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Carl’s 14-year-old friend found dead in Nueva Ecija

Reynaldo de Guzman

MORGUE SCENE Eduardo Gabriel finds his son, Reynaldo de Guzman, 14, the missing companion of slain Carl Arnaiz, at a morgue in Gapan City Nueva Ecija.—ARMAND GALANG

GAPAN CITY, Nueva Ecija — The 14-year-old friend of slain robbery suspect Carl Angelo Arnaiz was found dead with multiple stab wounds on Tuesday afternoon in this city, enraging his father who traveled here from Manila on Wednesday to identify the body.

Eduardo Gabriel, 42, confirmed that the body was that of his son, Reynaldo de Guzman, which was found floating in Kinamatayang Kabayo Creek in Barangay San Roque here.

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The family had asked the government to help search for Reynaldo, who was last seen in Cainta, Rizal province, on Aug. 17 with a group that included Arnaiz, 19, a former University of the Philippines student killed by police in an alleged shootout following a taxicab robbery in Caloocan City on Aug. 18.

Stabbed 31 times

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Reynaldo’s head was wrapped in packing tape. His body bore 31 stab wounds, said Supt. Peter Madria, Gapan police chief.

Gabriel recognized his son at a local morgue even though the boy’s face was slightly swollen.

He said the body had his son’s wart below the knee and surgical markings on the left side of the neck from an operation he underwent when he was younger.

“The police are sons of bitches. They act as if they do not have children or parents,” Gabriel said in Filipino.

“That will also happen to their children. They should be hanged,” he said, adding that the condition of the body suggested the boy was beaten up.

Gabriel said his son was “thinner than usual.”

“He used to be healthier,” he said.

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The body has not yet undergone an autopsy, but it has been examined by forensic investigators.

The body remains in the morgue until investigators from the National Bureau of Investigation arrive.

Arnaiz and De Guzman, whose registered surname belongs to his mother, went out around midnight on Aug. 18 to buy snacks. They never returned.

Arnaiz’s mother, Eva, found him in a morgue on Aug. 28.

President Rodrigo Duterte met with the parents of Arnaiz on Wednesday and promised them an impartial investigation, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II said.

Aguirre said he had directed the NBI to investigate the killing of Reynaldo.

Senators investigating the police killing of Arnaiz condemned the killing of Reynaldo.

Sen. Grace Poe said she hoped there would be no spin that Reynaldo de Guzman was a robber like Arnaiz.

“The full force of the justice system in the country should be used to destroy those behind this crime and to stop the unabated killing of the youth,” Poe said in a statement.

Sen. Francis Pangilinan said only an order from the President stopping the war on drugs could stop the taking of innocent lives as well as the abuses of unscrupulous officers in the Philippine National Police.

Pangilinan urged the PNP chief, Director General Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa, to find the abductors and killers of Reynaldo.

He also urged police to do their duty of serving and protecting the people.

Eduardo Gabriel has identified the body of his son, Reynaldo, at
a morgue in Gapan, Nueva Ecija province. —ARMAND GALANG

Missing cabbie

Information about the abductors of the boy could come from the cabbie whom Arnaiz allegedly robbed before he was killed by police in an exchange of gunfire.

But Tomas Marleo Bagcal, 54, has not been seen since he last reported for work at R&E Taxi Services in Caloocan, according to Pedro Lanuza, president of the drivers’ union at the company.

Bagcal also has not returned to his apartment at Paras Compound in Barangay 161, according to the apartment building’s caretaker, Cecille Ramirez.

Bagcal submitted two statements to police, one dated Aug. 18 and the other Aug. 29, and these showed inconsistencies.

In both statements, Bagcal gave his address as 368-C Rose Street, Baesa, Barangay 164, Caloocan City, which proved to be nonexistent.

His real address, the Inquirer learned, is Building 2, Paras Compound, on Rose Street, Barangay 161, less than a block from the R&E compound.

Ramirez said Bagcal, a native of Isabela province, had been sharing the apartment with another taxi driver since last year.

Bagcal’s driver’s uniform and some of his personal belongings were still in the apartment.

Lanuza said Bagcal had a clean record and that this was the first time that Bagcal reported having been robbed.

Bagcal also gave two different locations where Arnaiz allegedly robbed him.

In his first statement, he gave the location as Barangay 28 but in his second statement — which was unsigned — he said it was C-3 Road.

In a phone interview with dzRH radio on Aug. 18, he gave a third location: 5th Avenue.

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TAGS: Carl Angelo Arnaiz, dead with multiple stab wounds, Nueva Ecija, Reynaldo de Guzman, slain robbery suspect
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