Body of Philippine teen exhumed in fresh push for drug war justice


Workers zip the body bag containing the remains of drug war victim Kian Delos Santos after his exhumation at a public cemetery in Caloocan City, Philippines, August 15, 2022. - Reuters

MANILA, Aug 15 (Reuters): The body of a teenager killed in a high-profile shooting during the Philippines' war on drugs five years ago was exhumed for autopsy on Monday as his family seek to learn more about his death and hold others accountable.

High school student Kian Delos Santos was 17 when police shot him in an act they said was self-defence.

But video footage contradicted the official police report, sparking huge public outrage against the bloody anti-narcotics campaign of former President Rodrigo Duterte, and the rare conviction of police officers who rights groups say have otherwise enjoyed impunity.

Randy Delos Santos, the victim's uncle, told reporters at the exhumation at a cemetery in Manila on Monday that the body would be autopsied by a forensic pathologist who was challenging the official narrative of how people such Delos Santos were killed during the drugs war.

"The bones still speak. After five years, let us see if we can still discover more truth," he said, adding that the family was pushing for more people to be punished for the death of his nephew, without naming them.

Philippine police did not respond to requests for comment.

Official records show police killed 6,252 people during the crackdown that followed Duterte's election in 2016, all in self-defence. Rights groups say police executed drug suspects on a massive scale, which the police deny, and that thousands of mysterious street killings were not included in the tally.

The families of many drug war victims are still seeking justice in long, drawn-out cases.

"If the justice system was really working, there should more (convictions)," Randy Delos Santos said, adding there were many other cases that contradicted government claims the victims had fought back. (https://reut.rs/3dwOcov)

Delos Santos' case was featured in a report by a former International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor who opened a preliminary probe into the drugs war in 2018.

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr, Duterte's successor, said he has no plans of rejoining the ICC after the country withdrew from the treaty in 2019. - Reuters

Article type: free
User access status:
Subscribe now to our Premium Plan for an ad-free and unlimited reading experience!

Philippines , Bodym Teenager , exhumed , Drug War

   

Next In Aseanplus News

Red Bull's Perez wins Singapore Grand Prix, teammate Verstappen seventh
Don’t rush to hold GE15, focus on economic recovery, says Azmin
Asean News Headlines at 9pm on Sunday (Oct 2, 2022)
Setting sun to shine through 15 gateways at Buri Ram temple in rare event next week in Thailand
Thai Army deploys troops to defend Bangkok, central provinces against floods
Philippines logs 2,117 new Covid-19 cases and 32 deaths on Sunday (Oct 2)
Vietnam reports 490 new Covid-19 cases and no deaths on Sunday (Oct 2)
Those calling for GE15 during monsoon 'out of their minds', says Bersatu Youth
US expands, extends Myanmar immigration status to May 2024
Germany to deliver new support package to Laos to help country achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals target

Others Also Read