Pangilinan leads condemnation of killing of Carl Arnaiz’s companion
Senators were alarmed over the discovery of a 14-year-old’s body in Nueva Ecija weeks after his friend Carl Angelo Arnaiz died in an alleged shootout with police officers last Aug. 18.
Reynaldo de Guzman was with Arnaiz, 17, moments before the latter was killed by policemen for allegedly robbing a taxi driver in Caloocan City. Police claimed Arnaiz fought back at the operatives, prompting them to open fire.
The missing teen was found floating at a creek in Gapan town on Wednesday morning. His body bore 30 stab wounds while his head was wrapped in a packing tape.
Senator Francis Pangilinan condemned the boy’s killing and challenged Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Dir. Gen. Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa to punish the minor victim’s killers.
“Kinokondena natin ang karumal-dumal na krimen ng pagpatay na dulot nitong baluktot at salot na war on drugs. Lumilitaw na ang tunay na anyo ng giyerang ito,” Pangilinan said in a statement.
(We are condemning this heinous crime which is caused by the war on drugs. The true picture of this war is emerging.)
Senator Grace Poe also issued a strongly worded statement denouncing De Guzman’s murder.
“Kasumpa-sumpa na ang labing-apat na taong gulang na si Reynaldo de Guzman ay natagpuang tadtad ng saksak sa Gapan, Nueva Ecija. Huwag naman sanang paikutin ang ulo natin na holdaper rin ang batang ito gaya ng pinalulutang na kuwento tungkol sa kanyang kasamang si Carl Angelo Arnaiz,” Poe said in a statement.
(It’s revolting to hear that 14-year-old boy Reynaldo de Guzman was found dead in Gapan, Nueva Ecija with multiple stab wounds. We hope that we will not be tricked by claims that this boy was also a robber like Carl.)
“Namumuhi tayo na dalawang batang punung-puno ng pag-asa ang pinatay sa marahas na paraan. Dapat gamitin ang buong puwersa ng sistema ng hustisya ng ating bansa para durugin ang mga salarin sa karumal-dumal na krimeng ito at matigil na ang walang habas na pagkitil ng buhay lalo na ng mga kabataan,” she said.
(We are dismayed that two young people looking for a bright future met their violent end. Our justice system should work to get the perpetrators and end the killing of people, especially the young.)
Senator Risa Hontiveros described the boy’s brutal stabbing as a “vile, gruesome and barbaric act.”
“At the tender age of 14, he did nothing to deserve such a fate. To be stabbed (30) times is no accident. It is a pure and simple murder of a child,” she said in a text message.
Senator Joel Villanueva said the PNP should take the “gaps in the protocols” of police operations seriously.
Otherwise, the PNP should just terminate their anti-drug operations, said Villanueva.
“It is important to re-evaluate our strategy and consider stopping this aggressive campaign as it has become out of control and rethink our strategy in addressing the drug problem,” he said in a text message.
Pangilinan, meanwhile, took a swipe at Dela Rosa for crying whenever police killings are being discussed during Senate hearings.
“Hanapin ang may sala at papanagutin. Hindi luha ang sukatan ng malasakit sa kapwa o sa paggampan sa trabaho. Umaksyon naman kayo. Hindi solusyon ang araw araw na patayan sa iligal na droga,” he said.
(Find the killers to answer for their crime. Crying is not the measure for compassion to others. Do your job. Killing won’t solve the drug problem.)
He also questioned the Duterte government for allowing a 14-year-old die in the drug war while it’s failing to prevent billions of pesos worth of shabu to enter the country.
The senator called for an end to the PNP’s violent drug drive, which he said only Duterte can order.
“Tanging pag-anunsyo lamang ng Pangulo na itigil ang war on drugs ang siyang makatitigil sa patayan ng mga inosente at sa pang-aabuso at pagiging mamamatay tao ng mga tiwaling PNP. Itigil ang Oplan Double Barrel,” he said.
Senator Panfilo Lacson, chair of the Senate public order committee handling the probe on the drug war deaths, said a deeper investigation on the incident will be tackled in the next hearing on Sept. 12.
“We already touched on Arnaiz’s killing in our last hearing. I’m calling a third hearing on Tuesday, Sept 12. We’re requiring the Caloocan police chief to produce and bring the cab driver who was allegedly robbed at gunpoint by Arnaiz,” Lacson said in a text message.
Poe said the parents of the victim should be invited to attend the next hearing on the police killings.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.