Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 24) — The killing of 17-year-old Kian Loyd Delos Santos in a police operation has sparked public outrage and cast doubt on the government’s war on drugs.
Kian, a Grade 11 student, died in an anti-drug operation in Caloocan City on August 16. Police said he was a drug courier.
He was among the 82 casualties of a series of “One-time, big-time” anti-drug operations in Metro Manila and nearby province of Bulacan from August 15-18.
August 16, Wednesday
Kian is found dead in a fetal position with gunshots to his head after a so-called “one-time, big-time” anti-illegal drugs operation by the Caloocan City police. Police said the 17-year-old boy drew a firearm, which prompted them to fire back.
However, accounts from witnesses and a closed-circuit television (CCTV) show two men in civilian clothes dragging a boy, presumed to be Kian, across a basketball court while other young men look on.
Two small sachets of suspected shabu, one .45 caliber gun, and four fired cartridge cases were recovered at the scene of the encounter.
August 18, Friday
Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre orders the National Bureau of Investigation to build up a case on the death of the 17-year-old student.
Chief Inspector Amor Cerillo and the police officers involved in Kian’s death – Police Officer (PO) 3 Arnel Oares, PO1 Jeremias Pereda, and PO1 Jerwin Cruz – are placed under restrictive custody pending investigation of the case.
Outrage mounts as the death of Kian is widely reported.
READ: Bloody week for drug war
Caloocan City Police Chief Senior Supt. Chito Bersaluna, in an interview on CNN Philippines’ News Night, said Kian was not in the police’s list of suspected drug personalities, but he was tagged as a drug runner “based on a statement of another arrested drug suspect.”
August 19, Saturday
Caloocan City Police Chief Senior Supt. Chito Bersaluna is relieved.
August 20, Sunday
The Caloocan police present a witness, alias “Nono,” who claims Delos Santos was a drug runner who delivered shabu to him every day for over three months.
Vice President Leni Robredo visits Kian’s wake and calls for an independent investigation on the minor’s death.
After a caucus, 14 senators from the Senate majority bloc sign a resolution directing a Senate committee to investigate policemen in operations that killed Kian and other “unnecessary and unjustified deaths” of dozens of others in the intensified campaign against drugs.
August 21, Monday
The Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) conducts an autopsy on Kian, which shows the 17-year-old sustained one fatal gunshot wound to his body, in addition to the two to his head near his left ear.
PAO Chief Persida Acosta says the minor’s family will file murder charges against the Caloocan City police involved in the operation.
President Rodrigo Duterte, speaking before reporters, says police will go to jail if they are proven guilty for the death of Kian.
August 22, Tuesday
Philippine National Police Internal Affairs Service Inspector General Alfegar Triambulo reveals there were lapses in the anti-illegal drugs operation which led to Kian’s death.
In the CCTV video, the police who conducted the operation earlier said the young man being dragged by two officers in civilian clothes was an informant. However, Triambulo says it was indeed Kian.
August 23, Wednesday
The PNP Crime Laboratory says Kian sustained two gunshot wounds to the head, and none on his body. These results differ from the PAO’s office.
August 24, Thursday
The Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs begins its probe on Kian’s killing.
Caloocan City Police Chief Chito Bersaluna tells senators police were able to establish Kian’s drug links through social media reports.
Aguirre says the killing of 31 minors in police operations were “collateral damage” and Kian’s death was just “blown out of proportion.” He is called out by Senator Franklin Drilon saying his statement can be perceived as favoring the police who are under investigation.
The Senate also takes into custody three witnesses, including two minors – a 13-year-old and a 16-year-old. They will remain in the care of the Senate until parental consent is given from them to testify before the Senate.
August 26, Saturday
Kian is laid to rest. Hundreds of friends, supporters, and human rights advocates join Kian’s family in the 5-km funeral procession from Kian’s home in Baesa to the La Loma Catholic Cemetery.
August 28, Monday
President Rodrigo Duterte meets with the parents of Kian, Saldy and Lorenza. He assures swift resolution of the investigation into Kian’s death.
August 29, Tuesday
Kian’s parents are granted provisional admission into the government’s witness protection program.
August 31, Thursday
The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) files a murder complaint with the Justice Department against four Caloocan City policemen allegedly involved in Kian’s killing.
September 5, Tuesday
“MC,” a 31-year-old resident of the barangay where Kian was found dead, takes the witness stand at the Senate hearing and identifies police officers Oares and Pereda as those with Kian when he was killed.
“MC” said she saw one person firing his gun, while his two companions were holding Kian. She is not able to describe or identify the third man.
Chief Inspector Cerillo reveals it was Oares’ gun that shot Kian, based on the ballistic report from the PNP Crime Laboratory. Cerillo insists the firing may not be intentional.
Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre tells the Senate it may take up to “three months” for preliminary investigation to be concluded, before warrants of arrest can be issued for the four policemen involved.
Updated 10:55 AM PHT Wed, September 6, 2017