Kian's parents: Duterte assures swift resolution of investigation into son's death

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 29) — The parents of Kian Delos Santos said they are confident that President Rodrigo Duterte will act swiftly on the investigation into their son's death.

President Duterte met on Monday for over an hour with Lorenza and Saldy, the parents of 17-year-old Kian who was killed last August 16 in police's anti-drugs operation.

"Wala na pong agam-agam. Pagtitiwalang buong puso na makakatulong po siya na mapadali ang pagresolba ng kaso ng anak ko," said Kian's mother, Lorenza Delos Santos.

[Translation: There is no more doubt. We fully trust that he will help speed up the case of my son.]

During their lunch in Malacañang, the President told the couple he will not abide by abuse.

"Wala akong ano na mag-kapote ng abuso. Hindi trabaho ng Presidente 'yan. Trabaho namin is proteksyon ng tao," Duterte told Kian's parents, according to a Palace statement.

[Translation: I won't tolerate abuses. That is not the President's job. My job is to protect the people.]

Kian's death in anti-drug operations of the Caloocan City police sparked widespread outrage after video footage emerged of policemen in civilian clothes dragging Kian away. The 17-year-old student, whom police said was a drug runner in the neighborhood, was later found dead with two gunshots near his left ear.

Lorenza Delos Santos said Duterte promised them a speedy resolution.

"Pinangako naman po niya sa amin na sa lalong madaling panahon ay tutulungan po kami na malutas 'yung kaso," the mother said in an interview with the Presidential Communications Operations Office.

She added that "kung sino 'yung nagkasala ay dapat maparusahan."

[Translation: He promised us he will help the case get solved because those who committed wrongdoings will be punished.]

The couple said they have found peace with Duterte's assurance.

"Panatag na. Nawala na 'yung takot sa buhay namin," said Kian's father, Saldy. [Translation: We have found peace. We no longer fear for our lives.]

A video of the meeting released by Malacañang showed Kian's parents with Duterte doing the arm-outstretched, clenched-fist pose. Lorenza can also be seen embracing Duterte after posing for a photo with the President.

Also present in the meeting were Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II, the Delos Santos family's legal counsel Persida Acosta, and Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) chairman Dante Jimenez.

 

Malacañang has said Kian will be given justice under President Duterte as long as the public allows the legal process to run its course.

The four Caloocan City policemen involved in the case will answer for their actions, it added.

Chief Inspector Amor Cerillo, Police Officer (PO) 3 Arnel Oares, PO1 Jeremias Pereda, and PO1 Jerwin Cruz are facing murder and torture charges, as filed by Kian's family.