THE Justice Department has ordered the National Bureau of Investigation to look into the killing of 14-year-old Reynaldo de Guzman, who was found floating in a creek in Gapan City in Nueva Ecija, Tuesday, after he went missing on Aug. 18.
De Guzman was the companion of Carl Angelo Arnaiz, 19, who was killed in a supposed shootout with police in Caloocan City, but whose body showed signs of torture.
Aguirre said an autopsy by the NBI forensic team showed 26 stab wounds in De Guzman’s body; a police autopsy showed 31 stab wounds.
The victim, whose face was wrapped in packaging tape, was stabbed in the lungs and heart, and his killers continued stabbing him even when he was already dead, the NBI report said.
Aguirre said the boy’s parents, who have received threats, can be covered by the witness protection program.
De Guzman and Arnaiz were last seen together on the night of Aug. 17 while buying snacks in a convenience store near their residences in Cainta, Rizal.
Arnaiz was found dead with five gunshot wounds and bruises in Caloocan 10 days after they went missing, while De Guzman’s body was found in Nueva Ecija with 30 stab wounds and his head wrapped in packaging tape on Tuesday.
Earlier this week, Aguirre ordered the NBI to conduct a parallel probe on Carl Angelo’s killing on Aug.18.
An autopsy on Arnaiz showed signs of torture, and indicated he was kneeling when he was shot several times in the chest, the Public Attorney’s Office said.
PAO chief Persida Acosta said the Arnaiz family is planning to file murder charges against the policemen.
She said they were still gathering more evidence before filing the complaint before the Justice Department.
The two policemen involved in the incident—Police Officer 1 Ricky Arquilita and Jeffrey Perez—have been relieved from their posts pending the investigation into the incident.
More senators yesterday bewailed the brutal killing of De Guzman.
Senator Risa Hontiveros described the killing as “a vile, gruesome and barbaric act.”
“Reynaldo, at the tender age of 14, did nothing to deserve such a fate. To be stabbed 31 times is no accident. It is pure and simple murder of a child,” Hontiveros said.
Senator Nancy Binay said “30 stabs is savagery.”
She added that the deaths of teenagers De Guzman, Arnaiz and Delos Santos cannot be dismissed as isolated cases.
Senators Francis Pangilinan and Paolo Benigno Aquino IV called on the government to stop the bloody war on drugs.
“We must put an end to all these killings,” Aquino said.
Senator JV Ejercito said there would be no sacred cows in the investigation of these killings.
“We will not allow the war against illegal drugs be exploited by butchers and monsters. We will not allow these culprits to be left unpunished,” he said.
Senator Joel Villanueva said the authorities should rethink their approach in addressing the country’s drug menace, claiming other criminal groups might have taken advantage of the campaign against narcotics.
“Recent vigilante killings show that our police force has no complete control of criminality. It is important to reevaluate our strategy and consider stopping this aggressive campaign as this has become out of control,” he said.
Senator Leila de Lima, detained on drug charges, said the President must give a direct, categorical and public order to the entire police force to stop the killings immediately.
COMMENT DISCLAIMER: Reader comments posted on this Web site are not in any way endorsed by The Standard. Comments are views by thestandard.ph readers who exercise their right to free expression and they do not necessarily represent or reflect the position or viewpoint of thestandard.ph. While reserving this publication’s right to delete comments that are deemed offensive, indecent or inconsistent with The Standard editorial standards, The Standard may not be held liable for any false information posted by readers in this comments section.