CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Saturday, 15 December 2018

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Day of remembrance for slain Filipino teen?

MANILA (UCAN): A Philippine senator, Risa Hontiveros, has proposed declaring August 16 as an annual National Day of Remembrance to mark the death of 17-year-old Kian de los Santos.
 
De los Santos death on 16 August 2017 at the hands of police during an anti-drug operation sparked national and international outrage.
 
Hontiveros said the killing “underscored the human rights atrocities committed in the name of the bloody war on drugs.”
 
The opposition legislator said that by remembering all those who have died in the government’s drug war, “the public states its clear rejection of the culture of killing and impunity.”
 
Hontiveros said, “We have a duty to remember. We must not allow Kian and all the victims to be rendered nameless, invisible and forgotten.”
 
She said the act of remembering, “is an act of defiance against the killings,” adding that, “to forget is to give consent.”
 
Bishop Pablo Virgilio David of Kalookan, led relatives and friends of De los Santos in unveiling a memorial marker at San Roque Cathedral.
 
Controversy arose when witnesses debunked police claims that De los Santos tried to fight it out with them with a .45 caliber pistol.
 
An independent autopsy also showed the boy was shot in the head.
 
“If they said that he fought back and it’s not true, how many other cases are there where police were lying?” Jose Luis Martin Gascon, chairperson of the Commission on Human Rights, asked.
 
Father Flavie Villanueva said De los Santos “became a symbol of systematic killing involving youths.”
 
Data from the Children’s Legal Rights and Development Centre revealed that at least 74 children have been killed in the two-year old war on narcotics.
 
Congressman, France Castro, said that the drug war of the president, Rodrigo Duterte, has claimed more than 12,000 victims, many of whom were poor.

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