Senator Antonio Trillanes IV on Tuesday said President Rodrigo Duterte’s meeting with the parents of slain teenager Kian Loyd Delos Santos was a "damage-control measure" and a "gimmick."
"It's a damage-control measure pero too bad for them nahuli sila kasi ang initial instinct ni Duterte ay magtago, so it took them more than a week bago nila naisip na ganito 'yung magandang gimik. Pero gimik lang 'yan,” Trillanes said in an interview.
The senator also said it was "tasteless" that Delos Santos' parents were told to do the signature fist sign with Duterte for a photo-op.
"Medyo tasteless lang 'yung fist gesture. Very tasteless 'yun, kung sinuman 'yung nagsabi noon, ano ba, nagluluksa yung pamilya eh gagamitin mo for that? Pero I hope alam nung mga magulang na namatay si Kian Delos Santos dahil kay Duterte, dahil sa polisiya niya ng pagpatay," he said.
The victim's mother, Lorenza, was also photographed hugging Duterte during their lunch meeting at the Malago Clubhouse in Malacañang Park.
Senator Risa Hontiveros, who earlier took custody of the three witnesses on Delos Santos' death, meanwhile said she respects the decision of the teenager's parents.
"I respect the decision of the family of Kian Delos Santos to meet President Duterte. I also respect their right to continue to place their trust in him," Hontiveros said.
"Nakakalungkot lamang, sa dinami-dami ng mga namatay na menor de edad sa madugong kampanya ng gobyerno laban sa droga, ngayon lang nakuhang makidalamhati ng Pangulo," she added.
Hontiveros said the fight for justice not only over Delos Santos' death but on other victims of extrajudicial killings will continue.
Delos Santos, a 17-year-old Grade 12 student, died during an Oplan Galugad operation. Caloocan policemen claimed he fired at authorities as he was trying to escape.
Reportedly recovered from Delos Santos were a .45 pistol and two sachets of suspected shabu with a street value of about P20,000. His relatives, however, said the items did not belong to him and witnesses claimed the police's version of the events was not true.
CCTV footage also showed the policemen dragging Delos Santos to the place where he was killed. Caloocan cops, however, claimed that it was not the boy in the video, but rather a police asset. —KBK, GMA News