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We are Lorenzana and Kian is every OFW’s child

Tinig Migrante by E. Maestro

Kian delos Santos, a 17-years-old  Grade 11 student whose ambition was to become a police officer was killed by police officers of Caloocan’s finest. CCTV footage, forensic evidence and testimony of brave witnesses point to three policemen of Caloocan as being responsible for this crime. Kian’s death is one of the tens of thousands of killings as a result of Duterte’s “war on drugs” but it has brought together students, church people, poor communities, overseas workers, elected officials and many more to raise their voices, march on the streets and demand in a louder voice that the Killings Must Stop.  Below  is the statement of Migrante International, the global alliance of migrant organizations, of which Migrante BC belongs, on the senseless killing of Kian.

Migrante International extends its most heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of 17-year-old Kian Lloyd delos Santos, the latest victim of President Rodrigo Duterte’s ruthless war on drugs.

We grieve with the delos Santos family, especially Kian’s mother Lorenza, an overseas Filipino worker from Saudi Arabia. Lorenza has captured the hearts of OFWs and their families all over the world. We feel her sorrow because it is also ours. We mourn as she mourns. We rage as she rages. Lorenza’s family has become every OFW’s family, and Kian every OFW’s son.

We feel Lorenza’s hunger for justice. It has fortified our resolve to fight for justice for Kian and every single life lost. We join Lorenza in her battle, as Kian’s death has united every and all OFW and family to win the war against Duterte’s psychopathic rampage.

We condemn and hold accountable the Philippine National Police, Kian’s cold-blooded murderers, who have long been given license by no less than Duterte himself to conduct an unbridled killing spree. Duterte has launched a full scale use of state violence against the people that has resulted in countless human rights violations, the terrorizing of communities and extrajudicial killings under the guise of his government’s notorious war on drugs.

How many more Kians will suffer the same fate? The Duterte government remains unremorseful, it continues to condone the senseless killings. Innocents like Kian are being victimized yet big operators of the illegal drug trade remain scot-free. What thrives now instead is a climate of impunity of unprecedented proportions, ever worse than before.

The killings must stop. Heads must roll. Kian’s life is blood on Duterte’s hands. All those who committed, operated and tolerated the spate of killings are complicit and should be held accountable by the Filipino people.

We call on all Filipinos around the world to rise up against Duterte’s tyranny and fascist rule. We do not want more Kians to die because of Duterte’s psychopathic war on drugs. He has already proven himself unworthy of the people’s trust. He has betrayed the people by failing to hold accountable all human rights violators in the military, police and government.

Migrante International stands firm that only through the upholding of the social and economic rights of the people can the root causes of poverty and social problems be thoroughly and genuinely addressed. We must demand a change to the very system that victimized Kian and took his innocent life. Only through this can Kian, Lorenza and every Filipino family get the justice that they truly deserve. #JusticeforKian ###