Entire police force dismissed after teen killings
An entire city police force has been dismissed in metropolitan Manila after some of its members were accused over the gruesome killings of three teenagers and others were seen on surveillance cameras robbing a house.
The 1,200-strong Caloocan police force in the Philippine capital will be relieved in batches and replaced, said metropolitan Manila police chief Oscar Albayalde.
The officers will undergo 45 days of retraining, after which those facing no charges can be reassigned to other stations.
The Department of Justice has started an investigation based on a murder and torture complaint against four Caloocan policemen allegedly linked to the killing of 17-year-old student Kian delos Santos during an antidrug raid last month.
The parents of two other teenagers — 19-year-old Carl Angelo Arnaiz and 14-yearold Reynaldo de Guzman — have also filed murder, torture and planting of evidence complaints against two Caloocan policemen. Last week, security camera video purportedly showed 13 policemen robbing a house during an alleged drug raid.
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s crackdown on drugs, which has left thousands of suspects dead, has come under renewed scrutiny since police gunned down Kian. Police described him as a drug dealer who fired at officers during a raid, but his family and witnesses said the student was shot as he pleaded for his life.
Witnesses pointed to evidence, including a village security video, which they said showed two police officers dragging Kian away shortly before shots rang out and he was found shot in the head, holding a pistol with his left hand although his parents said he was right-handed.
Police officers testified at a hearing that Kian was not the man seen being dragged in the video, although several witnesses doubted this.
His death was followed by another outcry over the killing of former student Mr Arnaiz.