Press Release
July 2, 2019

De Lima dismayed by dismissal of case vs police asset over missing witness

Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima expressed dismay over the dismissal of the cases against a police asset involved in the killing of Kian de los Santos, believing there is something fishy in the disappearance of a vital witness that led to its junking.

The murder and planting of evidence charges against alleged police asset Renato Loveraz were dismissed after the prosecution failed to locate the 14-year-old girl who reportedly witnessed the killing of De los Santos in Caloocan City two years ago.

Without the said witness, Caloocan Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 125 presiding judge Rodolfo Azucena Jr. ordered the provisional dismissal of the case against Loveraz, who is accused of tagging De los Santos as a drug runner during an alleged police operation.

"Kaduda-duda at nakakapagtaka na basta na lang mawawala ang isang mahalagang saksi sa kasong ito ni Kian," said De Lima, referring to Delos Santos, who was killed by Senior Sergeant Arnel Oares and Patrolmen Jeremias Pereda and Jerwin Cruz on Aug. 16, 2017.

While she was elated by the recent guilty verdict on the three policemen who killed delos Santos, the former justice secretary said justice will not be fully served if Loveraz will be completely let off the hook.

"The prosecution and the police should leave no stone unturned in finding this important witness so we can give the long-awaited justice that Kian and his family deserve," added De Lima.

Through her Senate Resolution No. 9 filed on July 13, 2016, De Lima initiated the Senate investigation into the rampant extrajudicial killings under the Duterte regime stemming from his campaign against illegal drugs.

In 17th Congress, even while in detention for sham charges, De Lima signed Senate Resolution No. 516 calling on the government to take the necessary steps to stop the spate of killings, especially of children, following the brutal killing of De los Santos.

This 18th Congress, De Lima is refiling a measure seeking to beef up the Philippine National Police's Human Rights Affairs Office (PNP-HRAO) to ensure that policemen will have the highest regard for human rights and rule of law in the exercise of its mandate.

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