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PAO calls out Hontiveros for refusing to turn over Kian slay witnesses

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The Public Attorney's Office (PAO) called out Senator Risa Hontiveros for refusing to turn over the witnesses to Kian Loyd delos Santos' killing.

According to a report on Unang Balita on Thursday, PAO chief Persida Acosta criticized Hontiveros, saying the PAO, together with the Philippine National Police (PNP), National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the Department of Justice (DOJ), has the mandate to protect the three witnesses because the delos Santos family has chosen the PAO to handle their complaint.

Hontiveros said the witnesses of the 17-year-old's killing, two of them minors, have initially sought help from her office.

At a press conference on Wednesday, Hontiveros said the three witnesses will be presented at a Senate hearing on Thursday.

The three witnesses, two of them minors aged 13 and 16, were brought to the Child Protection Unit of the Philippine General Hospital in Manila, where representatives from the NBI and the Commission on Human Rights took their statements about the killing.

Acosta has requested the senator to turn over the custody of the witnesses to DOJ.

Delos Santos was killed during a police operation in Caloocan City on August 16. Police allege he was a drug suspect and who fired at them as they closed in on him, prompting them to return fire. Relatives and bystanders say this is not how the incident went down.

PAO said it will assist the delos Santos family in filing their complaints against the cops who killed the minor. —Akari Nakano/KG/KVD, GMA News

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