U.S. envoy says killings of teens Kian, Carl 'a tragedy'

MANILA, Philippines – "It's a tragedy that young men lose their lives in this manner."

Describing their deaths as "tragic," US Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim called for a "full investigation" into the deaths of two teenagers at the hands of the Caloocan City police.

The deaths of Kian Loyd delos Santos, 17, and Carl Angelo Arnaiz, 19, have fueled public outrage against President Rodrigo Duterte's war on drugs. 

Both were allegedly framed up and abused by the police. (READ: Kian and Carl: What the deaths of two boys have in common

Kim commented on their deaths after he was asked about the death of Arnaiz in a roundtable discussion with journalists on Tuesday, September 5. He was also asked about the perception that policemen seem to target teenagers in Duterte's drug war.

Kim, a former prosecutor like Duterte, cited "ongoing investigations" into these cases, so he is "very cautious about commenting substantively on what exactly happened." 

In any case, he said, "it's so important for there to be a full investigation and accountability for what happened."

Kim recalled his tweet on August 22 also calling for "full accountability" in Delos Santos' death.

The US ambassador added: "Malacañang has indicated that there needs to be a complete investigation of these cases, so I hope that relevant authorities will look very closely at what happened, and if any wrongdoing is discovered, then there should be appropriate punishment for those involved." – Rappler.com

Paterno R. Esmaquel II

Paterno R. Esmaquel II is a senior reporter leading Rappler’s coverage of religion and foreign affairs. He finished MA Journalism in Ateneo and MSc Asian Studies (Religions in Plural Societies) at RSIS, Singapore. For story ideas or feedback, email him at pat.esmaquel@rappler.com.