CAUSE-ORIENTED group Akbayan yesterday staged a rally and a candle-lighting ceremony over the death of 17-year-old Kian Delos Santos in Caloocan City.
Delos Santos was killed after he allegedly fought back during a One-Time Big-Time operation of the Caloocan police last Wednesday night.
The group was protesting the killings committed in the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte.
Justine Balane, one of the protesters, said they empathize with the plight of Kian, who was a student like them.
"He (Kian) was 17. Whether it was online or here in the streets, we have to get involved as students who are tired of the killings in the war against drugs," Balane said.
Cebu-based lawyer Vincent Isles, said that they too want to end the drug menace in the country but they want to do it through proper means.
"There are right ways and there are wrong ways. Unfortunately, we believe that our government is implementing the wrong ways," he said.
Various protests erupted in different parts of the country yesterday as public outrage was fueled by the footage from a closed-circuit television (CCTV) camera showing Delos Santos being dragged by police a few minutes before he was shot.
Several street children watched the rally, including 12-year-old Angela (real name withheld).
After listening to the protesters, she lit a candle and placed it beside a placard that said “Justice for Kian. Justice for all the victims of extrajudicial killings.”
"My father was a drug user who was killed by his fellow user. My mother was caught for selling shabu and now I live on the streets but I still don't want anyone to get killed," Angela said in Cebuano.
"Dili nami niya kay maldito siya, nya mupatay og way sala (We don't like him anymore because he is bad and kills innocent people)," she added.
Published in the SunStar Cebu newspaper on August 22, 2017.
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