DOJ OKs filing of murder raps vs cops in deaths of teens in drug war
The Department of Justice (DOJ) has approved the filing of two counts of murder against police officers involved in the death of teenagers Carl Arnaiz and Reynaldo “Kulot” de Guzman.
Facing two counts each of murder are Police Officers 1 Jeffrey Perez and Ricky Arquilita.
Aside from murder, the two police officers are facing cases of three counts each for planting of evidence for the recovered two sachets of marijuana and three sachets of shabu from Arnaiz’ pocket as well as a .38 caliber with ammunitions near his body.
Perez and Arquilita are also facing two counts each for violation of the Anti-Torture Law. Forensic report showed that both Arnaiz and Kulot sustained blunt injuries to the head and body that caused swellings, contusions and abrasions.
“As for Kulot, a 14-year old minor, he also sustained 28 stab wounds in various parts of his small body. Certainly, the acts of respondents in inflicting the injuries upon the victims caused severe pain and exhaustion to the entire body especially to the affected areas,” the DOJ stated in its resolution.
On the murder cases, the DOJ said based on forensic examination, eye witnesses’ testimonies, it clearly showed that Arnaiz was defenseless when he was shot several times.
“The number of people involved in carrying out the evil purpose, the use of guns the number of shots fired plus the fact that Car Angelo was defenseless and unarmed at the time of attack clearly show deliberate intent to employ such means to ensure that Carl Angelo was left lifeless by the assailants,” the DOJ resolution stated.
Arnaiz suffered injuries to the head, chest, body and five gunshot wounds.
“With his hands immobilized by a handcuff and while kneeling and begging for his life, respondents Perez and Arquilita shot the victim thrice at close range and as if this was not enough, respondent Perez got near the victim and fired two more shots using his gun directed towards the male victim who was already lying down,” the DOJ said.
The DOJ also cited the testimonies of eye witnesses “Joe Daniel” and taxi driver Tomas Bagcal. Bagcal is the supposed victim of alleged robbery committed by Arnaiz and Kulot. ‘Joe Daniel,’ on the other hand said he was on his way home when he saw the police officers dragging a handcuffed Arnaiz to a grassy area along C3 road. He said he hid upon seeing what the police officers are doing and narrated how Arnaiz pleaded before he was shot.
“There is unanimity in the testimonies of witnesses alias Joe Daniel and respondent Bagcal. They were both present at the scene of the crime and where able to positively identify Carl Angelo’s assailants,” the resolution stated.
In the case of Kulot, the DOJ cited both the separate affidavits of ‘Joe Daniel’ and Bagcal in filing a murder case against Perez and Arquilita.
Both witnesses said they have seen the two teenagers inside the police vehicle. Bagcal said he surrendered both Arnaiz and Kulot to the police while Joe Daniel said he saw Kulot inside the police vehicle when Arnaiz was dragged out and killed.
“When taken together with the fact that eyewitness Joe Daniel saw that a smaller person, fitting the description of Kulot was seated beside Carl Angelo inside the police car, as corroborated by the categorical statement of respondent Bagcal that Kulot and Carl Angelo were together inside the same police mobile car, the above circumstances create an unbroken chain that would reasonably lead to the conclusion that …respondents Perez and Arquilita are likewise responsible for his death,” the DOJ said.
Arnaiz and Kulot are neighbors from Cainta, Rizal. They went out for an evening snack on Aug. 18, 2017. Arnaiz’ body was found at a funeral in Caloocan after 10 days while Kulot’s body was found in Nueva Ecija on Sept. 6, 2017.
Acting Prosecutor General Jorge Catalan said the cases against the police officers have been filed before the Caloocan City Regional Trial Court.
The resolution has been signed by Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Ma. Emilia Victori, Assistant State Prosecutors Gilmarie Fe. Pacamarra and Alejandro Daguiso and approved by Senior Deputy State Prosecutor Richard Anthony Fadullon and Catalan.
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