Senate to investigate killing of 17-year-old boy

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Senators have expressed concern over the police's anti-drug operations, including the death of 17-year-old Kian de los Santos. (FILE PHOTO)

Updated to include statement from Senator Chiz Escudero and statement from Senate minority bloc.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 21) — The Senate scheduled an investigation on the killing of 17-year-old student Kian Loyd Delos Santos for August 24.

Senate President Koko Pimentel and Senator Panfilo Lacson, chairman of the Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs, confirmed that the hearing will take place on Thursday, at 2 p.m.

Lacson said they will invite Philippine National Police Chief Ronald dela Rosa, the Director of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, key witnesses under the custody of Sen. Risa Hontiveros, Caloocan police involved in the killing, and the father of Delos Santos.

After a caucus on Sunday, 14 senators from the Senate majority bloc signed a resolution directing a Senate committee to investigate policemen in operations that killed at least 82 people in the intensified campaign against drugs, including Delos Santos.

"The apparent abuses by the police in undertaking these drug operations have resulted in a series of tragedies such as that of Kian Loyd delos Santos," the resolution read.

But one of the supporters of the resolution, Sen. Francis "Chiz" Escudero, had a stronger word than abuse when referring to violence in police operations.

"Hindi lamang abuso ang tawag ko rito, murder na ang tawag ko rito, kung totoo at paniniwalaan ang mga eyewitness accounts na nangyari," Escudero told CNN Philippines' The Source.

[Translation: I don't just call it abuse — I call it murder, if the eyewitness accounts are true.]

Escudero and senators Manny Pacquiao and Nancy Binay also committed to sign the resolution, said Sen. JV Ejercito, another signatory.

Meanwhile, six senators from the minority bloc — Frank Drilon, Antonio Trillanes, Bam Aquino, Francis Pangilinan, Hontiveros, and detained senator Leila de Lima — also demanded an end to the killings. Aquino said in a statement he will file a separate resolution.

Trillanes said he will call for another caucus on Tuesday to unite all senators against the killings.

Lawmakers expressed concern over the police anti-drug operations.

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

The Caloocan police said Delos Santos had shot them first, although witnesses said he was forced to hold and shoot the gun. Police initially said Delos Santos was not on their list of suspects, but later said he was a drug courier for his father and uncle.

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

A security camera footage showed two men carrying a boy suspected to be Delos Santos off-screen. Escudero noted that the boy was wearing shorts, and wondered how he could have had a heavy gun on him, as the police claimed.

"Kung ito ay isa sa mga sitwasyong hindi [nanlaban], ang dapat ipaliwanag ng pulis maliban sa pagpatay kay Kian, saan galing ang baril... [at] ang droga na ginagamit sa pagplanta? At saan mapupunta ngayon yun pagkatapos?" said Escudero.

[Translation: If this is one of the situations where the suspect did not fight back, apart from clarifying killing Kian, police have to explain where the gun... and drugs that were planted came from, and what happened to these items.]

He added the Senate findings could be used in a possible case against the involved policemen.

"Gagamitin ito, kung hindi man sa ilalim ng administrasyong ito, sa susunod na administrasyon, bilang basehan ng kasong isasampa laban sa kanila," said Escudero.

[Translation: If (the findings) won't be used under this administration, it can be in the next, as a basis for filing cases against (those involved).]

A total of 82 drug suspects were killed and hundreds others arrested in police raids in Bulacan and some cities in Metro Manila within three days last week.

Related: 32 dead, 107 arrested in province-wide drug sweep - police

CNN Philippines' Correspondent Cecille Lardizabal and multi-platform writer Regine Cabato contributed to this report.