- Malacañang backed police on slain pedicab driver and drug suspect in famous ‘Pieta’ pose
- Presidential spokesperson said findings proved killings in drug war not state-sanctioned
- He also said gov’t will continue to probe deaths, assured justice for victim’s families
MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang Palace has backed the Philippine National Police’s findings that it was a drug syndicate member —and not authorities— who killed pedicab driver and drug suspect Michael Siaron.
“Authorities have put closure on the death of Michael Siaron, whose photo was compared to the Pieta image, after ballistics examination from a recovered firearm revealed that he was killed by a member of a syndicate also involved in the illegal drug trade,” Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said in a statement.
The picture of Siaron’s lifeless figure being cradled by his partner, Jennilyn Olayres, had been compared to Michelangelo’s famous sculpture depicting the Virgin Mary carrying the lifeless body of Jesus Christ.
Pasay City police said a ballistics test showed that Siaron was killed by a firearm belonging to a Nesty Santiago whom they tagged as a member of A drug syndicate.
Accoring to Abella, the findings prove that the government had not sanctioned killings in the drug war contrary to the claims of critics.
“The Siaron case verifies what government has said from the start of the campaign against illegal drugs: Many of these killings were perpetrated by those involved in drug operations as well; drug traffickers and pushers eliminating each other,” he said. “The relentless attribution of such killings to police operations was both premature and unfair to law abiding enforcement officers who risk life and limb to stop the proliferation of illegal drugs in our society.”
At the same time, Abella assured families of the victims they will continue to work to catch the perpetrators.
“Government assures the public and the families of victims of deaths under investigation that authorities will pursue cases until the truly guilty are brought before the bar of justice,” he said.