DOJ begins probe into Kian delos Santos killing

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 14) — The Justice Department on Thursday began hearing the murder complaint against four Caloocan policemen involved in the killing of 17-year-old Kian Loyd Delos Santos.

Chief Public Attorney Persida Acosta said she wants the Philippine National Police Internal Affairs Service (PNP-IAS) to give all the records on Kian's death to the Justice Department's panel.

"We move that the panel issue immediately a subpoena to the head of PNP-IAS so that the several John Does will be determined and unraveled by the investigating panel," Acosta said.

Kian was killed in an anti-illegal drug operation in Caloocan City on August 16.

The panel of prosecutors are looking into the involvement of Chief Inspector Amor Cerillo, PO (Police Officer) 3 Arnel Oares, PO1 Jerwin Cruz, and PO1 Jeremias Pereda on Kian's death.

Oliver Yuan, the policemen's lawyer, raised a question.

"There are police officers under the admin case who have no actual participation in the actual operation during that August 16 incident. I would just like to clarify if we're going to include them here as one of the John Does," Yuan said.

Acosta clarified this doesn't mean those under investigation by the PNP-IAS are automatically considered respondents. 

"It will depend upon the appreciation of the prosecutors who to include. But we need the names of those because we cannot make a piecemeal investigation and then later somebody will be left out," Acosta said.

Seven witnesses, including two minors, subscribed to their sworn affidavits while the policemen asked for more time to answer the charges.

The panel gave them until September 25 to to respond, which is also the date for the next hearing.

Acosta then assisted parents of Carl Arnaiz, 19, and Reynaldo "Kulot" de Guzman, 14, in filing a double murder complaint against PO1 Jeffrey Perez, PO1 Ricky Arquilita, and taxi driver Tomas Bagcal.

They are also facing charges of torture and planting of evidence, after Arnaiz allegedly tried to rob Bagcal and was later killed in a supposed shootout.

"Sabi siya nang sabi na naholdap sya. Ayon sa forensics saka sa eyewitness, as of 1:28 pinapatay na si Carl eh. Naholdap sya di umano sa isang statement niya 3:00, dun sa isa 3:20, dun sa isa 2:00…sinong Carl ang nangholdap sa kanya? Paano makakapang-holdap ang patay?" Acosta said.

[Translation: He keeps on saying he was robbed. Both forensics and eyewitness said Carl was killed as of 1:28. He was allegedly robbed in his statement at 3:00, then 3:20 in another, then 2:00 in another…which Carl robbed him? How can a dead boy rob?]

Pending a decision on the complaint, Acosta said they believe Bagcal and the police conspired to kill Arnaiz.

"Kapag nakikipagsabwatan ka co-conspirator siya. Kaya kung hindi siya co-conspirator patunayan niya magsabi po sya ng totoo," Acosta said,

[Translation: If he is in collusion, he is a co-conspirator. If he is not a co-conspirator, then prove it and tell the truth.]