MANILA -- The Department of Justice (DOJ) has filed criminal charges against four persons including three Caloocan policemen implicated in the killing of student Kian Lloyd delos Santos in Caloocan City in August last year.
In a 43-page resolution dated Nov. 10, 2017 but was released to media only on Monday, the DOJ panel of prosecutors, led by Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Tofel G. Austria, found probable cause to indict Police Officer 3 Arnel Oares, PO1 Jeremias Pereda, PO1 Jerwin Cruz, and police asset Renato Perez Loveras alias 'Nono/Nonong' for murder and planting of evidence under Section 29 of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 and Section 38 of the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act before the Caloocan City Regional Trial Court.
The justice department also filed charges for violation of domicile under Article 128 of the Revised Penal Code against Pereda and Cruz, while it dismissed the torture complaint against Oares, Pereda, Cruz and Loveras for lack of probable cause.
The DOJ resolution cited the testimonies of eye witnesses including a minor, who all said they saw the police officers talking to the victim before he was dragged to the Tullahan River.
Two of the witnesses were mentioned in the resolution. They narrated how Kian was pushed to the muddy part of the area and how the victim begged before he was shot several times.
This point is extremely significant since it only shows that there was no unlawful aggression on the part of Kian during the time he was shot and killed, the DOJ resolution mentioned the complaints separately filed by Delos Santos' parents and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).
The police officers argued that they were in a legitimate police operation and Kian was killed only because he tried to fight the arresting cops. The police added that two sachets of shabu and a .45 caliber were found in his body.
But the DOJ said the evidence at hand clearly create doubts on the truthfulness of respondents PO3 Oares, PO1 Pereda and PO1 Cruz that the killing was done in the course of a legitimate drug operation.
According to the DOJ, there was absence of gunpowder nitrates on Kian's hands and that he was shot at the back of his head with the trajectory of the bullets "clearly indicating" that the gunner "was standing at the left side as he fired shots at Kian, who was then ducking face down."
The DOJ also said the gun found on the teenager's left hand was planted since he was actually right-handed.
In a press conference on Monday, Acting Prosecutor General Jorge Catalan Jr. said respondents are being charged for murder because treachery was found to be present since the sudden and unexpected attack by the assailants against victim Kian was clear and convincing.
He added that also they consciously and deliberately adopted this means and method to ensure the success of their plan
Note the examination reveals Kian was shot mercilessly to death while in a kneeling position. The trajectory of the bullet is that the entry is at the back of his head near his ear and it was surmised that he was indeed in a kneeling position and that the assailant was on his left side, Catalan told reporters.
The DOJ, on the other hand, found no probable cause to file criminal charges against 13 other policemen who were earlier named as co-respondents in the case.
The DOJ dismissed the case against Chief Inspector Amor C. Cerillo, Police Officer 2 Arnel Canezares, PO2 Diony B. Corpuz, PO1 Reynaldo Dan M. Blanco Jr., PO2 Fernand C. Cano, PO1 Silverio C. Garcia Jr., PO1 Ronald B. Herrera, PO1 Myrldon L. Yagi, PO1 Christian Joy G. Aguilar, PO1 J-Rossillini O. Lorenzo, PO1 Erwin C. Romeroso, PO1 Ferdinand R. Claro and PO1 Ceferino B. Paculan.
It also said Cerillo, precinct commander of Caloocan Police Station 6 cannot be held liable under the doctrine of command responsibility because there was no evidence to prove that he gave instructions to kill during the drug operation when Kian was killed.
Stress is taken that there is no evidence that the Philippine National Police (PNP) has adopted a policy of summary execution of persons involved in drugs. Neither was it established that Cerilo, on his own, gave instructions, express or implied, to his subordinate policemen to kill any drug suspects, read the resolution.
To stress, any possible malfeasance or misfeasance on the part of Cerilo, even if the same has resulted to a botched anti-drug operation will not make him a conspirator to the crime/s possibly committed by his subordinates absent a clear showing that he was an actual participant thereto, or has knowledge of its commission, the DOJ resolution said.
According to the DOJ, the 12 other police officers were not at the crime scene at any time from any point where Kian was nabbed to the area where he was killed.
Perforce, they could not participate in the alluded crime/s, give assent to or prevent their commission, the DOJ resolution stated adding that complainants also failed to present evidence that the 12 police officers have direct knowledge of the offense.
The resolution was recommended by Austria, Assistant State Prosecutors Amenda Leano-Garcia and Moises Acayan.
It was approved by Catalan and Senior Deputy State Prosecutor Richard Anthony Fadullon.
Source: Philippine News Agency