“They planned and committed all the crimes with a common desire to eliminate their subjects,” the DOJ panel said in its 35-page resolution. Boy Santos/File

Murder raps filed vs 2 Caloocan cops in teen’s slay
Evelyn Macairan (The Philippine Star) - January 20, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Justice (DOJ) yesterday filed murder charges against two Caloocan City policemen for the killing of teenagers Carl Angelo Arnaiz and Reynado “Kulot” de Guzman. 

DOJ acting Prosecutor General Jorge Catalan Jr. said the charges were filed against Police Officers 1 Jeffrey Perez and Ricky Arquilita before the Caloocan City regional trial court (RTC).

“We find that conspiracy exists in the commission of all the crimes imputed against respondents PO1 Perez and PO1 Arquilita. Conspiracy exists when two or more persons come to an agreement concerning the commission of a felony and decide to commit it. They planned and committed all the crimes with a common desire to eliminate their subjects,” the DOJ panel said in its 35-page resolution.

“They even portrayed that the death of Carl Angelo was the product of a shootout in a legitimate police/hot pursuit in order to cover up the intended killings of Carl Angelo and Reynaldo @ ‘Kulot’,” it added.

As for the third respondent, taxi driver Tomas Marleo Bagcal, the prosecutors dismissed the charges against him. 

Catalan said there was no overt act on the part of Bagcal to indicate he was among the conspirators.

“His participation was not clear, so the case (against him) has been dismissed,” Catalan said. 

Catalan added they also filed a motion to consolidate the cases considering they are interrelated or interwoven.

Catalan said they asked for a joint trial since the two incidents share common documentary evidence and witnesses.

The DOJ panel also used the testimony of Bagcal, who claimed hearing the helpless Arnaiz being shot by the two accused policemen.  

Catalan explained murder was filed because of the element of treachery. He said the policemen were not in any danger and had no need to defend themselves against the victims. 

Arnaiz and De Guzman, both residents of Anak Pawis 2, Barangay San Andres, Cainta, Rizal, were last seen boarding a tricycle around midnight of Aug. 18, 2017 and then went missing. 

On Aug. 28, 2017, the body of Arnaiz was found in a funeral parlor in Caloocan City. He died of gunshot wounds that he reportedly sustained when he engaged in a shootout with policemen who were about to arrest him for robbing Bagcal. 

The body of De Guzman was found lifeless, riddled with stab wounds and floating in a creek in Gapan City, Nueva Ecija on Sept. 6, 2017, or nine days after Arnaiz’s body was found. 

A witness identified only as “Joe Daniel” said he noticed a Caloocan Police car parked on the shoulder of C5 Road and saw several people alight from the vehicle. Two of them were wearing police uniforms while one was handcuffed and wearing black shirt and shorts. A smaller male person was left inside the police car. 

Daniel said he saw the police officers shoot the handcuffed man, who was was on his knees pleading for mercy, saying, “Susuko na ako (I surrender).”

But the policemen, despite the man’s appeal for mercy, allegedly took a firearm from inside the patrol car and placed it in the hand of the victim. 

He then heard two gunshots coming from the firearm that was put in the victim’s hand.

Afterward, one of the policemen fired two shots at the victim who was already lying down. 

The policemen allegedly planted a .38 caliber revolver, two heat-sealed plastic sachets containing marijuana leaves that were recovered from the right pocket of Arnaiz, and three heat-sealed transparent plastic sachets containing shabu in his backpack.

In the case of De Guzman, the DOJ prosecutors based their findings on factual circumstances such as: the two victims were last seen together; both were apparently taken and found dead away from their homes and both evidently were tortured.

De Guzman could have also been the small person seen by the eyewitness seated beside Arnaiz inside the police car.

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