CHIEF Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo on Monday expressed support on calls to investigate the death of 17-year-old Kian delos Santos in a police operation against illegal drugs in Caloocan City.
He added that the police officers have no right to kill resistless suspects, even if they are indeed proven to be involved in rampant narcotics trade.
“It is really necessary to investigate what really happened. Many said the young man is really drug runner. But even if he’s drug runner, you cannot just kill somebody like that,” Panelo said in an interview with state-run dzRB.
Delos Santos was among the suspected drug personalities killed in simultaneous anti-drug operations carried out by authorities in Caloocan City.
Witnesses claimed Delos Santos was pleading with the arresting policemen to set him free.
Despite his appeal, police officers purportedly killed the 17-year-old student and planted him with a gun and a sachet of shabu.
Panelo said President Rodrigo Duterte may have declared an all-out war against illicit drugs but the Chief Executive made a pledge that he will not absolve any errant policemen.
On Saturday, Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella urged the police officers to ensure that they would not be “reckless” in fulfilling their mandate, following the killing of Delos Santos.
“The deeply regrettable incident has triggered the public sentiment and challenges to those any law enforcement to be wary of the reckless exercise of power and authority,” he said. (SunStar Philippines)