THE Department of Justice has filed criminal cases against Caloocan City policemen implicated in the twin deaths of teenagers Carl Angelo Arnaiz and Reynaldo “Kulot” De Guzman in August last year.
The DoJ charged Police Officer 1 Jeffrey Perez and Police Officer 1 Ricky Arquilita with murder before the Caloocan City Regional Trial Court after the panel of prosecutors found probable cause to hold them liable for the death of the two teenagers.
Perez and Arguilita were also charged with torture and planting of evidence under Section 29 of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 or Republic Act 9165 and Republic Act 10591 or Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act, and two counts of torture in violation of Sections 4 and 14 of RA 9745, the Anti-Torture Act of 2009.
In a 35-page resolution dated December 18, 2017, but released to media only on Friday, the DoJ three-man panel of prosecutors led by Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Maria Emilia Victorio found probable cause to indict Perez and Arquilita for murder, planting of evidence, in connection with the handgun found with Arnaiz; two more counts of planting of evidence in violation of RA 9165, the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act, due to the shabu and marijuana found with Arnaiz.
“The panel finds the same to be matters of evidence that should be ventilated in a full-blown trial before the court. For purposes of determining the existence of probable cause in this preliminary investigation, the quantum of evidence required to charge them in court has been sufficiently met in the instant case,” the resolution stated.
Besides Victorio, the resolution approved by Acting Prosecutor General Jorge Catalan Jr., was also signed by Assistant State Prosecutors Gilmarie Fe Pacamarra, Alejandro Daguiso and Senior Deputy State Prosecutor Richard Anthony Fadullon.
The body of Arnaiz turned up in a morgue on August 28, 10 days after he supposedly died in a shootout with the policemen who allegedly apprehended him for robbing taxi driver Tomas Bagcal.
The Public Attorney’s Office named Bagcal as respondent in the complaints, but the DoJ investigating fiscal dismissed them for lack of basis.
Examinations conducted by the PAO forensic laboratory showed handcuff marks around Arnaiz’s wrists and traces of bruising all over his body.
A male witness, identified as Joe Daniel, also said Arnaiz was kneeling and handcuffed when he was killed by the two policemen.
A body dumped in a creek in Gapan, Nueva Ecija a few days later was identified as that of De Guzman who was Arnaiz’ last known companion in Cainta, Rizal on August 18.
Arquilita and Perez said Arnaiz died during a legitimate police operation, but they did not tackle De Guzman’s death in their joint counter-affidavit.