Duterte rules out pardon for cops in Kian delos Santos slay

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte said he will not pardon the 3 policemen convicted of murdering Caloocan teenager Kian delos Santos.

"Of course not. Maybe one million years from now," he said on Monday, December 3, when asked by reporters if a pardon from him may be expected.

He was then reminded of his promise to police and military personnel that he would pardon them when they are accused of wrongdoing while enforcing his crackdown on illegal drugs.

Duterte said his promise covers only law enforcers who are "in the performance of their duties."

"If they commit some acts which can be considered criminal but done in the performance of their duties, hindi ko iwanan 'yan kasi kung hindi, papatayin ako ng sundalo ko pati pulis kasi ako ang nag-utos sa kanila ng ganoon.

(I won't leave them because if I do, the soldiers and police will kill me because I gave the order to them.)

"But for you to murder, hindi kasali 'yan (that's not covered)," he added.

On November 29, a Caloocan court convicted Police Officer 3 Arnel Oares, Police Officer 1 Jeremias Pereda, and Police Officer 1 Jerwin Cruz, and sentenced them to reclusion perpetua, or imprisonment for 20 to 40 years, without eligibility for parole.

The court found that the policemen killed a helpless Delos Santos and lied about the events that led to his death.

The decision casts a giant cloud of doubt on the regularity or conduct of the police in enforcing Duterte's anti-drug campaign. – Rappler.com


Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at pia.ranada@rappler.com.