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Cab driver in Rise Up's custody

An ecumenical rights group on Saturday night said they have in their custody the taxi driver who was allegedly robbed by Carl Angelo Arnaiz.

In a statement, Rise Up for Life and for Rights said taxi driver Tomas Bagcal and his family have sought the group’s protection on Monday.

“Mr. Bagcal was identified by the police as a victim of a robbery case committed allegedly by one Carl Angelo Arnaiz. Mr. Bagcal is also a potential witness in the death of the said Mr. Arnaiz,” Rise Up spokesperson Gilbert Billena said.

“Rise Up has responded in the affirmative to the request of the family for protective custody and provided sanctuary during the period of Mr. Bagcal’s serious discernment, soul searching, and firm decision-making,” he added.

The police claimed the 54-year-old Bagcal had been held up Arnaiz on Aug. 18.

Police had said they killed Arnaiz in a shootout after the robbery, but an autopsy on the teenager showed signs of torture and indicated that he was handcuffed and shot from above.

Caloocan City policemen PO1 Jeffrey Perez (left) and PO1 Ricky Arquilita testify Tuesday, September 5, during a hearing of the Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs on the killing of former UP student Carl Angelo Arnaiz. File photo

The Justice Department earlier ordered the National Bureau of Investigation to locate Bagcal, who could shed light on Arnaiz’s death.

Arnaiz, with 14-year-old Reynaldo de Guzman, had left their homes in Cainta, Rizal, for a late night snack on Aug. 17. Arnaiz was found in a morgue 10 days after he was killed by Caloocan police in the early hours of Aug. 18.

De Guzman’s body was found floating in a creek in Gapan, Nueva Ecija, Tuesday, with 30 stab wounds and his head wrapped in packaging tape.

Bagcal has submitted two sworn affidavits on the alleged robbery.

In his first affidavit, the taxi driver said he did not see the face of his supposed mugger and that he was robbed past the barangay hall of Barangay 128 in Caloocan City.

In his second affidavit filed Aug. 29, Bagcal said he was mugged along C-3 Road and that the suspect was wearing a sweat shirt with a hood, a black cap, and blue shorts.

Topics: Carl Angelo Arnaiz , Tomas Bagcal , Rise Up for Life and for Rights , Police , Justice Department , National Bureau of Investigation
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