MANILA The family of Grade 11 student Kian Loyd Delos Santos who was killed in the August 16 anti-drug operations in Caloocan, can apply in the government's Witness Protection Program (WPP), Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II said on Monday.
Aguirre said they would be willing to consider the inclusion of the witnesses, including the Delos Santos family to the WPP.
"If they will apply, we are willing to consider them to the WPP," Aguirre noted.
In order to be admitted to the WPP, a potential witness has to submit an application and execute an affidavit which will be verified an assessed. Benefits under the WPP include a safehouse, security, allowance and other benefits.
The government can still place the applicant under provisional admission upon submission of application to the WPP.
WPP is a program established under Republic Act No. 6981, "The Witness Protection, Security and Benefit Act", which seeks to encourage a person who has witnessed or has knowledge of the commission of a crime to testify before a court or quasi-judicial body, or before an investigating authority, by protecting him from reprisals and from economic dislocation.
Aguirre has already ordered the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to conduct a parallel investigation on Delos Santos' death.
Aguirre issued Department Order No.546 directing NBI Director Dante Gierran to conduct a probe and case build-up over the death of Delos Santos, 17, and to file appropriate charges against the involved policemen.
"Director Gierran shall submit a report to the Office of the Secretary of Justice on its action related to the implementation of this order. The order takes immediately and shall remain force until further orders," read the order dated Aug. 18, 2017.
On Friday, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, Director General Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa also ordered aninvestigation of the incident.
In pushing for the probe, Dela Rosa said the PNP is not in the business of killing innocent civilians, especially minors.
He added that these police officers will be sanctioned once the investigations find irregularities in their actions.
Initial reports claimed that Delos Santos, a resident of Libis, Caloocan, was shot dead by lawmen after the former allegedly fired shots at officers conducting anti-drug operations in the area.
However, Delos Santos' family belied these claims as they have seen a CCTV footage allegedly showing lawmen dragging the victim before shooting him dead.
National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) chief Director Oscar Albayalde has ordered the relief of police personnel involved in the operation.
Source: Philippine News Agency