Eyewitnesses say Kian delos Santos begged police to let him go the night he was killed, claiming he had a test the next day in high school. Instead, the 17-year-old became one of over 90 Filipinos killed by police in a three-day span in August.
The public has remained generally supportive of Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte’s brutal war on drugs, but that may change after the delos Santos case. A key piece of evidence revealing police misconduct has triggered both public outrage and official investigations. Kian’s name has become a rallying cry for the opposition, and for families who have lost loved ones in Duterte’s drug war.
“Right now, many Filipinos still believe that this is just a remote incident,” said Father George Alfonso of the Surigao del Norte Parish. “The human lives of our people are involved and at stake.”
VICE News visited Caloocan City, where the killing of Kian delos Santos has Filipinos demanding answers from their popular president and his police force.
This segment originally aired August 30, 2017, on VICE News Tonight on HBO.