Palace contradicts justice chief over taking Kian’s death ‘lightly’


THE Duterte administration is not taking the death of senior high school student Kian de los Santos in the hands of policemen lightly, a Malacanang spokesman said on Thursday.

Ernesto Abella issued the statement after Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre 2nd said that de los Santos’ death during a police anti-drug operation was blown out of proportion by the media and by politicians who empathized with the de los Santos family.

“There is depth and seriousness regarding the matter. That is the opinion of Secretary Aguirre, but from the Palace’s point of view, we see this as a serious matter,” Abella said.

Aguirre said that the teen’s death was a natural result of the ongoing war on drugs where 3,000 people were killed in police operations and 7,000 others supposedly by vigilante squads.

Based on the accounts of the witnesses and a CCTV recording, de los Santos was dragged by police in a dark alley before he was gunned down despite pleas to spare his life.

Ironically, de los Santos wanted to become a policeman.

Abella, however, did not blame the war on drugs for de los Santos’ death.

“We have given it due attention, but at the same time, it is wise to have everything in perspective,” Abella added. LLANESCA T. PANTI



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