MANILA, Philippines (UPDATE 6 – 9:26 a.m.) — A 19-year-old former University of the Philippines student from Cainta, Rizal, who went missing for 10 days and whose body was found at a morgue in Caloocan City, was tortured before he was killed.
Public Attorney’s Office chief Persida Rueda Acosta said results of the post-mortem analysis conducted by the PAO’s forensic laboratory services last Sunday showed that Carl Angelo Arnaiz ws physically attacked before he was shot dead.
Acosta said Arnaiz’ eyes’ were bruised and discolored apparently because of punches, and his wrists wounded and swollen with handcuff marks. He also had five “entry” gunshot wounds — four in the chest and one in the right arm, according to Acosta.
“In-examine po ang bangkay n’ya at nakitaan po ng mga bakas ng torture at pambubugbog sa kanyang katawan at ‘yong bakas ng posas sa kanyang dalawang kamay,” Acosta said on Monday, Sept. 4, during an intervie with dzMM radio.
The autopsy was done by three PAO forensic experts led by Dr. Erwin Erfe.
In an earlier media interview, Erfe said it appeared that Arnaiz was dragged, beaten up, and handcuffed because his bruises were deep, his eyes were severely distended, and he had many shackle marks in his right hand.
“Malalalim ‘yong gasgas niya, kinaladkad siya, binugbog, magang-maga ang mga mata. Meron din kaming nakitang marka na siya ay pinosasan. Maraming marka ng posas sa kanan,” said Erfe.
Similar to Kian’s case?
Acosta said it appeared that what happened to Arnaiz was similar to the case of 17-year-old Grade 11 student Kian Loyd delos Santos, who was also tortured and murdered in an anti-illegal drug operation in Caloocan on August 16.
“Ang punto ho doon, bakit kailangang bugbugin ‘tong batang ‘to tsaka barilin po ng ganito? Kung ito po suspected…eh de sana pinosasan, dinala sa presinto, kinasuhan, in-inquest. At may PAO naman tayong duty na nag-i-inquest magdamag,” the PAO chief said.
[The point here is why should this young person be beaten up and then shot dead like this? If he was a suspect, he should have been handcuffed, brought to the precinct, charged, and undergone inquest. We have a PAO lawyer assigned overnight to do the inquest.]
“Ang punto ho dito, buhay ‘to eh. Bakit ganito ‘yong pattern? Parang may pagkakahalintulad ito kay Kian. Magkasunod po halos ito…Halos oras lang din ang pagitan kung bibilangin,” she added.
[The point here is this is a life. Why is there such a pattern? It seems that this is similar to what happened to Kian. These incidents happened almost consecutively…These were just hours apart.]
Carl only went out to buy food in Cainta but reached Caloocan and robbed a taxi driver?
According to his parents, Carlito and Eva, Arnaiz went out with 14-year-old Reynaldo de Guzman last August 17 to buy midnight snack near their house in Brgy. San Andres in Cainta. Arnaiz was last seen wearing a red shirt and brown shorts and was carrying a brown sling bag.
Ten days later, Arnaiz was found dead along C-3 Road in Caloocan. His parents found his body at a morgue in Caloocan last August 28.
Acosta, however, said the closed-circuit television camera in the barangay where Arnaiz lived broke down and thus was unable to record what happened when the teenager went out of his house with De Guzman.
“Nagtataka kami. Ito taga Cainta. Bakit ‘yong bangkay n’ya nakuha doon Caloocan, sa may C-3, sa madilim na bahagi po ng daan [We are puzzled. He was from Cainta. Why was his body recovered in Caloocan, along C-3, in the dark portion of the road]?” said Acosta.
“Bakit Caloocan na naman [Why did it happen again in Caloocan]?” she added.
14-year-old companion nowhere to be found
“Kahapon hinahanap din ho namin. Nawawala pa rin ho hanggang ngayon, mula pa noong a disi-otso [We were looking for him yesterday. He remains missing until now, he has been missing since August 18],” said Acosta.
Acosta said Arnaiz’s death certificate stated that the teenager had a gunshot wound in his trunk.
Acosta says police used social media as basis of Arnaiz’s identity
A spot report signed by Caloocan City police chief Senior Superintendent Chito Bersaluna, who was sacked over Delos Santos’ slay, stated that authorities used social media as basis to establish the identity of Arnaiz, according to the PAO chief.
Arnaiz, whose mother is an overseas Filipino worker in Dubai, graduated valedictorian at Tibagan Elementary School in Makati City. He finished his secondary education at the Makati Science High School before studying in UP.
Arnaiz later on dropped out of college and underwent treatment for depression. Like Kian, Carl also sold food items in his sari-sari store.
According to the August 30 spot report, Arnaiz flagged down a taxi in Navotas City at about 3:20 a.m. on August 18. When the cab reached C-3 Road in Caloocan, he allegedly hit the driver, Tomas Bagcal, at the back of the head with a .38-caliber revolver and took the driver’s wallet.
Arnaiz was killed in a shootout with responding policemen, the report said. Authorities said two packs of marijuana were found in the teenager’s pocket and three packs of suspected shabu were found in Arnaiz’s backpack. But according to the teenager’s parents, Carl was just carrying a sling bag when he went out of their house to buy food.
His parents said Arnaiz’s only vice was smoking and he could never do such crime.
Driver’s affidavit did not include taxi operator’s name, cab’s plate number
According to Acosta, Bagcal from Baesa, Caloocan City, did not include in his sworn statement the plate number of the taxi he was driving when he was allegedly robbed by Arnaiz. His affidavit also did not state the operator of the taxi and driver’s license number of Bagcal.
The PAO has already one witness to Arnaiz’s killing, according to Acosta.
She said she would coordinate with Department of Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II and the National Bureau of Investigation for them to extend assistance to the witness and Arnaiz’s family and placed them under the DOJ’s Witness Protection Program.