PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte assured the public on Monday, December 3, that he will not grant pardon to three Caloocan policemen who were found guilty of murdering 17-year-old Kian Lloyd delos Santos during an anti-drug operation in August 2017.
"No, of course not. Maybe one million years from now. Kung one billion years, okay na (Or one billion years, that would be fine)," Duterte said when asked if he would pardon the three Caloocan cops involved in Delos Santos's killing.
Delos Santos, a Grade 11 student, was shot to death after allegedly resisting arrest during a "One time, Big Time" anti-drug operation conducted by the Caloocan City police on August 16, 2017.
A closed-circuit television camera footage, however, showed that Delos Santos did not resist arrest.
Caloocan Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 125 has sentenced Police Officer (PO) 3 Arnel Oares, PO1 Jeremias Pereda, and PO1 Jerwin Cruz to 40-year imprisonment without parole.
The Caloocan court also ordered Oares, Pereda, and Cruz to pay civil indemnity, as well as moral, actual, and exemplary damages amounting to P345,000 to Delos Santos's family.
The three Caloocan cops, however, were not found guilty of planting illegal drugs and a gun "for failure of the prosecution to prove the guilt beyond reasonable doubts."
Duterte maintained that he would only protect police officers whose lives are in danger during arrest of resisting drug suspects.
"Look, ang sinabi ko, I will defend to death my soldier and my policemen if they commit some acts which can be considered criminal, but done in the performance of their duty. Hindi ko iiwanan iyan kasi kung hindi, papatayin ako ng mga sundalo ko pati pulis, kasi ako ang nag-utos sa kanila ng ganoon," he said.
(Look, what I said is I will defend to death my soldier and my policemen if they commit some acts which can be considered criminal, but done in the performance of their duty. I will not leave them because soldiers and policemen will kill me since I was the one who gave the order.)
"Pero for you to murder, hindi kasali iyan (But murder is not included). There's only one way that it can happen -- that you are in the performance of your duty, or duty-connected, then there is an event there that's happening and your life is in danger, then you can kill your opponent. That is what the law says," he added. (SunStar Philippines)