Taxi driver Tomas Bagcal holds a press conference in Quezon City last September 10. The STAR/Michael Varcas, file

Cabbie ‘robbed’ by Carl Arnaiz no longer with rights group
Rosette Adel ( - September 20, 2017 - 3:47am

MANILA, Philippines — The cab driver allegedly robbed by Carl Angelo Arnaiz, the 19-year-old who died at the hands of Caloocan police, is no longer under the protective custody of a church-based rights group.

Rise Up for Life and for Rights, a network of church people and human rights advocate, said Tomas Marleo Bagcal decided to withdraw his request for protective custody.

“We pray for his continued safety and respect his decision to seek assistance elsewhere,” the group said in a statement.

The organization said it can no longer answer questions on Bagcal’s case but said it is still committed to working with families affected by drug-related killings.

“We encourage witnesses and loved ones of those killed in Duterte’s bloody ‘drug war’ to come forward and speak out about what is happening in their lives and communities,” the group said.

“To this end, we can provide interviews with other families or with our spokesperson Fr. Gilbert Billena, O Carm (Order of Carmelites).  With due respect for Mr. Bagcal, we will not answer questions on his particular case,” it added.

Bagcal is a potential witness in the killing of Arnaiz.

He faced the media on September 10 to deny that he executed any affidavit at the Caloocan police station where he turned over a holdupper who tried to rob him.

READ: 'Not my real statement': Cabbie allegedly robbed by Carl Arnaiz denies affidavit | More questions raised as cabbie says Carl Arnaiz killing 'scripted'

The taxi driver was also supposed to appear before the Senate probe into Kian delos Santos’s case which was twice cancelled due to bad weather and change of schedule. The third day of inquiry was initially scheduled September 12 and September 19.

Bagcal previously claimed Arnaiz, who hailed his taxi on August 18, robbed him. Caloocan City police claim that Arnaiz was killed in a shootout but a forensic examination and an autopsy indicate he was handcuffed and beaten up before he was killed. 

Earlier, Rise up said it is “moved by the family’s trust and confidence in Rise Up in assisting them in these very trying and challenging times.”


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