Branch 122 Judge Georgina Hidalgo denied the motion of Police Officers 1 Ricky Arquilita and Jefrey Perez to continue to be detained at the Regional Personnel Holding and Accounting Unit at Camp Bagong Diwa, where they had been under restrictive custody as they stood trial for the murder, torture, and planting of evidence charges.
Geremy Pintolo
No more police custody for cops in Carl-Kulot slay
Marc Jayson Cayabyab (The Philippine Star) - March 20, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Caloocan regional trial court (RTC) yesterday ordered the transfer of two police officers to the Valenzuela City Jail while on trial for the murders of teenagers Carl Angelo Arnaiz and Reynaldo “Kulot” de Guzman.

Branch 122 Judge Georgina Hidalgo denied the motion of Police Officers 1 Ricky Arquilita and Jefrey Perez to continue to be detained at the Regional Personnel Holding and Accounting Unit at Camp Bagong Diwa, where they had been under restrictive custody as they stood trial for the murder, torture, and planting of evidence charges.

This means they will no longer be under the custody of their fellow police officers, where it is perceived they will get special privilege.

“It shows that the wheels of justice are turning for the welfare of our children,” Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) chief Persida Acosta said after the hearing.

Before PAO forensics chief Dr. Erwin Erfe testified yesterday, the prosecutor took issue with two former Caloocan police officers who were talking with the accused in court.

When Hidalgo asked the two police officers, who identified themselves as Police Officers 1 Llamares and Acuña, why they were in court, they said they attended the hearing for “moral support.”

Assistant State Prosecutor Xerxes Garcia blew his top upon learning that the police officers were in court when they were supposed to be on duty.

The judge asked the police officers and others who are not involved in the case to leave the courtroom.

Arnaiz’s parents said their son’s alleged killers “do not deserve moral support.”

In his testimony, Erfe said the forensic analysis done on Arnaiz and De Guzman was not affected by the fact that the bodies had been embalmed, and in De Guzman’s case being submerged in water.

Erfe said the PAO inspected the alleged crime scene where Arnaiz was killed in an alleged encounter with police, and upon seeing no evidence of a shootout, called it a “fake, staged crime scene.”

The trajectory of the bullets on Arnaiz and at least 26 stab wounds on De Guzman also indicated intentional killing, Erfe said, noting that the forensics report would complement witness testimonies about the policemen’s role in the killing.

A witness testified in court that he saw Arnaiz kneeling and begging for mercy at a grassy area in Dagat-dagatan in August 2017.

Police said Arnaiz and De Guzman held up taxi driver Tomas Bagcal and engaged lawmen in a shootout. Bagcal later testified that he was made to agree to the police version under duress.

De Guzman’s body was found days later, floating in a creek in Nueva Ecija.

CARL ANGELO ARNAIZ REYNALDO “KULOT” DE GUZMAN
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