While expressing sympathies to his bereaved family, Vice President Leni Robredo on Sunday said the Filipino people should express dissent to any wrongdoing to prevent abuse similar to the killing of 17-year-old Kian Loyd Santos in Caloocan City.
“How many Kian’s were there? How many more deaths like Kian’s will happen? It is our obligation to express our displeasure to this kind of incident,” she said in Filipino during her weekly radio show, “BISErbisong Leni.”
The Vice President’s remarks came amid the widespread public outcry over the violent death of Santos in an anti-drug operation last Wednesday.
Police claimed Kian, a Grade 12 student, was a drug runner and that they killed him after he allegedly resisted arrest and had pulled a gun on police officers.
Robredo, who just returned from Naga City early Sunday morning, visited the wake of Santos and she offered her condolences to the victim’s family.
The Vice President arrived at Kian’s wake with lawyer Jose Manuel “Chel” Diokno, chair of the Free Legal Assistance Group. FLAG, a national organization of lawyers, has always fought for the protection of human rights.
Robredo, a human right lawyer, offered legal assistance to Kian’s family in case they pursue charges against the policemen allegedly involved in the death of the teenager.
“There are innocent people who get victimized. It is proper we should help prevent a repeat of the incident in the future,” the Vice President said.
The former Camarines Sur representative threw her support behind an “independent” investigation to determine if law enforcers abused their powers in relation to Kian’s killing.
“If the parents are not convinced with the investigation, the case has no closure.. The incident involving Kian would continue to happen,” the 52-year-old Robredo said.
As a mother of three, the Vice President is treating Kian’s death as a personal matter to her and is disheartening.
“My youngest (daughter) is as old as Kian. You can think what happened to him can happen to our children,” said Robredo.
“I already felt how to lose a loved one. It is really difficult. It is like you also get killed. I can’t imagine of losing my husband, but it is harder to lose a child,” the Vice President said.
During her visit to the wake, Robredo was able to talk to Kian’s parents — Zaldy and Lorenzana — as well as to their neighbors.
The Vice President even went to the place where the Grade 12 student was shot dead by police operatives.
She noted how Kian’s family and their neighbors have talked about how good he was a person when he was still alive.
His father, in particular, was emotional since Kian helped run their small store, she added.
Before his death, Robredo said Kian asked extra money from her mother, an overseas Filipino worker in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, to buy a bicycle because he had to walk every day going home from his school.