PAO: Cabbie tagged in Carl’s killing not telling whole truth
Taxi driver Tomas Bagcal cannot feign innocence in the killing of Carl Angelo Arnaiz even as he insists that the former University of the Philippines (UP) student had tried to rob him, Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) chief Persida Rueda Acosta said on Monday.
“The ‘script’ Bagcal was referring to was about the supposed robbery and not the killing [of Arnaiz]. That [Arnaiz] was shot while he was on his knees and his hands were cuffed is not part of a script because it was proven by forensics analysis,” Acosta told reporters after the preliminary hearing on the teenager’s killing at the Department of Justice (DOJ).
Part of conspiracy
“[Bagcal] is not telling us the whole truth. He should clarify the things he claims as true and those which he says are part of a script. Otherwise, it would really show that he’s a conspirator,” she said.
According to Acosta, Bagcal’s claim that Arnaiz was a holdup man was farfetched as the 19-year-old teenager owned a small variety store in front of their house in Cainta, Rizal. Arnaiz’s mother, a migrant worker, was also regularly sending money to their family, she added.
Bagcal had provided two conflicting statements to the police regarding Arnaiz’s death on Aug. 18, raising suspicion that he was trying to protect the two policemen linked to the killing.
Last week, the cab driver filed a counter-affidavit in the DOJ, which contradicted his two previous sworn statements, one of which did not identify Arnaiz as the person who allegedly held him up at gunpoint.
Bagcal was charged with murder, torture and planting of evidence along with PO1 Jeffrey Perez and PO1 Ricky Arquilita, who had owned up to killing Arnaiz during a shoot-out.
Cause of delay
Meanwhile, Acosta rued the policemen’s request for the DOJ to give them more time to present their witnesses and evidence. “The case should already be submitted for resolution by next hearing,” she said.
Arnaiz, a former UP student, left his house in Cainta, Rizal, on Aug. 17 with 14-year-old Reynaldo de Guzman. Ten days after his family reported him missing, they traced his body to a funeral home in Caloocan City with the police claiming he was killed in a shoot-out. Autopsy results, however, showed torture signs on Arnaiz’s body.
De Guzman was found weeks later in Gapan City, Nueva Ecija, his emaciated body bearing 30 stab wounds. His killers have yet to be identified.
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