Parents of Kian de los Santos mourn his death during the 17-year-old's burial last Aug. 26. Photo by Maria Charisse Ann G. Refuerzo

CHURCH leaders called for “genuine and verifiable investigations” into the deaths of victims of the drug war last Aug. 26, the day of the burial of 17-year-old Kian de los Santos who was killed by policemen in Caloocan on Aug. 16.

At the sidelines of Kian’s burial rites at La Loma Catholic Cemetery, activist priest Fr. Robert Reyes said there should be an “independent body” to investigate victims of extrajudicial killings.

“Create a genuine commission of not pro-Duterte, not pro-everybody, but pro-truth (people), because right now the poor Kian may yet be another victim of another crime,” Reyes said.

Reyes said young people should be watchful of their neighbors and remain vigilant of their own rights.

“This time is no longer the time for ‘selfies’ but the time to look at the others’ rights as a mirror of your own rights,” Reyes told the Varsitarian.

Caloocan Bishop Pablo Virgilio David said Kian’s death has encouraged the masses to show proof of police brutality such as closed-circuit television footage.

“Kian’s life was not a waste. It became a voice that has awakened the inactive conscience of all,” David said during de los Santos’ funeral Mass at Sta. Quiteria Parish Church.

Mark Vincent Lim, spokesman of the National Union of Students of the Philippines, called on the youth to fight  Duterte’s bloody drug war. 

“The youth should not be afraid to express their rage against the injustice of policemen. They should not stop in opposing Duterte’s drug war especially there is already proof of police torture following Kian’s death,” Lim said.

On the night of Aug. 16, Kian was slain by policemen who claim he fired a gun at them during the Philippine National Police’s “one-time big-time” anti-drug operation in Barangay 160, Caloocan City.

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