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Over 1,000 turn Philippines funeral into protest against war on drugs

The funeral for Kian Loyd delos Santos attracted more than a thousand people protesting the war on drugs, which has drawn outrage from humanitarian groups and Western governments

26 August 2017, 9:29am
Mourners display a streamer during a funeral march for Kian delos Santos, a 17-year-old student who was shot during anti-drug operations in Metro Manila, Philippines (Photo: Reuters)
Mourners display a streamer during a funeral march for Kian delos Santos, a 17-year-old student who was shot during anti-drug operations in Metro Manila, Philippines (Photo: Reuters)
One of the biggest protests against Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte’s deadly war on drugs took place Saturday, when more than a thousand people attended a funeral procession for a teenager killed by police last week.

Kian Loyd delos Santos’ death drew widespread attention to allegations that police have been systematically executing suspected users and dealers. Authorities have vehemently denied the allegations.

Nuns, priests and hundreds of children, chanting “justice for Kian, justice for all” joined the funeral cortege as it made its way from a church to the cemetery where the 17-year-old was buried.

“Don’t they have a heart? I’m not sure they do. There’s a lot of churches, they should go there,” said Delos Santos’ father, Saldy.

Delos Santos was dragged by plain-clothes policemen to a dark, trash-filled alley in northern Manila, before he was shot in the head and left next to a pigsty, according to CCTV footage.

Police say they acted in self-defense after delos Santos opened fire on them.

The parents and lawyers of delos Santos filed a murder complaint against the 3 anti-narcotics policemen on Friday.

If accepted, the complaint would follow at least two cases filed last year against police over Durerte’s war on drugs, which has killed thousands of Filipinos, outraged human rights groups and alarmed Western governments.

Mourners, some of them wearing white shirts, held flowers and small flags, and placards denouncing the killing.

A member of Rise Up, a Manila-based coalition of church-related groups opposing the drug war, told Reuters that families of about 20 victims joined the procession.