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Raps filed vs cops, cabbie in Carl slay

A relative of Carl Angelo Arnaiz takes her oath as a witness in the double murder case filed against two Caloocan policemen and a taxi driver. MIGUEL DE GUZMAN

MANILA, Philippines — The families of former University of the Philippines student Carl Angelo Arnaiz and his companion Reynaldo “Kulot” de Guzman yesterday filed criminal charges before the Department of Justice (DOJ) against two Caloocan policemen tagged in the twin killings as well as the taxi driver Arnaiz allegedly robbed.

Arnaiz’s parents Carlito and Eva and De Guzman’s parents Eddie and Lina sought the indictment of Police Officers 1 Ricky Arquilita and Jeffrey Perez for double murder, torture and planting of evidence under Republic Act 10591 (Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act) and RA 9165 (Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act).

The charge sheet included as respondent Tomas Bagcal, the taxi driver who accused Arnaiz, 19, of robbing him before the victim was killed by responding police.

Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) chief Persida Rueda-Acosta, who assisted the families in filing the charges, explained that Bagcal was implicated as a co-conspirator in the killings.

“We believe he had knowledge of the twin killings. He should be brought here in the DOJ to explain his inconsistent affidavits,” she told reporters after the hearing.

But Acosta explained that Bagcal could still get off the hook and serve as state witness in the case.

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“He could even qualify for witness protection program for as long as he tells the whole truth,” she stressed.

The complaint also named other unidentified policemen.

Acosta said they would ask the DOJ in preliminary investigation to summon the records of the police to determine the other policemen involved in the killings.

Perez and Arquilita claimed that they killed Arnaiz in a gunfight in the wee hours of Aug. 18 after the teenager allegedly robbed Bagcal.

But the complaint cited testimonies of witnesses, including an eyewitness who saw Arnaiz’s killing and forensic evidence, to debunk the policemen’s claim.

Forensic examination on Arnaiz’s cadaver showed that he was already kneeling when he was shot several times in the chest, suggesting “intentional killing” on the part of the police.

It also suggested that he was tortured before he was killed as his wrists were swollen and bore handcuff marks and his eyes were bruised.

The autopsy on Kulot also showed a similar manner of killing. It was found that the 14-year-old companion of Arnaiz sustained about 28 stab wounds and was repeatedly stabbed even when he was already dead.

His body was found last Sept. 5 floating in a creek in Nueva Ecija with his head wrapped in packing tape.

The complaint also cited as basis the testimony of an eyewitness identified as alias “Joe Daniel” who pointed to probers the site on C-3 Road in Caloocan where Carl was killed by police.

In his affidavit, the witness said he saw Arnaiz dragged out of a police patrol car and ordered by police to kneel on a grassy area. Holding up his bound wrists, the man pleaded that he was surrendering, “susuko na po ako (I will surrender),” but he was shot dead by two policemen.

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, believed to be Kulot.

The complaint, received by acting Prosecutor General Jorge Catalan Jr., is set to undergo preliminary investigation.

The Philippine National Police (PNP) yesterday welcomed the filing of murder charges against two policemen accused of killing Arnaiz and Kulot.

PNP spokesman Chief Supt. Dionardo Carlos said the filing of cases would provide an opportunity for the lawmen to answer accusations against them.

“We welcome the filing of criminal charges so that the alleged suspects will have their opportunity to defend themselves in court,” Carlos said in a statement. – With Emmanuel Tupas

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