THE taxi driver who was allegedly robbed by 19-year-old Carl Angelo Arnaiz has gone missing.
Reports said Tomas Bagcal, 54, the taxi driver whom Caloocan policemen claimed had been held up Arnaiz on Aug. 18, has stopped reporting for work.
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.
The Justice Department has 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.
Police investigators in Caloocan City failed to specify the address of Bagcal.
The chief of the Public Attorney’s Office, Persida Acosta, said residents in the area in which he was supposed to live in Baesa said he did not live there.
In his affidavit, Bagcal did not list down the license plate of his taxi.
In Nueva Ecija, Gapan City Mayor Emerson Pascual has offered P200,000 bounty to anyone who could provide vital information leading to the arrest of De Guzman’s killers.
“To anyone who could pinpoint the license plate or the type of vehicle, or who could recognize to the person that dumped Kulot, I will give P200.000,” Pascual said in radio interview.
The mayor has provided financial assistance to the parents of the boy, including expenses for the burial, wake and for bringing the teen’s body to Cainta, Rizal.
Eduardo Gabriel, the boy’s father, said that only demons could have killed his son, who bore dozens of stab wounds over his body and whose face was wrapped in packaging tape.
Eduardo said his son’s killer would eventually meet “karma” and get his due.
“What you did to my son, will also happen to your children and your children’s children,” he said in Filipino. “I’m hoping this will happen to you, so that you will endure what we have to endure.”
The Philippine National Police said it will no longer investigate the killings of Arnaiz and De Guzman and will support the NBI probe.
“The PNP will be supporting the conduct of the investigation by the NBI, as ordered by the President, so that we can get rid of doubts or suspicions that cops will be protected and that we will whitewash the investigation,” said PNP spokesman Chief Supt. Dionardo Carlos.
Aguirre said Bagcal could become a state witness in the case.
“He is not just a person of interest. If he was really robbed then he is a victim also. But if he only made up such story [against Arnaiz], then he could be charged also,” Aguirre said. With Rey E. Requejo