Statement of the Commission on Human Rights on the court’s decision on the Kian Loyd Delos Santos case

Statement of the Commission on Human Rights on the court’s decision on the Kian Loyd Delos Santos case

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) welcomes the guilty verdict of the court against the cops involved in the death of 17-year old boy Kian Loyd Delos Santos. The decision marks the triumph of the rule of law, especially in the face of the growing number of deaths allegedly linked to the government’s drug campaign.

The recent verdict stresses the need for the government to open its operations to greater scrutiny given that Kian’s case is not the first ‘nanlaban’ incident which was disproven in court. Also this year, Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 40 cleared Francisco Maneja Jr of illegal drug charges whom the police had accused of resisting arrest during a buy-bust operation in 2016. Maneja pretended to be dead, and only moved when the media arrived at the place of the incident.

There are still thousands of alleged cases of extrajudicial killings that need to have their day in court. The Commission stresses the obligation of the government to ferret out the truth behind these deaths and ensure that each and every perpetrator—be it our police forces or not—are made accountable for their crimes.

The truth is that, while achieving justice for Kian’s death is a victory, impunity still exists.

The Commission shall remain vigilant against many forms of human rights violations that abound today. We hope that this conviction encourages witnesses to come forward in aid of achieving justice to all those aggrieved, as we thank everyone who exhibited courage towards securing justice for Kian and those who remain to stand against threats to human rights and dignity. ■

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