• Police chief defended the killing of 20-year-old criminology student
  • He said his men had no choice but defend themselves because he fought back
  • Family of slain student insisted he was innocent though

MANILA, Philippines – Commenting for the first time on the drug buy-bust operation which led to the death of 20-year-old criminology student Jefferson Bunuan, Sta. Ana police chief Supt. Roberto Domingo said his men were only forced to defend themselves after the former and his companions shot at them.

“Talagang sila ay nanlaban. The directive of the PNP, diyan kami strict. Na we are a human rights advocate. Ang last resort na gagawin namin ay yung… pagka talagang nasa bingit na ng alanganin ang buhay namin,” he told GMA News.

[They really fought back. We are strict in following the directive of the PNP, that we are a human rights advocate. We only (use deadly force) when our lives are on the line.]

Domingo added they have “strong evidence” linking Bunuan to the illegal drug trade.

“Isa siya sa mga runner eh. We have a strong evidence,” he said. [He is one of the runners.]

However, the family of the slain student insisted on his innocence.

“Inosente po ‘yung napatay po nila…. Wala naman po talagang alam yun,” his sister Lovely said.

[They killed an innocent. He was never involved (in drugs)].

Susana Biteng, the director of the Kaibigan Ermita Outreach Foundation, also defended their scholar who was described as a good student.

“Gusto niyang maging pulis kasi nga namatay sa bayolenteng paraan ‘yung kanyang ama,” she said. “Gusto niyang tumulong talaga sa community para manatili ang peace and order.”

[He wanted to become a policeman because his father was killed violently. He wanted to help maintain peace and order in the community.]

Aside from Bunuan, also killed in the operation was his cousin Mark Anthony Bunuan and Jomar Manaois.

Manaois, the main target of the operation which took place inside his home, reportedly pulled out a gun and shot at the undercover operatives.

The police reported recovering three handguns and shabu inside his house after the shootout.