The remains believed to be those of Reynaldo “Kulot” de Guzman’s were laid to rest on Wednesday, despite the assertion, based on a DNA test, by the Philippine National Police (PNP) that the teen who was interred was not de Guzman.
De Guzman’s remains were brought to the Pasig Public Cemetery. Family and friends were emotional as they were positive that the one laid to rest was the 14-year-old boy whose badly bruised body was found in Gapan, Nueva Ecija days after he was reported missing.
Department of Justice personnel provided security during the burial as de Guzman’s father, Eduardo Gabriel, and mother, Lina, have been placed under the witness protection program. The older de Guzman even wore a bulletproof vest.
The funeral convoy traveled from the de Guzman home in for a funeral Mass, and then to the Pasig City Public Cemetery.
During the Mass, Parish Priest Father Jun Sanchez gave a homily where he criticized politicians whom he viewed as using the killing of “Reynaldo” for their political gain.
“To our leaders, I wish we would avoid politicizing. The election campaign is over. We still have a lot of problems to face,” Sanchez said.
‘Illegal’ DNA test
On Tuesday night, the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group went to the wake of de Guzman and tried to take the body away, earning the ire of the father, who refused to turn the remains over to the police.
The older de Guzman refuted the DNA test conducted by PNP, calling it “illegal” because his family didn’t give its consent to extract samples from them. He said he was “very confused” at that time that he didn’t know what was happening.
The PNP said the parents of de Guzman must bring back the body found in Nueva Ecija because it could be considered a new case and a new investigation must be conducted.
“With this DNA result, are they going to bury the cadaver that they do not own? It has to go back to who is handling the case,” Chief Supt. Dionardo Carlos, PNP spokesman, said.
De Guzman was a friend of Carl Angelo Arnaiz, the 19-year-old former UP student who allegedly tried to rob a taxi driver but was killed in an alleged shootout with responding police who claimed that he fought back.
One of de Guzman’s siblings had been quoted as saying the body bore ear piercings, which the teen supposedly did not have. Also, the body was uncircumcised, but police said, quoting family members, that de Guzman was circumcised.
Arnaiz was killed before dawn on August 18 by Caloocan City policemen after being accused of robbing taxi driver Tomas Bagcal along C-3 Road, but his remains were found only on August 28, at a morgue in Caloocan.
“Kulot’s” remains were recovered on September 5 at a creek in Gapan.