2 cops seek dismissal of raps over Arnaiz, De Guzman slay

MANILA — Two Caloocan policemen, who were implicated in the killings of teenagers Carl Angelo Arnaiz and Reynaldo “Kulot” de Guzman last August, asked the Department of Justice (DOJ) to dismiss the criminal complaint filed against them.

Police Officers 1 Jeffrey Perez and Ricky Arquilita filed their joint rejoinder affidavit asking the investigating panel of the DOJ to junk the charges for double murder, torture and planting of evidence under Republic Act 10591 (Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act) and R.A. 9165 (Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act) filed against them by the parents of Carl Angelo and “Kulot” for lack of probable cause.

Perez and Arquilita insisted on their defense that Carl Angelo was killed in a shootout when the latter robbed taxi driver Tomas Bagcal along C-3 Road in Caloocan City.

The policemen reiterated the incident took place around 3:30 a.m. last August 18, contrary to an eyewitness account and forensic exam results that Carl Angelo was killed at around 1:30 a.m.

Perez and Arquilita said Bagcal approached and sought their help because he was robbed by his passenger. After giving a detailed description of the alleged robber, they said they proceeded to the scene of the crime and arrived in about one to two minutes time.

Their account, however, was rebutted by the earlier testimony of the eyewitness who said that there was no shootout and Carl Angelo even begged for his life when shot by the police officers.

The three-man DOJ investigating panel led by Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Ma. Emilia Victorio scheduled to hold a final hearing on Nov. 7 before submitting the case for resolution.

Aside from the two cops, taxi driver Bagcal is also included as respondent.

Arnaiz, 19, and De Guzman, 14, who were neighbors in Cainta, went missing on August 18.

Caloocan City police claimed Arnaiz died during a shootout last August 18 when he resisted arrest and fired a handgun at chasing cops following the taxi robbery committed against Bagcal.

Arnaiz’s body was found at Ezekiel Funeral Homes weeks after he disappeared.

De Guzman’s body was fished out of a creek in Gapan, Nueva Ecija on September 5. It bore at least 28 stab wounds with his head wrapped in packing tape and a shirt.

The complaint filed against Perez and Arquilita last Sept. 16 cited the forensic evidence and testimonies of witnesses – including an eyewitness who allegedly saw Carl Angelo’s killing.

Forensic exam on Carl Angelo’s cadaver showed that he was kneeling when shot several times on the chest, suggesting “intentional killing” on the part of the police.

It also suggested the victim was tortured before he was killed as his wrists were swollen and bore handcuff marks and his eyes bruised.

The autopsy on Kulot, on the other hand, showed about 28 stab wounds and he was repeatedly stabbed even when already dead.

The complaint also cited as basis the testimony of eyewitness identified as alias “Daniel” who pointed to probers the site where Carl Angelo was killed by police in C-3 Road in Caloocan. PNA-northboundasia.com