Grief, anger run high over Kian’s funeral; police “kill-for-money” exposed

Photo by Mon Ramirez

By Bicol Today News Team

CITY OF NAGA, Bicol Region – Anti-Duterte sentiments among the militant and progressive sectors in Manila heat up as slain minor student Kian de los Santos is being laid to rest Saturday, while the rest of the nation mourn in grief over a young life gone wasted by police bullets as drug-related killings have risen up with no end in sight, Bicol in Naga City was informed early Saturday morning.

Student 17-year-old Kian Delos Santos was killed on August 17, 2017 during police operations. Autopsy reports that he was defenseless when he was shot, contrary to the police narrative that he fought back. A CCTV video, as well as first-hand witnesses also denied allegations alluding to the scenario of “nanlaban (fought back).”

Police “kill-for-money” exposed

Meanwhile, BAYAN exposed the drug-war has involved into “killing-for-money” among policemen, wherein quotas are imposed among police hit teams and “reward money is awarded for every kill”.

BAYAN accused President Duterte’s war on drugs is a war on the poor. It falsely claims to be a solution to the proliferation of illegal drugs, but targets mostly street-level dealers and not the big criminal syndicates in and out of government.

“The killings themselves corrupt the police force through a system of quotas and financial rewards for police officers. Rather than eliminating crime, Duterte’s grotesque drug war has spawned new crimes and encouraged impunity on an entirely new level,” said BAYAN.


“The drug war campaign is taking this nation nowhere. As the bodies pile up, the root causes of the illicit drug trade has barely been scratched on the surface. The Duterte regime is no closer to solving the drug problem today than when he took office last year. This war on drugs has been a massive failure, a tragedy which has rid the Filipino people of their rights and has normalized abuses by State forces. As we mourn for Kian Lloyd delos Santos today, let us strengthen our resolve for justice for all victims of State terror,” said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay.

Karapatan’s secretary general reiterated that the PNP, as an institution, have long been involved in corruption, extortion, and many other illegal activities. The case of Korean businessman Jee Ick Joo who was killed inside the premises of Camp Crame and the release of Supt. Marvin Marcos and 18 others involved in the Albuera rub-out incident are among those that highlight police abuses and impunity.

Palabay added: “The PNP itself is an organized crime syndicate. Having them carry out a bloody campaign such as the war on drugs is a disaster waiting to happen, and indeed it was a disaster. The most that these murderers got were suspensions or reassignment, incomparable to the grief, injustice and rights violations they have inflicted to the poor.”

“As the entire nation lays Kian to rest, we mourn for the thousands of others whose lives were taken in the course of this bloody campaign. We thus call for an end to the killings, the immediate prosecution of those involved, and an end to the war-on-drugs campaign. The Duterte regime should acknowledge that what it has waved as a flagship policy is now a failure that encourages police brutality and rids the poor of their rights,” concluded Palabay.

BAYAN seething with anger

BAYAN joins the nation in grief and outrage over the killing of Kian.

“We march today to bring Kian to his final resting place and to support the call for justice for all victims of Duterte’s fascist drug war. We call for accountability of the police officers directly involved in the killings as well as accountability of the commander-in-chief who sanctioned the killings,” BAYAN demands.

The brutality of the drug war reflects the same fascist mentality and policies that have resulted in the militarization of the countryside and gross human rights violations against farmers, Lumad and Moro people. It is the same fascist mindset that has resulted in abuses under Martial Law and the US-led war on terror. Meanwhile, the shameless lying and fabrication of evidence committed by the PNP in the case of Kian has long been a practice of the police and the military when they file trumped-up charges against activists.

The fight against impunity is a shared struggle of all freedom-loving Filipinos. The murder of Kian is an assault on all of us, especially the poor.

“Black Friday” march

In a related development, on the eve of the funeral march, BAYAN and other rights groups held protest actions here and abroad to demand justice and a stop to Duterte’s drug war.

OFW’s4Kian led actions in Hong Kong, US, Canada, Australia, South Korea and Japan.

Protesters lit candles and held up placards at the Sta. Quiteria Church in Caloocan and Sta. Cruz Church in Manila.

Protests were held in UP Diliman, UP Manila, Polytechnic University of the Philippines, EARIST, UST and along Katipunan Avenue.

“We call on the people to join Kian’s funeral on August 26 and demand justice for all victims of Duterte’s fascist drug war. We call for accountability of the police officials involved in the killings as well as accountability of the Commander-in-Chief who legitimized the killings. We stand with Kian’s family and with the victims of the fascist drug war,” BAYAN said.

Bayan announced that it would be attending the funeral march on August 26 in Caloocan.

The groups are expected to gather near the Sta. Quiteria Church and will join the community going to La Loma Cemetery.


League of Filipino Students

On the militant student sector, students belonging to League of Filipino Students (LFS) are massing for Kian’s funeral march.

LFS hits back on Duterte’s stance that his anti-drug campaign is the right path to truly destroy the ‘drug menace’ in the country. His war on drugs has now taken 13,000 lives, majority, if not all, are members of the basic masses, ordinary citizens while foreign drug mules, known personalities, individuals coming from political and influential families call for due process and are subjected to processes of the law.

“Duterte insists that his drug war is a fulfillment of his promise to protect the people and the country—he is lying through his teeth. He maintains his image of a great protector while he continues to butcher the masses, the poor, through the Philippine National Police. His men remains to be primary, their welfare priority over the people’s concern: he enables them to terrorize the people, protects them from grave violations, and rewards them for every single body they drop,” JP Rosos, LFS spokesperson, said.

“Duterte is not a socialist, nor a man of the people—he is a mass murderer,” Rosos added. []


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