IN THE KNOW: Police killings of teenagers
The circumstances surrounding the deaths of Kian Loyd delos Santos, 17, Carl Angelo Arnaiz, 19, and Reynaldo de Guzman, 14, have implicated the police.
Delos Santos was killed on Aug. 16 in Caloocan City. Police claimed Delos Santos was a drug runner and they killed him after he fired at them with a .45 caliber pistol during a drug raid. But according to witnesses, plainclothes officers took Delos Santos into custody, dragged him to a dark, trash-filled alley and shot him three times, leaving his body next to a pigsty.
Two days later, on Aug. 18, Arnaiz, a former student of the University of the Philippines, was killed also in Caloocan. Police said Arnaiz robbed a taxi driver and they killed him in an exchange of gunfire.
The body of Arnaiz, who was last seen on Aug. 17, was found on Aug. 28 by his parents in a morgue.
Dr. Erwin Erfe, chief of the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) forensic laboratory services, found that Arnaiz had deep abrasions and marks showing he was handcuffed, dragged and severely beaten.
The body of De Guzman, Arnaiz’s last known companion, was fished out of a creek in Gapan City, Nueva Ecija province, on Sept. 5. It remains unclear when and where De Guzman was killed.
Forensic examination by the National Bureau of Investigation showed that De Guzman had been stabbed at least 26 times and that the knives pierced his lungs and heart.
Some of De Guzman’s wounds indicated the killers continued to stab the boy even after he had already died, according to Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II.
PAO and NBI have filed murder charges against the officers involved in the killing of Delos Santos.
The Integrated Bar of the Philippines also brought criminal charges in the Office of the Ombudsman against Chief Supt. Roberto Fajardo, head of the Northern Police District, and Senior Supt. Chito Bersaluna, Chief Insp. Amor Cerillo and three others.
Sources: Inquirer Archives
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