A former police officer has been convicted over the killings of Carl Anthony Arnaiz and Reynaldo De Guzman, alias “Kulot” in 2017, who were teenagers at the time.
In an 80-page decision, Navotas Regional Trial Court Judge Romana Lindayag Del Rosario sentenced ex-cop Jeffrey Sumbo Perez to reclusion perpetua or imprisonment of up to 40 years without eligibility for parole for Arnaiz’s death.
Perez was sentenced to suffer the same for De Guzman’s killing.
The Public Attorney’s Office welcomed the favorable decision of the Navotas City court in the murder of teenagers amid the drug war of then-President Rodrigo Duterte.
“We have been fighting for this case ever since,” PAO chief Persida Acosta told reporters.
The court ordered Perez to pay the following amounts to the victims’ kin:
Arnaiz’s family: actual damages (P90,000); civil indemnity (P100,000); moral damages (P100,000); and exemplary damages (P100,000).
De Guzman’s kin: Civil indemnity (P100,000); moral damages (P100,000); and exemplary damages (P100,000).
In 2017, Arnaiz was killed by Caloocan police officers on August 18 after allegedly staging a hold-up against a taxi driver.
Meanwhile, De Guzman, Arnaiz’s companion, was later found dead with 30 stab wounds on his body in a creek in Gapan, Nueva Ecija.
His head was wrapped in packaging tape.
The Caloocan Regional Trial Court in November 2022 found Perez guilty beyond reasonable doubt for the torture and planting of evidence on the two teenagers.
Arnaiz and De Guzman went missing on Aug. 17, 2017. Arnaiz’s body was later found on Aug. 28 in a funeral parlor in Caloocan City with gunshot wounds.
In November 2022, a Caloocan Regional Trial Court found Perez guilty of two separate counts of torturing Arnaiz and De Guzman, and of planting plastic sachets of marijuana, shabu, and a revolver.
Authorities accused Arnaiz, a 19-year-old student at the University of the Philippines, of robbing a taxi driver and was killed in a shootout.
In a 36-page decision dated November 10, the Caloocan RTC Branch 122 meted the following sentence against Perez:
For violation of Republic Act 9745 against Arnaiz, accused is hereby sentenced to suffer penalty of six months of arresto mayor as minimum to four years and two months of prision correccional medium as maximum;
For violation of RA 9745, in relation to Section 5(a) of RA 8369 against De Guzman, accused is sentenced to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua;
For the planting of evidence under RA 9165 against Arnaiz, Perez is sentenced to suffer the penalty of two terms of life imprisonment;
For the planting of evidence under RA 10591 against Arnaiz, the accused is hereby sentenced to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua
Perez is also perpetually disqualified from holding public office.