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PAO: Shootout between Carl, policemen unlikely

By JEL SANTOS

There is no evidence to suggest that Carl Angelo Arnaiz was killed in a shootout with Caloocan policemen, according to the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO).

The PAO combed the supposed crime scene and failed to find traces of blood or indications that shots were fired, findings that dispute the police version.

Arnaiz, a 19-year-old former student of University of the Philippines, was gunned down by policemen after he allegedly robbed a taxi driver on Aug. 18 along C3 Road in Barangay 28, Caloocan.

His body was found 10 days later by his family in a Caloocan morgue.

Reynaldo de Guzman, who was with Arnaiz on Aug. 17 in Cainta, Rizal, turned up dead last Tuesday in a creek in Gapan, Nueva Ecija. He sustained 30 stab wounds.

Contrary to the police claim, PAO said Arnaiz’s wrists were swollen with handcuff marks and may have been tortured before he was shot. The victim sustained five gunshot wounds – four in the chest and one in the right arm.

“There’s really no evidence to support ang narrative na doon siya (Arnaiz) napatay… Mukhang tinapon lang ang body niya roon sa pinapakitang crime scene,” Dr. Erwin Erfe, PAO’s forensic laboratory director, said.

Erfe said he finds it unusual that there were no traces of blood and the slugs of the bullets that exited the body of Arnaiz could not be found in the crime scene.

“Naghanap kami ng blood [traces] knowing na doon siya tinamaan ng bala. Naghanap din kami ng bullet tracks doon sa top soil – sa ibabaw ng lupa. Pero negative, wala kaming nakuha,” Erfe said.

“Naghanap din kami ng tama ng bala sa mga poste to check kung totoo ang sinasabi ng mga gumawa ng spot report – kung talagang nagkaroon ng shootout doon at kung doon nga nabaril si Arnaiz,” he added.

During a press conference last Sept. 4, Police Chief Insp. Ilustre Mendoza, Caloocan police officer-in-charge, said the cops hid behind an electric post during the alleged shootout with Arnaiz.

“Noong pinapahinto ‘yung Carl, bumuwelta, pumutok so taguan sila (cops) sa poste. So pumutok na naman—taguan sila sa kotse,” Mendoza said.

Efre said rains won’t erase traces of blood even on the leaves or stems of plants.

“Yung mga dugo-dugo usually nasa under [or] side iyan ng mga dahon. Makikita mo rin doon sa stem [ng halaman] kahit pa umulan ay may makikita ka pa rin diyan. Kasi, sa mga tama ni Carl na ganoon, may makikita ka pa ring dugo [dahil] maraming dugo na lumabas sa kanya. Pero bakit wala kaming nakitang dugo doon?” Erfe asked.

Since the trajectory of the gunshots sustained by Carl was downward, the slugs should have been in the ground of the crime scene, according to the forensic expert.

“Tinanggal din namin ang damo. Tinanggal din namin ang top soil. Pero wala pa rin kaming nakitang bullet track,” Efre said.

“Yung vegetation nga doon, in fact, walang disturbance – ‘yung mga damo-damo at halaman. Kaya we came into conclusion na hindi ito ang crime scene,” he added.

Meanwhile, Tomas Bagcal, the 54-year-old cab driver who was allegedly robbed by Arnaiz, remains unaccounted for despite the manhunt launched by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).

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