Anti-crime group asks NBI probe of Caloocan teen slay, calls Senate inquiry ‘waste of time’

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ANTI-crime advocates have called on the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to conduct a parallel investigation on the case of a senior high school student who was killed by policemen during a supposed anti-drug operation last week.

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Dante Jimenez, founding chairman of the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC), said it would be best if the investigation would be done by the NBI, instead of the Philippine National Police (PNP) since those involved in the incident were members of the force.

“We expect witnesses to come out and their testimonies can only be validated and verified through an investigation carried by an independent party. The PNP can’t do it because its members are the ones involve in the incident,” Jimenez said.

Kian de los Santos, 17, was gunned down in Barangay 160 in Caloocan City during an anti-illegal drug operation of the police Wednesday night, Aug. 16.

Police claimed they were forced to shoot de los Santos because he opened fire while trying to flee.

Footage from a close circuit television (CCTV) camera showed, however, police officers dragging the victim prior to the shooting. There were also some witnesses who saw the de los Santos with police officers.

But while the VACC called for a parallel investigation, the organization said it was not in favor of a Senate investigation.

“I think it’s a waste of time for the Senate to do all these things. They are not the investigator of the people or the government,” Jimenez said.

He added that instead of wasting its efforts on inquiries, the chamber should focus on passing the proposed measure that would reinstate death penalty in the country

Jimenez said the House of Representatives has passed its version of the bill, while the Senate has not even resumed its committee hearing to deliberate on the proposal.

Several bills have been filed by Senators Senators Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito, Sherwin Gatchalian, Panfilo Lacson and Manny Pacquiao seeking the return of the death penalty. These have been pending before the committee on justice and human Rights chaired by Sen. Richard Gordon.

Since it was referred to his committee in 2016, Gordon only conducted one hearing in February and has suspended proceedings because of questions regarding international treaties to which the country was a signatory.

One of them is the Treaty of International Convention on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which prevents states from carrying out execution as a form of punishment.

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