kill Kian even he might be a drug courier.

Panelo pointed out police could only use force if the suspect posed a threat to their lives.

“Many are saying that the boy (Kian) was a child runner. Even if he was a drug runner, you cannot just kill somebody like that,” Panelo said in an interview with the state-run Radyo Pilipinas.

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