CHR demands justice for the death of Kian, Carl

CHR demands justice for the death of Kian, Carl

6 September 2017

CHR demands justice for the death of Kian, Carl

PASAY CITY—The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) expressed readiness to work with other government agencies to secure justice for the death of Kian Loyd delos Santos, 17, Carl Angelo Arnaiz, 19, and other related deaths, especially minors, due to the government’s campaign against illegal drugs.

“Nakahanda po kami sa CHR na umugnay sa mga ahensiyang pampamahalaan kaugnay ng kaso ni Kian, Carl, at ng iba pa. Mino-monitor po namin ang mga kasong ito. Meron din po kaming sariling imbestigasyon na ginagawa,” says CHR Chairperson Jose Luis Martin “Chito” Gascon during the continuation of the Senate inquiry on Kian delos Santos’s death on Tuesday, 5 September 2017, in Pasay.

(CHR is open to coordinate with other government agencies in investigating cases of killings, including Kian and Carl. We are currently monitoring these cases, and we are also conducting our own investigation.)

To date, the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) has already filed murder and torture cases against involved Caloocan City police officers, including Station 7 Police Chief Inspector Amor Cerillo; Police Officer 3 Arnel Oares; Police Officers 1 Jeremiah Pereda and Jerwin Cruz; and several John Does for the death of Kian delos Santos; while, PAO has already started the investigations for the death of Carl Angelo Arnaiz.

‘Let the court decide’

Chairperson Gascon reiterated that all “nanlaban” cases should be filed in courts as was the past practice of the Department of Justice when police officers admit to a killing in self-defense or defense of others. The admission constitutes probable cause. The filing of cases in courts will then determine if the killings are justified.

The CHR chief emphasized the need for the rule of law to prevail. “Naniniwala kami na sa usapin ng maraming napatay sa ‘war on drugs’ ay importante na umabot ito sa mga korte.”

(We believe that cases of deaths related to the ‘war on drugs’ should reach the courts.)

But the Chairperson pointed out that, out of the growing number of deaths, only one case has reached the court.

“Sa kasalukyan, nasa dalawang libo mahigit na ang napatay sa police operations. Hindi pa po bilang dito ‘yung mga napatay sa deaths under investigation o ‘yung mga napatay na hindi identified ang perpetrators. Sa aming kaalaman po, sa mga kaso na napatay sa legitimate police operations, bagama’t mayroon sa Philippine National Police (PNP) Internal Affairs Service, isa pa lamang po ang nakaabot sa korte,” Chairperson Gascon stressed.

(Currently, there are more than 2,000 reported deaths due to police operations. These numbers do not include deaths under investigation or deaths whose perpetrators are unidentified. Despite having the PNP Internal Affairs Service, only one case of death, due to legitimate police operations, has reached the court.)

Transparency, openness

In a meeting with the PNP Chief Ronald dela Rosa last week, CHR has called for a strengthened collaboration between the two agencies in upholding the rule of law and ensuring effective monitoring and investigation of drug-related cases.

“To achieve truth and justice, we need transparency and openness,” Chairperson Gascon asserted.

The Commission is still waiting for the copies of case folders of all deaths related to the government’s campaign against illegal drugs—be it as part of police operations or not—so it can fully exercise its mandate of checking the State agents’ obligations to promote and protect human rights.

“Importante po dito ang kooperasyon (Cooperation is important in these investigations). The proof of cooperation [by the PNP] will be in the sharing of information or records [pertaining to the cases],” the Chairperson said. ■