Hundreds of supporters call for justice as Kian is laid to rest

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 26) — The clouds were gray and glum as the burial of 17-year-old Kian Loyd Delos Santos took place Saturday. 

Kian was interred at the La Loma Catholic Cemetery around 2 p.m.

His parents Saldy and Lorenza were emotional during their final moments with their son.

Hundreds of friends, supporters and human rights advocates joined Kian's family during the procession that started from Kian's home in Caloocan City, all the way to the cemetery.

This is the first massive gathering of Filipinos protesting the killings, since the drug war of the Duterte administration began August last year. 

Kian's casket was boarded on top of a mutlicab van, decorated with a white cloth and flowers, and a tarpaulin bearing the words, "Run Kian, run!" referring to accounts of the witnesses saying Kian was instructed to fire a gun and told to run before he was shot by the police.

His big graduation photo was also displayed on top of the multicab van.

In the morning, the procession passed by the Caloocan City Police Station 7---where the three policemen involved in his killing used to be assigned.

There, outside the police station, the procession stopped, and supporters offered a prayer.

After the procession, a burial mass was held at the Sta. Quiteria Church.

Even people who do not personally know Kian and his family traveled to pay their last respects to him.

Motorcycles and other vehicles escorted the carriage, with their loud horns expressing support.

Fight for justice

Kian, a Grade 11 student, died in an anti-illegal drug operation on Aug. 16, as police said he was a drug courier.

His family filed murder and torture charges on Friday against the policemen involved in his death.

Chief Inspector Amor Cerillo, Police Officer (PO) 3 Arnel Oares, PO1 Jeremias Pereda, and PO1 Jerwin Cruz are facing raps of murder and violation of Republic Act no. 9745 or the "Anti-Torture Act of 2009."

If found guilty, the policemen will face up to 40 years imprisonment for "torture resulting in the death" of the victim, according to the law.

Caloocan City Police Chief Senior Supt. Chito Bersaluna and Northern Police District Chief Roberto Fajardo have also been administratively relieved to ensure an impartial investigation.

Kian was among the 82 casualties of a series of "One-time, big-time" anti-drug operations in Metro Manila and Bulacan from August 15 to 18.

President Rodrigo Duterte has said that if the policemen implicated in Kian's case are found guilty, they must go to jail.