Tomas Bagcal, the taxi driver who claimed to have been held up by Carl Angelo Arnaiz, revealed a new twist to his tale, disclosing to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) that the boy, Reynaldo “Kulot” de Guzman, was with Arnaiz in his taxi cab during the incident.
Both Arnaiz and De Guzman died, but separately, it seemed. The former, allegedly in a shootout with pursuing lawmen along C3 Road in Caloocan City, while the latter was found dead from multiple stab wounds floating on a creek in Gapan, Nueva Ecija.
Chief Public Attorney Persida Rueda-Acosta has said Bagcal previously issued two infirm statements about Arnaiz’s killing, rendering his credibility questionable.
Bagcal, who had initially sought protective custody with the Rise Up group of church laymen and human rights advocates, was just recently handed over to the NBI upon his volition.
It was to the NBI that he revealed Kulot de Guzman was in the company of Arnaiz, riding in the passenger seat and apparently falling asleep during the ride on the night of the incident. This third account clashes with his previous sworn testimony that Arnaiz was acting alone.
Bagcal was joined by NBI agents in a retracing of the route that he and Arnaiz took from the point where he said he was hailed in Pasig City, and he related that Kulot was Arnaiz’s co-passenger.
It was when they reached 5th Avenue in Caloocan City that Arnaiz declared the hold-up, Bagcal recounted.
“Hold up ito (This is a stickup),” he quoted Arnaiz as saying, and then felt a sharp object, apparently a knife, pointed at his neck.
“The taxi had them two as my passengers,” Bagcal continued. It was during the scuffle between him and Arnaiz that Kulot awakened and bawled.
Bagcal then claimed the two managed to get off but were overpowered by a nearby crowd of tricycle drivers, who helped direct Bagcal to the police station on 9th Avenue.
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