- Malacañang Palace weighed in on death of 17-year-old in Caloocan anti-drug drive
- Spokesperson called death an isolated case, said president won’t tolerate abuses by cops
- He also said police to investigate incident for possible violations
MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang Palace has brushed aside the death of a Grade 11 student in Caloocan City during a major anti-drug operation, saying it was an isolated case.
“That incident haply I think is isolated,” the Philippine Daily Inquirer quoted Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella as saying.
Kian Loyd delos Santos, 17, and a resident of Brgy. 160, was killed by operatives who claimed he shot at them during the operation.
However, footage from a barangay CCTV showed Delos Santos being led away by two policemen in plainclothes. Witnesses also claimed police manhandled the victim and forced him to fire a gun before killing him.
The family of the deceased also denied he was involved in drugs and owned a gun as claimed.
Four officers, including the precinct commander, have since been relieved from their posts pending an investigation.
Abella said while President Rodrigo Duterte supports the PNP its campaign against drugs, he will not tolerate abuses by erring cops.
“I cannot assume what the President thinks but what we can say with confidence that those who are guilty of breaking the law, misuse or abuse will have to answer for that,” he said. “He will defend the police in their carrying out of duties. However, he will also not tolerate any abuse and breaches of the law.”
The spokesperson also assured the public that the incident will be thoroughly probed by the authorities.
“They have internal mechanisms, the IAS (Internal Affairs Service),” he said. “They automatically do that, they automatically do that.”