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Police shot Arnaiz while kneeling, witnesses say

By VANNE TERRAZOLA

Nineteen-year-old Carl Angelo Arnaiz was down on his knees when he was allegedly shot by two Caloocan City policemen in the early hours of Aug. 18, according to two witnesses.

The testimonies made during the resumption of the Senate hearing yesterday ran contrary to police reports that Arnaiz was killed in a shootout following a foiled robbery.

Taxi driver Tomas Bagcal and another witness known only by his alias “John Daniel” named the alleged killers as police officers Jeffrey Perez and Ricky Arquilita.

Bagcal said Arnaiz flagged down his taxi in Pasig City between 12:30 a.m. and 1 a.m. along with a companion who was later identified as 14-year-old Reynaldo de Guzman, alias “Kulot.”

After reaching 5th Ave. near a tricycle terminal, Arnaiz pulled out a knife, pointed it to his neck, and announced the holdup, according to Bagcal.

“Binigay ko na agad ’yung wallet ko dun sa holdaper. Hindi pa din tinanggal sa tainga ko, nakita ko na medyo maluwag nung sinalag ko. Kaya may sugat ang kamay ko,” he narrated.

After he managed to get the knife away from his neck, Arnaiz and his companion stormed out of the cab to escape.

With the help of a tricycle driver, Bagcal said he managed to arrest Arnaiz and De Guzman and brought them to the Caloocan police Precinct 2 on 5th Ave.

Aside from the knife, recovered from the two teenagers were a bag containing pliers, screw driver, comforter, face mask, and a key, according to Bagcal.

Inside the police precinct, Bagcal said he was told to wait inside a room where a policeman known only as “Sir Lakay” appeared and said: “Itapon na lang ito at patayin.”

Asked if he knew the identity of the policeman, Bagcal said he learned from the National Bureau of Investigation that it was a certain “Raras,” the supposed team leader of Perez and Arquilita.

Bagcal said he disagreed with the policemen and insisted that he was just turning over the two suspects.

“Nakapagtext sa mga anak ko…Naisip ko pwede rin akong isabay na patayin,” he recalled.

Bagcal said Sir Lakay and the two teenagers boarded his taxi and was told to drive along 10th Ave., “as if searching for a place.” The two suspects were quiet at the back seat, he narrated.

During the ride, Bagcal said Sir Lakay asked him in Ilocano if he doesn’t want to reduce the number of holdup men.

Escorted by three men in motorcycles, Bagcal said the policeman told him to stop in a nearby gas station on C-3 Road.

Bagcal said the policeman called a driver of a trailer truck who went inside the cab before all the passengers transferred to a police mobile.

“Pinagbabaril na yung isa, nakaluhod na siya… Malayo po ako. Nakaluhod na nakataas kamay,” Bagcal recalled.

Bagcal’s testimony was corroborated by Joe Daniel who said he had just come out of an eatery.

“Napalinga po siya sa direksyon ko. Nakakaawa po yung mukha niya. Sa tanang buhay ko, ngayon lang ako nakakita nang nakadikit po yung kamay sa police mobile. Ilang saglit lang, tumakbo po siya sa damuhan. Nakaluhod na po siya nung binaril na may posas,” Daniel said.

Daniel recalled hearing a total of seven gunshots: Two gunshots first went off, followed by another, and then one of the policemen got from the car “an item” which he fired twice new, and then two more.

There were discrepancies noted in both testimonies.

Daniel, in the same hearing, said he saw the killing on C-3 Road at around 1:28 a.m., almost half an hour later the two suspects rode Bagcal’s taxi in Pasig.

Daniel also made no mention of a trailer truck or the taxi in his testimony. He said he witnessed the killing while hiding behind an electric post.

Bagcal said he had no idea what happened to De Guzman whose body was found on Sept. 6 in a creek in Gapan, Nueva Ecija.

He claimed that policemen forced him to sign two affidavits and had to go into hiding after learning that the three policemen were looking for him at the taxi terminal.

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