Makabayan bloc seeks probe of killing of Carl Angelo Arnaiz
A group of lawmakers on Tuesday sought an inquiry into the Aug. 18 death in police hands of 19-year-old Carl Angelo Arnaiz, calling it an “extrajudicial killing.”
Seven lawmakers belonging to the Makabayan bloc in the House of Representatives filed House Resolution No. 1279, describing Arnaiz as “another victim” of the Duterte administration’s war on drugs, which “is being waged in total disregard of due process and rule of law and has already claimed thousands of lives.”
The lawmakers noted that Arnaiz, who the police claimed was a taxi robbery suspect, was killed only two days after 17-year-old Kian Loyd delos Santos was shot dead by police.
Both were killed by Caloocan City policemen allegedly after resisting arrest. The policemen claimed they had found illegal drugs on both teenagers.
The lawmakers also noted that Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) chief Persida Rueda-Acosta had seen a “pattern” in the killings of Arnaiz and Delos Santos, who came from poor families who supported their meager incomes by maintaining small variety stores.
The resolution was signed by Reps. Carlos Isagani Zarate (Bayan Muna), Antonio Tinio and France Castro (ACT Teachers), Emmi de Jesus and Arlene Brosas (Gabriela Women’s Party), Ariel Casilao (Anakpawis) and Sarah Jane Elago (Kabataan).
Last month, the Makabayan bloc asked the House to investigate Delos Santos’ killing, which was caught on surveillance camera.
Also on Tuesday, Caloocan Bishop Pablo Virgilio David disputed claims that the killings of Delos Santos and Arnaiz were isolated cases, and expressed fears that there might be more such murders.
David described both teenagers as victims of the brutal war on drugs.
“I will insist that Kian and Carl are not isolated cases. The Caloocan policemen just happen to be sloppy in carrying out their extrajudicial killings. They’ve made it too obvious,” David said.
The bishop insisted that Arnaiz’s death was “murder plain and simple, except that it was committed by our law enforcers.”
He added that the autopsy findings “obviously contradict” the report of the Caloocan police.
“I am sure we will get a totally different story if we are able to get the taxi driver to testify. There is nothing new about malfunctioning CCTV units. That is always part of what they call coordination with the barangays,” David said.
Police claimed that Arnaiz robbed a cabbie before engaging officers in a shootout, leading to his death.
But analysis by Dr. Erwin Erfe, chief of the PAO forensic laboratory services, showed that Arnaiz had deep abrasions and marks showing he was handcuffed, dragged and severely beaten.
His body also did not show any indication that he fired a gun, and Erfe concluded that Arnaiz was most likely kneeling or lying on the ground when he was shot.