• Teenagers’ Caloocan police killers charged

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    Formal complaints have been filed before the Department of Justice (DoJ) for the death of 19-year-old Carl Angelo Arnaiz and 14-year-old Reynaldo de Guzman.

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    Facing two counts of murder and torture and planting of evidence, which is a violation under Section 29 of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act, were Police Officer 1 Jeffrey Perez and PO1 Ricky Arquilita of Caloocan City Police Community Precinct 2 and taxi driver Tomas Bagcal, who was allegedly robbed by Arnaiz.

    The parents of Arnaiz and de Guzman, assisted by Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) chief Persida Rueda-Acosta, personally went to the DoJ to file the charges.

    Also with them were witnesses “Joe Daniel” and “Kai.”

    Joe Daniel stated in his affidavit that he saw how Arnaiz was shot at least seven times by two policemen.

    He said he saw the policemen alight a police patrol car parked along C3 Road and were followed by a handcuffed male.

    “Sa kanyang pagbaba ay nakita ko siya ay masasabi kong nakaposas kasi magkadikit ang kanyang dalawang kamay sa kanyang harap. Maya-maya ay nakita kong tumakbo yung nabanggit na tao sa may damuhan. Bago siya tumakbo ay napalingon ang nabanggit na tao sa aking direksyon kaya nakita ko ang kanyang mukha [When the man stepped down from the patrol car, I can say that he was handcuffed because his hands were in front of him. After a few moments, I saw the guy run toward a grassy area. Before he ran, he turned in my direction, thus I saw his face].

    “Pagkatapos ay bigla na lang siyang lumuhod na nakaharap sa pulis ang taong nakaposas at sumigaw siya: ‘Susuko na po ako!’ Doon na siya pinaputukan ng dalawang beses na magkasunod nung isang pulis na nasa malapit sa likurang bahagi ng police mobile patrol car. Napatagilid yung tao at napasubsob. Pagkatapos ay pinaputukan ulit siya nung isa namang pulis na drayber ng police mobile patrol car ng isang beses. Lumapit yung pulis na drayber ng police mobile patrol car at tinanggalan ng posas yung taong nakasubsob [Then, the man in handcuffs knelt in front of the policemen and shouted: ‘I will surrender.’ It was at the time that he was shot twice by the policeman near the rear of the mobile patrol car. The handcuffed male hit the ground. Then he was shot by the other policeman who was the driver of the car. The driver approached the man and removed the handcuffs from the man],” Joe Daniel narrated.

    He said that inside the police vehicle was another person, whom he described as “tao na mas maliit kesa sa lalaking pinatay [a person shorter than the handcuffed man who was killed].”

    De Guzman ‘silenced’
    Meanwhile, de Guzman’s parents believed that their son was intentionally killed so he can no longer testify on the case of Arnaiz.

    “Maaaring may nalalaman ang aming anak sa pagkamatay ni Carl Angelo kung kaya’t siya ay pinatahimik din noong pumutok ang balita ng pagkamatay ni Carl sa pamamagitan ng pagbaril ng mga pulis na sina PO1 Jeffrey Perez at PO1 Ricky Arquilita sa kanya. Ang pagpatay sa aking anak ay malinaw na isang paraan ng pagpapatahimik sa kanya upang hindi makapagtestigo sa kanyang nalalaman. Ang pagkatagpo sa bangkay niya sa Gapan, Nueva Ecija ay malinaw na paraan para mailigaw ang imbestigasyon sa pagkamatay nilang dalawa [Perez and Arquilita killed our son to silence him over the killing of Carl Angelo. They killed our son so that he would not be able to testify on the killing of Carl Angelo. That our boy’s body was found in Gapan City, Nueva Ecija, was clearly a diversion],” de Guzman’s parents stated in their joint affidavit.

    Arnaiz and de Guzman, who were both from Cainta, Rizal, were last seen alive on the night of August 17, 2017.

    Caloocan police earlier claimed that Arnaiz was killed in a clash on August 18 after robbing Bagcal.

    Forensic examination conducted by the PAO showed that Arnaiz was handcuffed and was possibly kneeling down when he was shot dead.

    ‘Come out’ and testify
    Caloocan Bishop Pablo Virgilio David on Thursday urged families of witnesses and victims of extrajudicial killings to “come out” and prove that the killings of teenagers amid the drug war campaign are not “isolated cases.”

    “If you are a relative of a victim of an extrajudicial killing or a witness to the extrajudicial killing of a particular victim, now is the time to come out and prove that Kian and Carl and Reynaldo were not isolated cases,” David said in a news briefing at the Commission on Human Rights Office.

    The bishop was referring to the recent killings of Kian Loyd de los Santos, Carl Angelo Arnaiz and Reynaldo de Guzman whose deaths in the hands of the police have caused public outrage.

    “I want to know if we are indeed committing a criminal offense when we respond to such requests [of giving shelter to witnesses to the de los Santos killing],” David said.

    He had taken custody of witnesses to the delos Santos slay.

    David said the Church is only “facilitating justice, not obstructing justice.”

    “’Obstructing’ is when [you give shelter to]fugitives from the law. But these are witnesses,” the bishop added.

    When asked whether he feels threatened by authorities for providing sanctuary to these witnesses, he said, “Personally, I do not feel threatened. I would like to test the sincerity of this government on [extrajudicial killings]because they said these are ‘isolated cases.’ And we are not believing that.”

    According to the bishop, the witnesses sought the San Roque Cathedral in Caloocan City for protection after giving testimony at a Senate hearing.

    He said he agreed because the witnesses’ legal guardians gave their consent.

    The Church has taken custody of David.

    WITH REPORT FROM GLEE JALEA

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