Witness identifies two Caloocan cops in Kian slay

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 5) — A witness on Tuesday identified two Caloocan police officers who were with 17-year-old Kian Delos Santos when he was killed.

"MC" identified Caloocan Police Station 7 head Police Officer (PO) 3 Arnel Oares and PO1 Jeremias Pereda as those with the minor when he was killed during a police operation. The witness is a 31-year-old resident of the barangay where Kian was found dead. Her testimony was heard at the second Senate committee hearing into the death of Kian.


"MC" detailed what transpired on August 16, the night when Kian was killed. She said she was about nine meters away from the scene of the encounter.

She said she came across three people who were holding Kian against his will. The three men were hurrying and asking everyone to step aside. She described the two men who were with Kian as tall and short, while she was not able to describe the third man as his back was facing her.

"MC" said she saw one person firing his gun, while his two companions were holding Kian.

"Nagputukan na po sila nu'ng pababa na sa lugar namin... Yung dalawang may hawak sa leeg, hindi sila nagpapaputok. 'Yung nasa likod lang po ang nagpapaputok. Kasi 'yung dalawang humahawak, busy lang sila hawak-hawak si Kian," she said.

[Translation: They were firing while going down our area... Two people were holding his neck, but they were not firing. The person behind Kian was firing his gun. The two others were busy holding Kian.]

"MC" said she heard Kian plead for his life.

"Tinulak po si Kian sa gilid ng babuyan po. Tapos naririnig ko po si Kian na, 'Sir, huwag po, sir.' Tapos nagpaputok na 'yung isa. Hindi ko na nakita saang parte ng katawan tinamaan si Kian kasi madilim," she said.

[Translation: Kian was pushed towards the pig pen. Then I heard Kian say, "Sir, no, sir." Then one fired his gun. I did not see which body part was shot as it was dark.]

"MC" said during the incident, she did not immediately realize Kian was involved in the incident. She found out later on when she and her sister were watching the news on TV, she said.

"'Umiiyak si Kuya, bakit kaya siya umiiyak,'" recounted "MC," referring to the father of Kian, Saldy who was in the news. "Lumapit sa akin ang kapatid ko, 'Ate, hindi mo ba kilala 'yun? 'Yun 'yung nakita mo kagabi, si Kian 'yun,'" she said.

[Translation: Kuya was crying, Why is he crying? My sibling came up to me and said, "Don't you know him? He was the one you saw last night. That is Kian.]

The alarming number of police-related killings in her neighborhood were what prompted "MC" to testify, she said.

"Marami nang namatay sa lugar namin na walang kalaban-laban. Mga pulis, lagi na lang sa dahas, hindi sa batas," said "MC," who described herself as a long-time resident of the area.

[Translation: So many have died in our area without mercy. The police resort to violence, not on the law.]

Who fired the gun that killed Kian?

Chief Inspector Amor Cerillo said the shot aimed at Kian came from the gun of Oares, according to the PNP Crime Laboratory ballistic report. But he insisted the firing may not be intentional.

"Iba kasi 'yung nakabaril sa binaril… Based on the ballistic report, it was the PO3 Oares' firearms na nag-positive sa result," he said.

Senator Risa Hontiveros questioned Pereda and PO1 Jerwin Cruz if they used Oares' gun and if there was a shootout between Kian and Caloocan police during the night of the operation. Both police officers invoked their right against self-incrimination.

"Nauuso talaga 'yung hindi pagsagot sa tanong ng kumite. I hope habang umaandar ang pagdinig ay mas i-uphold ang right na hanapin ang katotohanan" Hontiveros said..

[Translation: It has become a trend not to answer questions of the committee. I hope as this hearing progresses, they choose to uphold the right to search for the truth.]

Later on in the hearing, Pereda said he and Cruz did not shoot Kian Delos Santos.

"Hindi kaming dalawa ni Jerwin yung nakipagbarilan kay Kian," he said.

[Translation: Jerwin and I were not involved in the shootout with Kian.]

Oares, Pereda, Cruz, and Cerillo are facing murder charges filed by the National Bureau of Investigation for the death of Kian. They are also under restrictive custody, police chief Director General Ronald Dela Rosa said.

The Philippine National Police-Internal Affairs Service also confirmed during the hearing that administrative charges have been filed against 17 respondents, including the four charged with murder.

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II said the NBI and PAO's charges against the Caloocan police will be consolidated.

"In all probability, this will be consolidated and so the hearing of this NBI complaint in all probability be also held on September 14 and 21," he said.

He said in three months time, the preliminary investigation could be finished if it does not face delays. That is the time a warrant of arrest can be served against the police officers if found guilty for the killing of Kian.

Kian was found dead in a fetal position with two gunshots to his head on August 16 as police carried out a "one-time, big-time" anti-illegal drug operation in Caloocan. Police said he drew a firearm, which prompted them to retaliate.