"I simply cannot order the relief of Prosecutor Darwin Canete from the case Kian De Los Santos. In the first place he is not handling the case. No case has yet been filed. How can I relieve a prosecutor from a case which he is not handling. How can I relieve him from handling a case that has yet to be filed?"
- Justice Secretary Vitaliano N. Aguirre II
“Based on the information supplied to us by the office of the City Prosecutor of Caloocan City, Prosecutor Darwin Canete is not assigned to the case of Kian De Los Santos. As a matter of fact no case has yet been filed. Since Prosecutor Canete is a Caloocan City resident, for cases of death under investigation in Caloocan, he is tasked to gather the relevant factual antecedents of such cases upon the invitation of the police. And that is all that he did in the case of Kian de los Santos’ death,” Justice Secretary Aguirre said in reaction to the call for the relief of Caloocan City Prosecutor Darwin Canete from handling the case of Kian de Los Santos.
“I was further told that once a case is filed with the City Prosecutor’s Office of Caloocan City, it is raffled among the prosecutors to ensure impartiality. And Prosecutor Darwin Canete, the one who gathered the facts of such a case, is no longer included in the raffle of the case. This exclusion is precisely done to avoid any purported prejudgment from being present in his resolution of the case if the same is raffled to him,” added Secretary Aguirre.
“I understand the sentiments of Senator Franklin Drilon. I am sure that everyone wants this case to be handled with utmost impartiality and for any party responsible brought to justice. This is also my commitment to all as the people’s steward of the Department of Justice,” Secretary Aguirre added further.