WEDNESDAY, August 16, 2017, was supposed to be another day in the life of Kian Loyd delos Santos, 17, of Caloocan City. It turned out to be his last as he was fatally shot before 9 p.m.
Instead of ending up in a pile of statistical data on the campaign against illegal drugs, Kian metamorphosed into a voice and a face symbolizing the countless innocent victims of extrajudicial killings.
The police tried to paint a picture of a family mired in the illicit drug trade. But the initial campaign to wrest public opinion on the side of the perpetrators and tarnish the reputation of a family to justify murder in the name of the law failed.
The cry for truth and justice resonated deep and loud into the psyche of a nation reeling from shock and awe at the brazenness of the police in killing the boy.
One of the slugs came from the gun of one of the police officers involved in anti-drug operations that night in Caloocan City. The police claimed Kian was a drug courier, an allegation his family, friends and neighbors denied as senseless, baseless and a lie.
The forensic consultant hired by the Public Attorney’s Office said there was intent to kill the victim as the bullet wounds were mostly fatal.
Sen. Grace Poe caught some inconsistencies in this gruesome killing during the Senate hearing on Thursday. The PAO-sponsored autopsy revealed three bullet wounds in Kian’s body, the police autopsy found only the two bullet wounds in his head.
“The way I see it, the PNP’s (version) was lacking the one in the back,” PAO chief Persida Acosta told the senator.
“But only one body was autopsied, wasn’t it?” the senator noted.
“Yes. This was the body of Kian. Even on his T-shirt can be seen the hit in the back,” the PAO chief replied.
The lifeless body of the senior high school student of Our Lady of Mount Carmel College in Caloocan City was in a fetal posture, his face on the filthy ground.
A .45 caliber pistol was supposedly found in his left hand. The police claimed they were fired upon and so they shot back.
But Kian was right-handed, Senator Poe pointed out.
The police claimed that the boy caught on CCTV being dragged by the police before 9 p.m. in Kian’s neighborhood was not Kian, contrary to witnesses’ testimonies, but a police asset. A close examination of the CCTV footage would show the supposed asset was wearing shorts similar to the shorts Kian was wearing that night.
His mother, Lorenza, told the Senate she used to sell plasticware in Balintawak with her children. She went on to narrate a day in the life of Kian. He would spread out their goods in the market at 6 a.m. At 12 noon, Kian would call her to relieve him and he would go home to cook and take a bath before going to school. At 7 p.m. he would return and help tidy up their goods and close shop before going home to watch his favorite TV series, “Ang Probinsiyano,” about a police officer going after a syndicate to avenge the death of his brother.
“His dream was to be a policeman,” his mother told the Senate.
The night he was killed, a witness said Kian begged the police officers to let him go because he was supposed to study for an exam in the morning.
The atrocity perpetrated by the police in the killing of Kian is condemnable. This case is so brutal the three men in uniform couldn’t even be defended by the PNP chief and the President himself.