DILG: No letup in drug war despite deaths of minors

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At the site of the encounter, 17-year-old Kian Loyd Delos Santos was found in fetal position with a gunshot wound to his head.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 8) — No letup in the war on drugs despite recent deaths of minors in anti-drug and anti-crime operations, an Interior official said on Friday.

The acting secretary of the Department of Interior and Local Government said they are cleansing the ranks of the Philippine National Police. These include removing those who violate the law during anti-illegal drug operations.

"Kasi ito yung sumisira eh. They're taking advantage sa anti-drug campaign eh...Yung pagkakamali ng small group ng pulis na yan, dampened ang effort ng buong organization," said Catalino Cuy in a speech during the 51st anniversary celebration of the National Police Commission.

[Translation: This is ruining it. They are taking advantage of the anti-drug campaign. The wrongdoing of some police officers dampen the efforts of the entire organization.]

He said they are reviewing the anti-drug campaign to correct lapses.

Kian Delos Santos, a 17-year-old Grade 12 student, was killed in an anti-illegal drug operation in Caloocan City on August 16 after he allegedly fired at the police. The Senate is investigating his death.

Senator Grace Poe said there are now at least 54 "isolated incidents" of minors killed in the drug war, either in police operations or through vigilante-style killings.

In a resolution filed Thursday, Poe urged the Senate to probe the "spate of killings" of young people, citing the need to re-evaluate how police treat children in conflict with the law.

Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said they will cooperate should the Senate investigation push through.

"The Executive, through the Philippine National Police, will cooperate with the Senate investigation and any other investigations called for," he said in a regular briefing on Friday.

He added the administration will not tolerate erring police officers, stating their committment to cleanse PNP.

Rogue cops, if and when allegations are proven true, have no place in an institution like the Philippine National Police (PNP) and we need everyone's full support and cooperation as we continue to cleanse its ranks.