Trike driver backs cops’ tale in Carl Arnaiz slay
A tricycle driver on Friday told the Department of Justice (DOJ) that he saw a man, whom the police claimed to be 19-year-old Carl Angelo Arnaiz, fire the first shot that prompted two policemen to return fire and shoot him dead.
Solomon Rosca, 42, submitted a two-page handwritten affidavit to a DOJ panel of prosecutors as it wrapped up the preliminary investigation into the killing of Arnaiz and his 14-year-old friend Reynaldo de Guzman.
Rosca and his live-in partner Madelene Soliman earlier went to the office of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group-National Capital Region on Oct. 25 to give the same statement.
Arnaiz, a former University of the Philippines student, was killed by the police on Aug. 18 after he allegedly robbed a cab driver, who would later surface to claim that he last saw the teenager alive in police custody.
De Guzman was found almost a month later in a creek in Gapan, Nueva Ecija province, his head wrapped in packing tape and his body bearing multiple stab wounds.
Rosca’s testimony, which was written in Filipino, supported the claims of Police Officers 1 Ricky Arquilita and Jeffrey Perez of the Caloocan City police that Arnaiz had robbed taxi driver Tomas Bagcal before he engaged them in a gunfight.
Arquilita, Perez and Bagcal are facing a complaint for murder, torture and planting of evidence, filed by the parents of De Guzman and Arnaiz.
The tricycle driver said he and Soliman had just dropped off a passenger on Torcillo Street, Caloocan, around 3:30 a.m. on Aug. 18 when they saw a man in a black jacket running away from two men who had identified themselves as police officers.
He claimed that the fleeing man drew a gun and fired at the officers, prompting Rosca to drive away for safety.
He and Soliman would later hear more gunshots, Rosca added.
The affidavit, however, neither identified the gun-wielding man as Arnaiz nor named the pursuers to be Arquilita and Perez.
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