Fourth witness comes forward in Kian Loyd Delos Santos case

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 19) — At a wake in Caloocan City on Saturday, a visitor came not to quietly mourn, but to plead for help.

"Kuya Boy, bakit ganun? Ilang araw na akong hindi nakakatulog. Pinupuntahan niya ako [Why is it like this, Kuya Boy? I have not slept for days. He has been visiting me]."

This was what "Espie," not her real name, tearfully told the father of Kian Delos Santos, the 17-year-old boy who was among 12 drug suspects killed in a Wednesday anti-crime operation in Caloocan City.

Read: 17-year-old student gunned down by cops in anti-drug operations

The operations were part of the police's so-called "one-time, big-time" anti-crime operations in Luzon over the past week.

Read: PNP Chief: 'One-time, big-time' anti-crime operations to continue

The police report obtained Friday said Delos Santos fired first, which prompted officers to fire back.

Read: 17-year-old student gunned down by cops in anti-drug operations

But accounts from witnesses and footage from a CCTV camera show otherwise.

The footage showed that at 8:24 p.m. Wednesday, a young man believed to be Delos Santos, is being dragged away by two men in civilian clothes, while some young men playing basketball are seen watching the incident unfold.

At the site of the encounter, Delos Santos was found in fetal position with a gunshot wound to his head.

Caloocan Police Chief Senior Supt. Chito Bersaluna told CNN Philippines on Saturday that Delos Santos was a drug runner.

"According sa isang arrested na drug pusher, si Kian ay courier ni alias 'Neneng' na kamag-anak din nila na araw-araw na nagsu-supply kay alias 'Nono,'" he said. "'Yun lang daw yung rule, aabutan nila kapalit yung ₱17,000 na bayad. In short, kung ikaw ang nagbibigay ng drugs at tumatanggap ng pera, eh di tulak ka na rin."

[According to an arrested drug pusher, Kian was a courier for alias 'Neneng,' who is a relative who supplies drugs everyday to alias "Nono." The only rule was that the drugs would be delivered in exchange for ₱17,000 in cash. In short, if you are the one giving the drugs and taking the money, you are also a drug pusher.]

'Stop visiting me'

Espie told CNN Philippines she felt guilty over keeping quiet about witnessing Delos Santos' brutal killing. She said the Grade 11 student was haunting her in her sleep.

 

"Maawa ka naman sa akin," she said, crying over Kian's casket. "Huwag mo naman ako lagi puntahan."

[Translation: Have mercy on me. Don't keep visiting me.]

Espie is the fourth witness to come forward, promising to testify before the courts about what happened that Wednesday night.

"Hayaan mo, ilalaban ko po, kahit mamatay ako [Don't worry. I will fight for him, even if I die]," she said.

Kian's father, Boy, earlier revealed an unidentified person threatened one of the witnesses.

"Naririnig sa certain kapitbahay ko na may nagbabanta sa buhay nila [One of my neighbors has been receiving death threats]," he said.

Senate probe eyed

Kian's father raised these problems with Sen. Risa Hontiveros, who visited the wake on Saturday afternoon.

Hontiveros, one of the staunchest critics of the government's war on drugs, offered to provide legal assistance to the family and the witnesses.

"Simula ngayong araw na ito at sa mga susunod ay pagpipilian po amin 'yan kung alin ang pinaka-angkop sa kanilang sitwasyon at ang epektibong ililigtas sila sa ano pa mang panganip kaugnay sa kanilang paglaban kay Kian," she told reporters after visiting the wake.

[Translation: Starting today and for the coming days, we will evaluate what option would be best for their situation and what would be the effective way to keep them from harm as they fight for Kian.]

She added the families of the witnesses may be placed under the witness protection program.

Hontiveros also said they're filing a resolution for a Senate probe.

"Manawagan hanggang mangyari ang isang makakatotohanan at magdadala ng hustisya na imbestigasyon tungkol kay Kian at tungkol sa lahat mga bata o adult man na napatay habang nasa custody ng kapulisan," she said.

[Translation: We will call for an investigation that will bring forth the truth and will bring justice to Kian and to all those who have been killed in police custody, whether child or adult.]

Her call came after other senators said Friday that Delos Santos' death should be investigated.

Read: Senators push for probe of 'worrisome' spate of drug kills

National Capital Regional Police Office Director Oscar Albayalde said Friday that Chief Inspector Cerillo, PO3 Oares, PO1 Jeremias Pereda and PO1 Jerwin Cruz were relieved for the death of Delos Santos, pending investigation of the case.

Meanwhile, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre issued a department order on Friday calling on the National Bureau of Investigation to conduct a parallel investigation on Delos Santos' death.

Read: Aguirre orders NBI to probe killing of Kian Delos Santos

CNN Philippines Digital Producer VJ Bacungan contributed to this report.