PAO: Station chief 'liable' for killing of Delos Santos

THE claim of the Caloocan precinct commander linked to the killing of 17-year-old Kian Loyd Delos Santos that he is erroneously charged for various criminal complaints "has no leg to stand on."

This is what the Public Attorney's Office (PAO) -- the agency providing the legal assistance to Delos Santos' parents -- said Monday, in reply to the counter-affidavit filed by Police Chief Inspector Amor Cerillo, the relieved commander of the Caloocan Police Community Precinct 7.

Cerillo, along with Police Officer (PO) 3 Arnel Oares, PO1 Jeremias Pereda and PO1 Jerwin Cruz, has been charged with murder, torture, violation of domicile and planting of evidence in relation to the killing of Delos Santos last August 16 in Barangay 16, Caloocan City.

"The claim of respondent PCI Amor Cerillo that he is erroneously charged in this complaint has no leg to stand on," read PAO's reply affidavit.

"Further, the liability of PCI Cerillo not only proceeds from his being a commander of PCP 7, Caloocan City, he was also careless in his duty in the conduct of the police operation which resulted to the death of Kian Delos Santos," it added.

PAO also refuted the claims of the Oares, Pereda and Cruz that they were likewise erroneously charged and that no evidence could prove that they have committed the above-stated violations.

PAO, citing the findings of the Philippine National Police Internal Affairs Service (PNP-IAS), said the arrest of Delos Santos was illegal due to the absence of an arrest warrant.

Assuming that it is legal, the IAS said the victim should have been brought to the PNP marked vehicle following his arrest in the evening of August 16.

The closed-circuit television camera footage showed that the victim was not committing any unlawful acts when he was arrested, it added.

The PAO said that the investigating prosecutors should not turn a blind eye on the findings of the PNP-IAS that there was a conspiracy among the respondent policemen.

These findings bolstered the claim of the victim's parents that their son had been unjustifiably killed.

The DOJ prosecutors led by Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Tofel Austria have earlier given the respondent-cops until October 9 to file their rejoinder affidavit.

The policemen, in their counter-affidavit, filed earlier maintained their earlier stance that Delos Santos was a drug courier, an allegation earlier denied by his family. (SunStar Philippines)

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