One year after Kian killing, Malacañang warns policemen vs unlawful use of force in ops

By Genalyn Kabiling

A year after a teenager was killed in the controversial war on drugs, Malacañang has warned policemen against the unlawful use of force in their operations.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque speaks during a press briefing at the New Executive Building in Malacanang, Friday. (CAMILLE ANTE / MANILA BULLETIN) Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque

Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said President Duterte would not tolerate abusive policemen and would prosecute those involved in "illegal" killings of drugs suspects.

"The death anniversary is significant because this incident led to the President’s clarification on his official pronouncement on the drug war: He will support the police if the killing is legal. He will prosecute the police if the killing is illegal," Roque said during a press conference in Malacañang.

"That’s the importance of this year’s commemoration. It’s a warning to all policemen to make sure that they use force when there is absolute necessity and when it is proportional, otherwise, they will be prosecuted," he added.

Kian delos Santos, 17, was shot dead by policemen after allegedly resisting arrest during an anti-drug operation in Caloocan on August 16, 2017. He was accused of being a drug courier for his father and uncle, an allegation disputed by his family.

Human rights advocates have denounced the government for alleged police abuses in the drug war following the controversial death fo Delos Santos. The policemen involved in the killing of Delos Santos have already been dismissed and have been charged in court.

On the President's promise to bring justice for Delos Santos' death, Roque said: "That’s justice that five individuals are in jail because of the killing of Kian."