MANILA — President Rodrigo R. Duterte said he will not grant pardon to the three police personnel convicted over the slay of 17-year-old student Kian delos Santos in August last year.
“No, of course not. Maybe one million years from now,” Duterte told reporters in a chance interview on Monday when asked if he would grant the three cops pardon.
While he vowed to defend his soldiers and policemen if they killed in the performance of their duty, the President said it is a different story if they are involved in criminal acts like murder.
He also pointed out that law enforcement authorities can only kill when their life is put in danger.
“Look, ang sinabi ko (I said) I will defend to death my soldiers and my policemen if they commit some acts which can be considered criminal but done in the performance of their duties,” Duterte said.
“Pero (But) for you to murder, hindi kasali ‘yan (that doesn’t count),” he added.
Last week, Caloocan Regional Trial Court Branch 125 Presiding Judge Rodolfo Azucena Jr. found Police Officer 3 (PO3) Arnel Oares, PO1 Jeremias Pereda and PO1 Jerwin Cruz guilty of delos Santos’ murder and sentenced them to reclusion perpetua or up to 40 years in prison.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo described the three cops’ guilty verdict as “a triumph of justice” which showed that the Philippines has “a robust judicial system.”
Panelo said this also proved that the International Criminal Court (ICC) has no jurisdiction to investigate alleged extrajudicial killings in the country because it only serves as a court of last resort.
He, meanwhile, assured that Duterte would never tolerate murder committed by law enforcement authorities. PNA-northboundasia.com