PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has vowed to bring to jail the policemen involved in the killing of 19-year old student Carl Angelo Arnaiz if found guilty of criminal acts.
Duterte made the commitment during his meeting with Carl’s parents, Carlito and Eva Arnaiz, at Malago Clubhouse in Malacanang on Wednesday.
In his speech during the 60th Founding Anniversary of the Social Security System (SSS) in Quezon City, Duterte said he ordered Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre 2nd to take over the investigation of Carl’s case.
“I’m a bit late because the parents of Arnaiz, the latest victim of I don’t know who is still under investigation. But I ordered the Secretary of Justice to take over the investigation of the case,” the President said.
The meeting, which lasted about 20 minutes, was requested by the Arnaiz family, according to the Palace.
Present were Aguirre, Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) Chief Persida Acosta, and Special Assistant to the President Christopher Go.
Duterte, who promised to protect policemen involved in his intensified war on illegal drugs, said Arnaiz’s killing should be investigated to determine if law enforcers have criminal liability.
“Ang sinabi ko naman talaga (What I said), we will protect the soldiers and policemen, no doubt but always there has to be the element of the performance of duty and you do not kill defenseless persons,” he said.
“I’m sorry but I will pursue the cases against the police and if need be, they will go to jail. Wala ako inutos na patayin mo ‘yung bata or matanda (I have never ordered the killing of children) and even the enemy on bended knees. That’s not the norm or the rule of democracy… I would never, never condone or allow it,” the President said.
Arnaiz was killed in an alleged shootout with Caloocan policemen who tried to apprehend him for allegedly robbing a taxi driver along C3 road.
Police Officers 1 Jeffrey Perez and Ricky Arquilita claimed Arnaiz fired at them first, prompting them to shoot back.
They claimed to have confiscated from Arnaiz the taxi driver’s wallet, as well as marijuana and “shabu”.
The PAO disputed the statement of the Caloocan police following a forensic report indicating that Arnaiz was tortured before he was shot several times on the chest.
In a related development, Reynaldo de Guzman, Arnaiz’s 14-year-old companion on the night he disappeared, was found dead in Nueva Ecija on Wednesday with multiple stab wounds.