“Tama na po, may test pa ako bukas,” were among the last words of 17-year-old Kian Loyd delos Santos before he was murdered.
Kian, a diligent student at Our Lady of Lourdes College in Valenzuela City, dreamed of becoming a police officer. But the very people he looked up to were the ones who crushed his dream.
On Aug. 16, Kian was killed allegedly in an antidrug operation by the Caloocan City police. He ended up among the thousands of casualties in President Duterte’s brutal drug war.
Kian was not the first victim, and he will not be the last. He did not deserve this, no one does.
A number of victims of extrajudicial killings (EJKs) were children, students, siblings and friends. They were people who lived normal lives, with dreams, hopes and aspirations of a bright future.
Article III, Section 1 of the 1987 Constitution states: “No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law, nor shall any person be denied the equal protection of the laws.”
The hapless victims were denied due process, and never had a chance to first be presumed innocent.
We believe in speaking out for those who cannot do so.
We call on everyone, especially our fellow youth, to make themselves heard.
We stand for all victims of EJKs and their families.
We stand for justice. For human dignity. For the country. —CHELSEA GIANE BRITANICO, MARIA SOFIA JAVELOSA, JI EUN PARK, TAMILA LAUREN C. PENSON, MARIE THERESE RAVALO, KATRINA YSABEL RODIGUEZ, Paref Woodrose School For Girls, Grade 11