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UP’s Randy David: Kian may have been killed for refusing to be ‘makapili’

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17-year-old Kian Loyd Delos Santos may have been killed by the Caloocan City police for refusing to be the modern-day “makapili” who will name the suspected drug users in their barangay, University of the Philippines sociology professor Randy David said.

David cited as basis for his theory information from his brother, Bishop Pablo David of the Diocese of Caloocan, that the police often look for assets who will help them identify the suspected drug users whose names they may already have.

“Kian was not on the police’s list of drug suspects. The police took him from his family’s sari-sari store as he was closing shop for the night. They probably thought that from his strategic position as store minder, Kian would know most everyone in the vicinity,” he said in his September 3 column for the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

The police however, did not expect Delos Santos to panic when they accosted him so he was shot, David added.

“Makapili” were people who pointed to authorities the persons on their wanted list during the final stretch of the Japanese occupation. Their identities were concealed because they put on a bayong with holes for the eyes.

Delos Santos was killed during the anti-drug operations by the Caloocan City police on August 16.

Police claimed they shot him because he fired at them first and resisted arrest, though surveillance footage and eyewitness accounts indicate otherwise.

David said other persons chosen to be the “makapili” in the drug war lived because they knew better and cooperated with the police.

He said his brother showed him a photo of a young men who were likely asked by the police to point them to the whereabouts of the drug suspects they were looking for.

Quoting his brother, David said: “One can read horror in the downcast eyes of the boy in white t-shirt. He must be just a teenager. The other ‘tagaturo,’ the one in grey shirt and printed blue shorts, also with downcast eyes and a blank stare, seems to have peed in his short pants. Look closely at the picture. Who would not be horrified to perform such a task?”