In what has been the bloodiest week yet in President Duterte’s war on drugs, critics of the crackdown now have a name, and a face, to serve as a focus for opposition.
Last Wednesday (August 18) 17-ear-old student Kian Loyd Delos Santos was shot dead by police after they claimed he had resisted arrest and fired at them.
However, CCTV footage, witness testimony and autopsy evidence all appear to contradict this claim.
Now the three police officers are suspended and in custody and investigations are underway.
While a lot of words have been spoken, and a lot of inked spilled, here — in no particular order — are some of the key quotes about the case:
“Should the investigation point to liabilities, my warning to all is there will be a prosecution and they [police] have to go to jail. That I can assure you.
“If it is really rubout, they have to answer for it. They have to go to jail.”
Police chief Ronald dela Rosa
[When asked if he would attend the teenager’s wake] “Do you want me to be pretentious like a politician if I’ll go there? I’ll be pretending.
“I know they are grieving. They feel bad. The police killed their son then I would go there just to be slapped by the mother.”
Cardinal Luis Tagle, Archbishop of Manila
“We knock on the consciences of those who kill even the helpless, especially those who cover their faces with bonnets, to stop wasting human lives.
“The illegal drug problem should not be reduced to a political or criminal issue. It is a humanitarian concern that affects all of us.”
Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana
“I would like to express my deepest sympathies to the family and loved ones of Kian delos Santos. Whether or not he was involved in the use or trafficking of illegal drugs, he did not deserve to die in the manner that he did.
“If the allegations of foul play are proven then the perpetrators must be brought to justice. They must be made to account for what they have done.”
Senator Manny Pacquiao
“I fully support President Duterte’s war on drugs but I don’t support the senseless killings of those abusive policemen who are taking advantage of their power
“Even President Duterte said, if police murdered Kian delos Santos, he will be the one who will bring them to jail and that is the clear stance of the president, which making it clear that he is instructing the police to do their duty but not instructing them to violate the law.
“It’s our duty to uphold the principle of due process.”
Senator Bam Aquino
“This is an opportunity for the Senate to assert independence, uphold justice and stand with the Filipino.
“A lot of our countrymen are saddened, angered and calling to an end of these killings wherein poor Filipinos are always the victims.
“[The drug war] targets only the poor and the helpless, while influential personalities are given due process, especially those involved in the P6.4 billion illegal drugs that slipped past the Bureau of Customs last May.”
“The government’s all-out war against illegal drugs has failed to address the root causes of the drug menace in the country.”
Leila de Lima
[In a hand-written statement issued from her jail cell] “I dare you, Mr President to issue a clear and categorical order to the entire police force to STOP THE KILLINGS NOW.
“Any other way to try to appease the growing outrage sparked by the Kian killing and other recent incidents of summary execution under the mantle of the “One Time, Big Time” operations would be insufficient as it is hypocritical,” De Lima said.
“Just say it. Do it now, please,
Archbishop Socrates Villegas, president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines
[On his order that church bells be tolled daily to demand justice for the dead] “Let the ringing of bells also signify the diocese’s strongest condemnation of the continuing killings, which are being justified as necessary in the war [on] drugs.
“We continue to pray for justice for the victims; peace in our country and enlightenment for all Filipinos to preserve the sanctity of life.”
Northern Police District Chief Superintendent Roberto Fajardo.
“People used to call him an addict and a pusher, but now that he is dead, he is now being described as kind. People are riding on this, that he was kind and practically a saint. But before that, it seemed he was an addict and a pusher.”
“The 10 grams more or less cost 18,000 pesos, depending if it is high grade. Shabu sold in one pack is equal to 5 grams, which is 8,000 to 9,000 pesos. So they got two packs containing 10 grams with a value of around 18,000 pesos, which they recovered from Kian,”
Senator Antonio Trillanes
[On Chf. Supt. Fajardo’s accusation, above] “You already killed him, and you would still besmirch his name? That is how evil these people are. To them everything is propaganda.
“He did not fight back. That is the issue. Whatever was the circumstances that led to his death, this is a clear case of summary execution.”
Vice President Leni Robredo
You know, this is something personal to me because he was the same age as my youngest daughter. That’s why when these things happen, you will think that if it happened to him, it could also happen to our children.
“This is saddening. Now, Kian gives it a human face. How many Kians have we had? How many more Kians will follow? That’s why when this happens, I think it is our obligation to express our condemnation.”
US Ambassador Sung Kim
“My condolences go out to the family and friends of Kian. Hope that the investigations lead to full accountability,”