Aguirre urges Rise Up to allow NBI to interview Bagcal
Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II on Monday urged human rights group Rise Up to allow taxi driver and alleged victim of 19-year-old Carl Arnaiz to be interviewed by agents of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).
The NBI has been tasked by Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II to conduct an investigation on Arnaiz’s death as well as the death of his 14-year-old companion Reynaldo “Kulot” De Guzman.
After meeting Arnaiz’s parents, President Rodrigo Duterte said the NBI will be the lead agency in the investigation instead of the Philippine National Police (PNP).
The taxi driver, Tomas Bagcal, issued two conflicting affidavits. On his first affidavit, he said he did not recognize who robbed him while his second affidavit gave a detailed description of the robber to match what Arnaiz was wearing when his body was recovered.
The taxi driver disappeared and surfaced over the weekend and was placed under the custody of Rise Up.
“Nanawagan po ako kung sino mang humahawak kay Mr. Tomas Bagcal at saka doon sa iba pang testigo na sana ay bigyan natin ng pagkakataon ang ating National Bureau of Investigation na maimbestigahan ito nang malaliman para mapalabas natin ang katotohanan (I appeal to whoever has custody of Bagcal and other witnesses to allow the NBI to conduct its investigation),” Aguirre said.
He said the DOJ is willing to give Bagcal protection under the government’s Witness Protection Program.
“We are ready to provide you with protection of the Witness Protection Program,” said the DOJ chief.
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