President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday, August 21, assured the public of a thorough and impartial investigation into the killing of 17-year-old high school student Kian Loyd delos Santos.
Speaking to reporters at the Malago Clubhouse, Malacañang Park, President Duterte said he would refrain from commenting on delos Santos’ death pending the result of the investigation of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) as instructed by the Department of Justice (DOJ).
“When the Secretary of Justice ordered the NBI to investigate, the most prudent thing for me to do is to shut up and wait for the result of the investigation,” Duterte said.
The Chief Executive admitted that he saw television reports about what happened to delos Santos and agreed that there should be an investigation.
Delos Santos was killed last August 16 during an anti-drug operation in Caloocan City conducted by the Philippine National Police.
“Should the investigation point to liabilities by one, two, or all, there will be a prosecution and they have to go to jail if convicted. That I can assure you,” Duterte said adding that he will not interfere in the probe.
He reiterated that his order to the authorities was to neutralize criminals who resist arrest but if the investigation would prove that there was a “rubout”, those responsible would be put behind bars.
The President also explained that he would not visit the wake of Delos Santos to avoid suppositions. He said a visit can be perceived that he is apologetic for what happened to delos Santos, which may put pressure on the police force.
“I would be putting so much pressure on the police… I cannot do that because the organization sa PNP is under me. I would be the last person to condemn them without a valid investigation,” he said.