it is a happily isolated case
but the canal waters run red nowadays
and the stones where Kian lay dying
bled from the tears of seventeen years.
And his father cried
mourning his son
his heart reeling from their lies.
This boy, he raised
this same young boy
who dreamt of love
just like you
who laughed unrestrained
just like you
who cried at the fear of failure
just like you
who played and hoped
just like you
who made silly wishes
under the pale light of the stars
forever fixed, forever shining
in the darkness of the heavens.
Yes, the same stars who bore witness
as they dragged this boy, Kian
across alleyways he used to play in
with his friends, running and laughing;
the same alleyways that now echoed
with his cries
pleading, oh so pitifully begging
for his young life
for the chance to live his dreams
for the right to succeed or fail
just like you.
Yes, just like you.
But so unlike you.
For they took that chance,
thieves in the night
they stole his life
they destroyed his dreams
they lied about
how he lived and died ….
And Kian ran at their command
“Hold this 45 and run!” They said.
And young Kian ran while crying
ran with his heart hammering
fighting for hope, thinking
of his mother whose hands
nursed him when he was sick.
Of his father who toiled
under sun and rain
to give him a future
he will never attain.
Of the girl whose smile
made his heart dance in his chest,
the same heart filling up with blood now
the same heart faintly beating
the same heart that will never know love.
And the stars wept above ….
Kian lies like a dog in the corner,
covered in newspapers.
An isolated case.
A story on your screen.
An article in print.
slowly rotting … for our sins.
The story of Kian:
Our son, Kian: A good, sweet boy
The family and neighbors of 17-year-old Kian Loyd delos Santos have only one question: Why in the world would police kill such a sweet boy?
Published 11:24 AM, August 19, 2017
Updated 2:04 PM, August 19, 2017
MANILA, Philippines – Seventeen-year old student Kian Loyd delos Santos could have been a policeman, but the policemen who killed him made this dream impossible.
On Wednesday night, August 16, Kian was shot to death in what the police described as a shooting encounter in a dark alley near his house.
CCTV footage and witnesses, however, revealed that he was dragged from one alley to another, past a basketball court, and into a dead-end corner where he was asked to run with a gun – and when he did, was shot.
Kian died wearing a blue shirt and printed boxer shorts – his pantulog or sleepwear, his father said. His dead body was found in fetal position with a gun in his left hand. His father said in media interviews that this detail, alone, could attest to his son’s innonence, since the teenager was not left-handed.
Who was Kian?
The first night of Kian’s wake, an old woman who regularly bought pencils in the Delos Santos’ mini-store asked what happened, upon seeing a casket in what was usually a room filled with candy and school supplies.
Kian’s father, Saldy, said it was his son, the young boy who attended to you, that was killed. The news came as a shock to the old lady, who nearly fainted, as if she were a mother who just heard that her own son had been killed. The old woman asked, how could such a thing happen? He was a very good boy! He sharpened the pencils I bought so I wouldn’t have to spend for a sharpener!
The other night, a street child visited the wake to see Kian. The little boy said Kian would always turn up the volume of whatever he was watching so that the boy, too, could watch with him.
It was these little things that Kian did that has made his death a puzzle to his family. Why in the world would police kill such a sweet boy?
Kian, or Ian to most, was just like any other teenager. If he wasn’t in school or busy in the store, his eyes were glued to his cellphone watching the Funniest Videos on Youtube or blasting Fliptop battles as he sang along to the rap songs, to his father’s confusion.
“Ano ba ‘yang pinapatugtog mo (What are you playing)?” he would ask like a typical parent.
The young man only had one vice: eating junk food. For breakfast, he would often have a cup coffee and a pack of his favorite cheese-flavored chips. For lunch, 5 pieces of fish balls, and a few pieces of kwek-kwek (fried battered quail eggs) would be good enough for him.
Often at night, Kian would ask his father if he wanted a massage, and he would ask for a massage in return. Many times they wouldn’t have efficascent oil, so they would use cooking oil instead. It worked the same way anyway, his father would say.
All 4 of Saldy’s children did not grow up in luxury. None of them had their own rooms – not even their own beds – at home. The family members slept beside each other every night until such time they are capable of living on their own.
Unlike many kids who spent their days running around the streets and playing with neighbors, Saldy’s children were trained to take care of the mini-store he built to support the family as his wife, Lorenza, toiled overseas as a domestic helper.
At 5:30 every morning, it was Kian’s task to open the store and man it until before noon when it was his father’s time to clock in, and Kian would prepare for school. The same way at night, he would close the store before he could walk around the block for some chitchat, like what he did that night he was killed.
Not once did the young man give his father a headache. Not once did he get money from the store to keep for himself. Not once did Kian display bad behavior in school or in the barangay that meritted a report to his parents. So imagine Saldy’s surprise when one night, while he was in their other house in Valenzuela, he got a call from his brother that the police had taken his son.
A few hours before he was informed about the incident, Saldy sent Kian a message to sleep early and be careful around the streets. “You know how it is in our street, it could be dangerous,” he said in what would be his final advice to his son.
Kian is your son
‘BE STRONG’. Kian’s parents, Saldy and Lorenza, share a moment beside their son’s casket. Photo by Eloisa Lopez/Rappler
It has been 3 long nights for Saldy and Lorenza since Kian was killed. Three long nights filled with cameras flashing from left to right, and microphones held to their mouths every hour. Lorenza could barely even be heard. Her voice had gone hoarse from crying and speaking to the media.
On Friday night, after most of the media had left, the couple share a moment beside their son’s casket.
Saldy embraces his wife and whispers to her, be strong, be strong. Rest now, but be strong.
Still, Lorenza insists on speaking to the media, when asked. She says even if she has lost her voice, when a question is asked about her son, she musters the strength to speak. She forces herself to shout. “I need to speak up for my son,” Lorenza says.
Saldy will remain restless until the men responsible for his son’s slay is punished. He says he’s been wondering himself, whether the men who killed his son had their own sons as well. “Don’t they think about what their sons would think? What would people say? Your Papa is trigger-happy.”
He thought maybe the killers were the addicts, seeing how it was so easy for them to kill.
“It would have been okay if they did kill an addict who had a gun, but they killed an innocent child. And to think, he wanted to be a policeman,” Saldy says.
Over the past week, at least 81 people have been killed in police operations all over the country. It has been the deadliest week of the so-called war on drugs.
On Wednesday, after 32 people were killed in police operations in Bulacan province, President Rodrigo Duterte praised his men and said it was “good.” Let it continue.
When Saldy is asked if he voted for the President, he can only give a long sigh. Finally he said, “Mali, ‘no (It was wrong, right)?” – Rappler.com
Result of Kian’s autopsy:
Kian Loyd Delos Santos, 17, killed in drug crackdown
18 AUGUST 2017
Three police officers suspended as witnesses claim unarmed 17-year-old boy was framed by officials.
Police killed at least 94 in anti-drug operations this week [Erik De Castro/Reuters]
Philippine police are under pressure to explain the killing of a 17-year-old high school student, who has become the latest victim of President Rodrigo Duterte’s ruthless war on drugs.
Kian Loyd Delos Santos died on Thursday night in the capital Manila amid allegations that he was framed by three police officers, who witnesses said forced the teenager to hold a gun, fire and run.
CCTV footage from the Manila suburb of Caloocan showed Delos Santos being carried by two men to a place where his body was later found, raising doubt about an official report that said he was shot because he fired at police officers first.
According to the police report, Delos Santos ran when he saw the officers approaching him. He then pulled out a gun and opened fire at the policemen, who shot back.
Witnesses told local media that the teenager was unarmed.
National police chief Ronald dela Rosa said that if the Grade 11 student did not pose a threat, the officers who shot him on Thursday night would be held accountable.
“I will not allow any police officer to just kill a 17-year-old boy for no reason at all,” he told reporters. “Are they that heartless?”
Dela Rosa added: “Just think about it, he is just a kid. If that happened to your sibling? We will investigate it, I assure you.”
Metro Manila police chief Oscar Albayalde said the three policemen involved had been relieved of their duties and an investigation would be launched.
Several senators, including known allies of Duterte, expressed outrage about Delos Santos’ death and called an investigation on Friday into a spike in the killings of drug suspects in recent police operations.
“The Philippine National Police, on its misguided war on drugs, is now terrorising our communities and collateral damage is unacceptable,” said Representative Edgar Erice.
“Killing the poor and powerless is not the solution to the drug problem when tons of methamphetamine are smuggled in,” Senator Francis Pangilinan said in a statement.
Police killed at least 27 people in Manila on the third night of a new push in Duterte’s war on drugs and crime, taking the toll for one of the bloodiest weeks so far to 94, according to officials.
Earlier in the week, 67 people were shot and nearly 250 arrested in Manila and provinces adjoining the Philippines capital, in what police described as a “One-Time, Big-Time” push to curb drugs and street crime.
President Duterte hailed the recent killing of 32 drug suspects in a 24-hour police crackdown, the highest death toll in a single day in his administration’s anti-drug war.
“That’s beautiful. If we can only kill 32 every day, then maybe we can reduce what ails this country,” Duterte said on Wednesday.
According to police statistics, more than 3,000 suspects have been killed in anti-drug operations since Duterte became president on June 30, 2016.
Source: News agencies
Click the link to access the interview of the witnesses and Kian’s father: