Justice Secretary: NBI probe to prove if minor was killed 'in cold blood'

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Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre says Kian delos Santos' alleged links to drugs will only be in the periphery of the investigation.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 21) — The Justice Secretary said the National Bureau of Investigation's probe will focus on whether or not 17-year-old Kian delos Santos was killed 'in cold blood'.

Sec. Vitaliano Aguirre II told CNN Philippines Monday that if Delos Santos is proven to be a drug courier, the fact will only be in the "periphery" of the NBI's investigation.

"What matters here is whether Kian was killed in cold blood or it can be classified an extra-judicial killing. Because even if Kian is a drug courier as what that 'Nono' was telling us, still, that wouldn't be relevant to the case because what we are going to prove here is whether the police killed Kian in cold blood," Aguirre explained.

 

This, after a new witness named "Nono" presented by the Caloocan City police claimed Sunday that Delos Santos delivered shabu to him every day for over three months.

Read more: New witness says Kian Delos Santos sold him drugs

Delos Santos was one of the 82 killed in an anti-drug sweep in Metro Manila and Bulacan, in what is to be the deadliest week in the government's war on drugs.

Earlier, findings from Delos Santos' autopsy prompted his family to file murder charges against the police. Public Attorneys' Office (PAO) Chief Persida Acosta said the two gunshot wounds to Delos Santos' head and another shot to his back showed that there was no resistance from the minor.

Aguirre entertained the possibility that the evidence may rule Delos Santos' death as an extrajudicial killing.

"Those circumstances pointed to by PAO Chief Persida Acosta points to the fact that the, it is an evidence that there was an extrajudicial killing. Of course, we should not prejudge until the investigation is finished," he said.

Ejercito: A minor is a minor

In an interview on CNN Philippines, Senator JV Ejercito said even if Delos Santos will be proven as a drug runner, there is no excuse to kill minors.

"(H)e is a minor Pia. And as such, his side should have been respected, he should've been given due process. In fact, minors should be reformed and there's just no excuse Pia of killing minors," Ejercito said.

 

Senators have called for an investigation on the killing of Delos Santos after meeting in a caucus Sunday. The Senate is scheduled to begin the inquiry on Thursday, inviting national police chief Ronald dela Rosa and the Caloocan police involved in the killing, among others.

Read more: Senate to investigate killing of 17-year-old boy

"I think this is a black eye on the image of the Philippine National Police as of the moment because it's clearer than day that the boy was really murdered. That is why in the Senate, we will conduct an investigation and hopefully Pia, the Philippine National Police likewise...this is very crucial in what they would do," Ejercito said.

A similar probe from the national police's Criminal Investigation and Detection Group will determine whether Delos Santos was summarily killed.