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No bail for rogue cops

Court orders arrest of sacked policemen in killings of teenagers Arnaiz, De Guzman
/ 04:00 AM January 26, 2018

Police Officers 1 Jeffrey Perez (left) and Ricky Arquilita attending a Senate hearing on the killings of Carl Arnaiz and Reynaldo de Guzman. —Grig C. Montegrande

A Caloocan court ordered the arrest and detention without bail of two sacked rookie policemen who were allegedly behind the murders, torture and frameup of teenagers Carl Arnaiz and Reynaldo de Guzman on Aug. 18 last year.

Presiding Judge Georgina Hidalgo, of the Caloocan Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 122, issued a warrant on Jan. 23 for the arrest of PO1s Ricky Arquilita and Jeffrey Perez for the murders of Arnaiz and De Guzman.

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No bail was recommended for the police officers.

Wasted lives

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The Department of Justice (DOJ) last week approved the filing of criminal charges against the two policemen for two counts of murder each for allegedly conspiring to kill Arnaiz, who was 19 years old at the time of his killing, and De Guzman, who was 14 years old, on Aug. 18 last year.

In a 35-page resolution released last week to reporters, the DOJ said Arquilita and Perez “planned and committed all the crimes” and tried to present the deaths of Arnaiz and De Guzman as “products of a shoot out in a legitimate” police operation “to cover up the intended killings.”

Arquilita and Perez were also recommended charged with torture after forensic tests showed they were beaten up before they were killed.

Relatives of Carl Angelo Arnaiz are in tears during his burial in Aliw Cemetery, Pateros. —LYN RILLON

Planting evidence

The officers, who have since been relieved of their duties, were also charged with planting evidence after sachets of “shabu” (crystal meth) and marijuana, and a .38 caliber pistol were found in Arnaiz’s possession.

The DOJ said the pieces of evidence were planted by the policemen as part of their effort to cover up their crime.

The killings of Arnaiz and De Guzman and that of another teenager, 17-year-old Kian delos Santos, sparked nationwide outrage over police abuses committed in President Duterte’s war on drugs and criminality.

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Arnaiz and De Guzman went missing after they were last seen together on Aug. 17, 2017.

The search for Arnaiz led to a Caloocan morgue 10 days after he went missing on Aug. 17.

The body of De Guzman was found in a creek in Gapan town, Nueva Ecija province 20 days later.

No gunfight

Following the discovery of Arnaiz’s body in the morgue, police said the teenager was shot dead in a gunfight with Arquilita and Perez, who were responding to a call for help by cabbie Tomas Bagcal.

Bagcal reported that he was held up while he was driving along C-3 Road in Caloocan.

Police said it was Arnaiz, with the help of De Guzman, who held up Bagcal.

But during the preliminary investigation of the case, Bagcal and another witness, Joe Daniels, said the two teenagers were not killed in a gunfight with the policemen and were apparently summarily executed.

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TAGS: arrest and detention without bail, Carl Arnaiz, PO1 Jeffrey Perez, PO1 Ricky Arquilita, Reynaldo de Guzman
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