Caloocan court sentences three cops to reclusion perpetua for killing Kian
The Caloocan Regional Trial Court on Thursday sentenced three police officers to reclusion perpetua without eligibility of parole after being found guilty for killing 17-year old Kian Delos Santos in an anti-illegal drug operation in Caloocan City in 2017.
RTC Branch 125 Presiding Judge Rodolfo Azucena Jr. found PO3 Arnel Oares, PO1 Jeremias Pereda and PO1 Jerwin Cruz guilty of murder.
The policemen were ordered by the court to pay the family of Kian P100,000 for civil indemnity, P100,000 for moral damages, P45,000 for actual damages and P100,000 exemplary damages.
These have an interest rate of six percent per annum from the finality of the decision until they are fully paid, the court said.
The three police officers were found not guilty of planting evidence such as drugs and firearms during the operation.
Public Attorney's Office chief Persida Acosta said the family of Kian delos Santos are glad with the court's decision.
"We are very happy for the decision that there's judge like Azucena because he promulgated this morning a judgement of conviction for the crime of murder punishable by reclusion perpetua or 30 years maximum imprisonment," Acosta said.
She said this verdict proves there is "rule of law, truth and justice" in the Philippines.
"If ever there are some bad elements doing EJK (extra-judicial killings) they will face the strong arm of the law,"
"This proves that this government does not condone any killing which is unjustified," she added.
She warned those cops they will face this kind of verdict if they will not follow proper police operations.
"This is a warning to all cops if they don't abide with the operations manual," she said.
The uncle of Kian said they are thankful to all those who helped them have justice for his nephew.
"For us, we are happy because justice is served for Kian and we are also thankful to Ma'am Persida Acosta, and to all the groups who help us," Randy Delos Santos said.
But on Senator Risa Hontiveros' part, she said the decision is a solid proof there is an extra-judicial killing happening in the country
"The court's decision proves that EJKs under President Rodrigo Duterte are real and committed no less by rogue elements in the police force," Hontiveros said in a press conference in Quezon City.
She called on other families who suffered the same fate as Kian Delos Santos under the administration's war on drugs to have courage.
"Justice in our country may be slow and complex but with cooperation, we can succeed," she said.
Hontiveros sought the help of "honest" police officers so stop the climate of killing in the country.
"Let us stop this madness. Let Kian be the last name we will see in the list of EJKs under the Duterte administration," she said.
Last August 2017, Kian's parents through Public Attorney's Office filed a murder and torture complaints before the Department of Justice against the three police officers.
Kian was killed after he retaliate during the city's one time, big time operation but CCTV showed he was dragged by the officers in a dark alley where he was forced to hold a gun before he was shot. Ella Dionisio/DMS