Trike driver backs cops in Carl-Kulot slay case
Marc Jayson Cayabyab (The Philippine Star) - February 24, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — A tricycle driver supported the claims of two policemen on trial for the murder of teenagers Carl Angelo Arnaiz and Reynaldo “Kulot” de Guzman during a hearing at the Navotas regional trial court (RTC) on Friday.

Solomon Rosca took the witness stand during the bail hearing before the Navotas RTC Branch 287 and testified he saw Police Officers 1 Ricky Arquilita and Jefrey Perez chasing down Arnaiz after an alleged robbery try along C-3 Road.

He said he heard a gunshot coming from Arnaiz before the two lawmen hid behind a post.

But state prosecutor Xerxes Garcia pointed out inconsistencies in his testimony. The fiscal noted the witness was unsure of the teenager’s gender but said in his written affidavit that he saw a boy.

It was also not believable that Rosca took pity on the two policemen but took a month before he allegedly went to the Northern Police District to make a sworn affidavit, Garcia said.

Rosca also said in his written affidavit that the boy fired a gun, but testified in court that he was unsure if it was a gun that Arnaiz allegedly fired.

Rosca also denied being an asset of the police.

“You’re now contradicting your affidavit,” Garcia said, pointing out that his knowledge of the incident involving the two teenagers were based on news reports, and thus hearsay.

Prosecutors are also hoping to secure the testimony of taxi driver Tomas Bagcal, who was allegedly held up by Arnaiz but testified that he was coerced by the police to exclude 14-year-old Kulot from the incident.

Kulot was found dead with stab wounds at a creek in Nueva Ecija days later.

In his counter-affidavit filed before the Department of Justice,  Bagcal said he had turned over the two teenagers to the police alive after Arnaiz allegedly held him up along 5th Avenue in Caloocan City.

Arnaiz’s family denied the allegation.    

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