Carl’s mom: My son is no robber
The mother of Carl Angelo Arnaiz defended him on Monday after taxi driver Tomas Bagcal positively identified the 19-year-old University of the Philippines (UP) student as the one who robbed him at gunpoint on Aug. 18.
“It’s impossible that he could do such a thing,” Eva Arnaiz told reporters at a briefing in Manila organized by the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption.
“I don’t believe that he could [rob] a person. I couldn’t imagine him engaging those people in a fight,” she said, adding, “He had never been involved in a fight since he was young. No matter where we were, he never got into a fistfight.”
Eva described her son as “a simple teenager” who would rather stay at home than spend time going out with his friends.
“He was not friendly. He only had a few close friends. After his classes, he always went straight home. He only left our house when there was something important he had to do,” she said.
After he was reported missing for days, Bagcal surfaced on Sunday and said that he had sought refuge from the human rights group Rise Up for Life and for Rights after sensing threats to his life.
He was initially reluctant to identify Arnaiz as the person who held him up but the 54-year-old cabbie eventually confirmed that the teenager was indeed the one who pointed a gun at him and took his wallet.
Bagcal, however, stressed that Arnaiz was still alive when he took him to a police station on 9th Avenue in Caloocan City.
This contradicted two policemen’s claim that the teenager had fired at them during a chase, leading to a shootout which left him dead.
Eva expressed confidence that Bagcal’s testimony would be a big help in pursuing criminal cases against the two police officers.
Bagcal is expected to go to the Senate on Tuesday to attend a hearing on the killing of Arnaiz and two other minors, Kian Loyd delos Santos and Reynaldo “Kulot” de Guzman.
“He will appear, he will cooperate,” Rise Up convenor Nardy Sabino said in a phone interview.
“As he said before, Bagcal wants to help resolve Carl’s case. He wants to shed light and show the people what he (Bagcal) went through,” Sabino added.
Based on the two affidavits Bagcal submitted to the Caloocan police homicide section, Arnaiz was killed in a shootout with Police Officers 1 Jefrey Perez and Ricky Arquilito. The cab driver, however, said on Sunday that he had nothing to do with the affidavits.
He also pointed out that while Arnaiz had indeed robbed him, the police chase and shootout was “scripted” and “staged.”
Sen. Panfilo Lacson, the chair of the Senate committee which is conducting the hearing, said that a witness claimed he saw Arnaiz and a child inside a police car hours before the former was killed.
“The witness told my staff he could not sleep and that was why he went to my office because he kept on dreaming of the way he and Carl looked at each other,” Lacson said.
Arnaiz was with 14-year-old De Guzman when he left their house in Cainta, Rizal, on Aug. 17, shortly before he supposedly held up Bagcal.
Malacañang has welcomed Bagcal’s decision to come forward and reveal what he knows of Arnaiz’s killing.
Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said on Monday that Bagcal’s testimony should help bring justice to the boy.
“We look forward to Mr. Tomas Bagcal’s cooperation with authorities as he willingly expressed during his press conference,” Abella told reporters. —WITH AIE BALAGTAS SEE, PHILIP C. TUBEZA AND JHESSET O. ENANO
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