LP: Carl Arnaiz slay puts to question if cops are now ‘hitmen’
The killing of another teenager in Caloocan City puts into question whether the police, whose duty is to serve and protect the people, have already become hitmen, the Liberal Party (LP) said on Friday.
This as the LP condemned the killing of 19-year-old Carl Angelo Arnaiz, a former University of the Philippines student who died in a shootout with cops for allegedly robbing a taxi driver last Aug. 18.
“We are outraged by the killing of another young man which puts to question anew whether the authorities tasked to serve and protect the people have become hitmen,” said LP in a statement.
“The PNP’s continuing denial of its involvement in the tide of extrajudicial killings, a spillover of the administration’s anti-drug war, now rings more hollow amid the emerging pattern of how the victims are killed,” it said.
The former ruling party, backed by President Benigno Aquino III’s administration, challenged PNP chief Director General Ronald Dela Rosa to show firmness against the abuses in the police force.
“There is no other time than now for the President and PNP Chief Dela Rosa to manifest determination and firmness when law enforcers invert their very role to safeguard the people by becoming killers and lawbreakers themselves. Too many have already become victims,” the LP said.
Dela Rosa said on Monday the involved cops have been relieved of their posts and that an investigation is underway.
Arnaiz, a resident of Cainta, Rizal, went missing for 10 days before his body was found in a morgue in Caloocan City.
According to a report signed by Chief Insp. Ilustre Mendoza, officer in charge of the Caloocan police, Arnaiz robbed a taxi driver and exchanged gun shots with cops on August 18. The report added that Arnaiz was found with three sachets of suspected shabu and two packets of marijuana.
Arnaiz’ family earlier said they do not believe the cops’ tales, and claimed that the teenager went outside to buy food with a friend, then he went missing.
Forensic experts from the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) said results of the post-mortem analysis showed he was tortured before he was shot five times while kneeling.
The LP likened Arnaiz’ case with that of the 17-year-old Kian Delos Santos’ who was also killed during a drug operation in Caloocan City.
“Again, as in the case of Kian delos Santos, Caloocan policemen were involved. They claimed that the young man tried to rob a cab driver, whose name and details are missing from the police report,” the LP said.
The LP said PNP should investigate the pattern in the killings with transparency, starting with Caloocan cops.
“Otherwise, its credibility would even be in deeper pits and the institution would face the risk of being perceived as no different from criminal syndicates,” it said. JE