Chaos began when Catholic priest went against VACC members during Kian delos Santos burial

Tension between a Roman Catholic priest and some members of the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) during the burial of Kian delos Santos, the 17-year old alleged drug runner who was killed on the "one time, big time" drug operation of the Manila Police District in Caloocan.



Apparently, the problem started when the Catholic priest Fr. Robert Reyes approached the VACC members, for an unknown motive, who were then holding a tarpaulin bearing the logo of VACC and Justice for Kian. The priest hurled at them and intentionally swatted the tarpaulin three times.

"Fr. Robert Reyes... intentionally swatted the cited tarpaulin thrice..." the blatter read.

According to Dante Jimenez, founding Chairman of the VACC, his members were bullied by the priest.

"Sila daw ay binully ni Father Robert Reyes at hinataw pa raw yung mga tarpaulin," Jimenez said.

However, Reyes denied the allegations and claimed that he only told them to move backward behind Kian's hearse to avoid creating a mess during the teen's burial march.

"Wala po akong tinatabig kaya hindi kami nag-hihiwalay ni Fr. Flavie kaya siguro makikita nya kung merong akong tinabig," Reyes said.

Fr. Flavie Villanueva also claimed that he did not see his colleague swat any tarpaulin and any violence that happened.



The Catholic church is among the groups which strongly opposes the war on illegal drugs of the Duterte administration, claiming it only brings violence and chaos in the country.


On August 31, National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) filed a complaints of murder and planting of evidences agaisnt the Caloocan policemen who were respoinsible to the deaths of Kian delos Santos.

The bureau came to a conclusion that the teenager's death was an intentional killing.

"From the collective acts of herein police officers prior, during, and after the incident, it is very evident that they have one single purpose, that is to kill [the] victim," reads part of the complaint sent to reporters by the Department of Justice (DOJ).

The  Public Attorney's Office (PAO) complaint was for murder and torture, while the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) complaint also includes violation of Section 29 of Republic Act 9165 or planting of evidence.

"Any person who is found guilty of 'planting' any dangerous drug and/or controlled precursor and essential chemical, regardless of quantity and purity, shall suffer the penalty of death," states the law.

President Rodrigo Duterte pointed out that he does not tolerate police abuse. He vowed to the family of Kian that there'll be justice for their son. He will let the investigating body do their work and he will not interfere whatever the findings may be.


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