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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Cops insist UP student pulled a gun and fired

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THE two former Caloocan City policemen tagged in the killing of former UP student Carl Angelo Arnaiz and his companion Reynaldo “Kulot” de Guzman on Thursday asked the Justice department to dismiss the criminal charges against them for alleged lack of evidence.

In their joint rejoinder affidavit, Police Officers 1 Jeffrey Perez and Ricky Arquilita insisted that Carl Angelo was killed in a shootout as the latter was robbing taxi driver Tomas Bagcal along C-3 Road in Caloocan City.

Meanwhile, President Rodrigo Duterte said Thursday the public will soon find out the truth behind  the death of 17-year-old student Kian delos Santos.

But in his speech during the Sixth Philippine Professional Summit, Duterte insisted there were people who were really fighting back the police in their campaign against illegal drugs. 

On Wednesday night, a couple went to the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group to tell them they saw 19-year-old Arnaiz fire at policemen first before dawn of Aug. 18 in Caloocan City.

Perez and Arquilita appealed to the Justice department’s prosecutors to dismiss the charges for double murder, torture and planting of evidence filed against them by the parents of Carl Angelo and Kulot for lack of probable cause.

They reiterated that the incident took place around 3:30 a.m. on Aug. 18,contrary to an eyewitness account and forensic exam results that Carl Angelo was killed around 1:30 a.m.

Perez and Arquilita stressed that Bagcal approached and sought their help because he had been robbed by his passenger. After giving a detailed description of the alleged robber, they said they proceeded to the scene of the crime, which took them one to two minutes travel time.

However, their assertions have been disputed by the earlier testimony of the eyewitness who said there was no shootout and Carl Angelo even begged for his life when he was shot by the police officers.

The department will hold a final hearing on Nov. 7 before submitting the case for resolution. 

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

The forensic exam on Carl Angelo’s body showed he was kneeling when he was shot several times on the chest, suggesting ‘‘intentional killing” on the part of the police.

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

The autopsy on Kulot, on the other hand, showed a similar manner of killing. It was found that the 14-year-old companion of Carl Angelo sustained about 28 stab wounds and was repeatedly stabbed even when he was dead already.

His body was found on  Sept. 5 floating in a creek in Nueva Ecija with his head wrapped in packing tape.

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

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