MANILA — Malacañang on Thursday welcomed the guilty verdict on three policemen involved in the killing of Kian Delos Santos and vowed that there is no intention to grant them pardon.
“It is a triumph of justice. It shows that this country has a robust judicial system,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a Palace briefing.
Panelo assured that President Rodrigo R. Duterte will not pardon the three cops as he would never tolerate murder committed by law enforcement authorities.
“You must remember that this is a murder, there is intention to kill; the President will never tolerate that. What he said was, ‘If you do it in accordance with your job, in the performance of your duty, then I will help you – not when you violate the law,’ that is what he said,” Panelo said.
“We give the assurance that the President will never tolerate any intentional killing against civilians from the men in uniform,” he added.
Panelo recalled how the President mentioned in his State of the Nation Address (SONA) that police personnel who violated the law will be punished.
“It also shows that in the SONA speech of the President – the first time – he said when he declared war on drugs, those who will abuse their authority will have hell to pay,” Panelo said.
Panelo said it was even the President himself who immediately sought for the relief, arrest and detention of the policemen involved in Kian’s slay immediately watching footage of the incident.
“From the very start, the administration’s policy was to be intolerant with any kind of abuse coming from the military as well as the police and for that matter, any abuse coming from any civilian; any violation of law,” he added.
Panelo, meanwhile, pointed out that the guilty verdict on the three cops also disproved the detractors of the President, who said that the International Criminal Court (ICC) has jurisdiction to investigate alleged extrajudicial killings in the country because courts do not have the capability of prosecuting criminals.
“This is a walking testament that there is in this country as I said earlier a robust judicial system, a working judicial system,” Panelo said.
He also lauded the decision of Caloocan RTC Branch 125 Presiding Judge Rodolfo Azucena Jr. who found Police Officer 3 (PO3) Arnel Oares, PO1 Jeremias Pereda and PO1 Jerwin Cruz guilty of Delos Santos’ murder and sentenced them to reclusion perpetua.
The three policemen were also directed to pay the heirs of de los Santos PHP100,000 as civil indemnity; PHP100,000 as moral damages; PHP45,000 as actual damages; and PHP100,000 as exemplary damages.
“We would like to laud—by the way, this is a six-month trial, and this is a record in heinous crimes like the case of Kian,” Panelo said.
“It took them only six months to finish the case. It means that the prosecution as well as the defense really did their homework and finished the case on time,” he added.
He said the guilty verdict will serve as a deterrent to men in uniform, who might commit any crime. (PNA) By Azer Parrocha