MANILA, Philippines – Senior Superintendent Chito Bersaluna, the Caloocan City police chief sacked after cops killed Kian delos Santos, has been promoted to Bulacan provincial police chief.
Speaking to Rappler on Tuesday, June 6, Bersaluna told Rappler that he assumed office on May 9.
Bersaluna was first put under the spotlight after cops under him killed 17-year-old Delos Santos during a city-wide drug raid.
The cops claimed the kid fought back, but CCTV footage and independent investigations have pointed to them killing the defenseless boy.
While these probes were ongoing, Bersaluna was sacked by then Metro Manila chief and now Philippine National Police chief Oscar Albayalde to prevent any influence on the probe.
According to Bersaluna, his assumption shouldn't be seen as controversial. After all, his name had already been cleared.
He was also just appointed "Acting Director", which means the position can still be taken from him. In most cases, however, those who get appointed with the designation eventually become Directors.
His involvement doesn't end there: Just 5 days after he was relieved in Caloocan, Bersaluna was called to testify before the Senate as it probed into the killing of Delos Santos.
There, he admitted that the Caloocan police, under his leadership, had "confirmed" the minor's drug involvement through social media aside from evidence obtained after the killing.
"We also based, Sir, doon sa lumalabas na sa mga social media, na nagsasabi. After na [ng operations] (We also based, sir, on what was coming out on social media, which said so. This is after [the operations])," Bersaluna was quoted as saying under oath.
Bersaluna follows Senior Superintendent Romeo Caramat in leading the Bulacan police force.
Under Caramat, the provincial police consistently recorded high kill, arrest, and confiscation numbers during province-wide operations. – Rappler.com