Cabbie in Carl Arnaiz slay case now under custody of Rise Up
Published: 10:29 p.m., Sept. 9, 2017 | Updated: 11:12, Sept. 9, 2017
Tomas Marleo Bagcal, the taxi driver who could shed light on the circumstances surrounding the suspicious death of 19-year-old Carl Arnaiz, is safe.
He and his family are now under the the protective custody of an ecumenical church rights group based in Manila.
In a statement released on their Facebook page, Rise Up For Life and For Rights said Bagcal sought refuge with them on Sept. 4, a day before the Senate hearings on Arnaiz and 17-year-old Kian delos Santos’ slay.
“We are moved by the family’s trust and confidence in Rise Up in assisting them in these trying and challenging times. We pray we can fully extend solace and strength to our distressed and fearful brethren,” the statement said.
Bagcal went missing shortly after Arnaiz’s body was found by his parents in a Caloocan City funeral home 10 days after the boy was reported missing.
Police said Arnaiz, a former University of the Philippines student, was shot dead in an alleged shootout with police responding to Bagcal’s report of a holdup.
But both forensic examinations by the Northern Police District and the Public Attorney’s Office disputed police claims that Arnaiz had resisted arrest and had fired at the police.
Arnaiz was last seen on Aug. 17 with 14-year-old Reynaldo de Guzman, who was found dead on Sept. 7 in a creek in Gapan, Nueva Ecija.
De Guzman had at least 26 stab wounds, with his head wrapped in packaging tape.
National Bureau of Investigation agents had been looking for Bagcal amid fears that he might have been killed because he could provide important information on Arnaiz’s killing.
Bagcal stopped reporting for duty at R&E Taxi Services in Caloocan City on Sept. 3. /atm