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Witness: Cops shot handcuffed, kneeling Carl

Kulot’s parents are seen wearing bulletproof vests during the funeral mass.

MANILA, Philippines — The young man in handcuffs was dragged out of a police patrol car and ordered to kneel on a grassy area. Holding up his bound wrists, the man pleaded that he was surrendering – “susuko na po ako” – but he was shot dead by two policemen.

This story was narrated to the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) by a man who will be presented as an eyewitness in the killing of Carl Angelo Arnaiz, the 19-year-old former student of the University of the Philippines who was shot dead on the night of Aug. 17 in Caloocan by members of the city police.

The witness, identified only by the alias “Joe Daniel,” said he hid behind a lamppost when the police car pulled to a stop near the grassy area. He said there was also a young boy in the car, although he couldn’t be sure if it was Reynaldo de Guzman, Arnaiz’s 14-year-old neighbor in Cainta, Rizal who went with him on the night of Aug. 17 to buy snacks.

A body believed to be that of De Guzman, known as Kulot, was fished out of a creek in Gapan, Nueva Ecija on Sept. 5. It bore at least 26 stab wounds and its head was wrapped in packing tape and a shirt.

Eduardo Gabriel, accompanied by his common-law wife Lina de Guzman, identified the body as that of their son Kulot. The boy was buried yesterday, despite a report by the Philippine National Police that its DNA test indicated it was not De Guzman, who carried the surname of his mother.

Yesterday, Joe Daniel accompanied PAO officials led by Persida Rueda-Acosta to the site where he said he saw Arnaiz executed. The site is not the same spot where the Caloocan police said Arnaiz had fired at them after robbing a taxi driver in Navotas, prompting them to shoot back.

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Daniel, his face concealed with a shirt to protect his identity, demonstrated what he saw to the PAO team.

He said he was walking along C-3 Road in Caloocan at around 1:30 a.m. on Aug. 18 when the police car pulled over. He hid behind a lamppost and watched. Daniel said he could identify the policemen who killed Arnaiz.

In an interview with ABS-CBN, Daniel said he decided to come out and testify because his conscience bothered him.

He kept dreaming about what he witnessed, he said, and he soon became sleepless. A priest advised him to bring his story to an agency that could be trusted to pursue the issue.

Relatives found Arnaiz’s body in a funeral parlor in Caloocan on Aug. 28. He had four gunshots in the body and another in the right arm. Daniel demonstrated yesterday how Arnaiz was shot.

De Guzman’s parents thanked Daniel for deciding to surface and testify.

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