Death of teen boy in drug war ignites anger

Manila – When 17-year-old Kian Loyd delos Santos was fatally shot in yet the deadliest night in the Philippine government's drug war on August 18, 2017 where 32 alleged drug pushers, users, runners and couriers were killed, Filipinos erupted in anger on social media.

Police said Kian had fired a gun at policemen, who in turn fired back in self-defense, but CCTV footage showed him not fighting back but was dragged by two men before his death. In a 24-hour period from 7am on August 17 to 7 am August 18, police mounted the simultaneous operations called "one time big time" in the cities of Caloocan and Manila and the province of Bulacan, a suburb.

President Rodrigo Duterte praised the recent killing of 32 drug suspects in a 24-hour police crackdown, the highest death toll in a single day in his administration's anti-drug war.

"That's beautiful. If we can only kill 32 every day, then maybe we can reduce what ails this country," Duterte told media. His office said the killing of Kian was an isolated incident.

As netizens expressed their anger, Duterte's allies in the Senate issued a statement questioning the alarming spate of killings. Opposition senators intensified their calls for thorough investigations. Catholic bishops aired a straightforward statement, with one archbishop promising to peal the bells in his district of Lingayen-Pangasinan every 8 pm for 15 minutes for the victims of the bloody drug war.

"That's beautiful. If we can only kill 32 every day, then maybe we can reduce what ails this country," Duterte told media. His office said the killing of Kian was an isolated incident.