MANILA— Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II on Monday ordered the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to conduct a parallel probe on the death of 19-year old University of the Philippines (UP) student Carl Angelo Arnaiz who was killed in an alleged shootout with members of the Caloocan City police last month.
Aguirre issued Department Order No. 576 directing NBI Director Dante Gierran to conduct a probe and case build-up on the death of Arnaiz on August 28.
“I already issued a verbal order last Saturday but the written order was issued today (Monday),’ Aguirre told reporters during the press conference where he presented the parents of Arnaiz.
Also present during the press conference is Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) Chief Atty. Persida Acosta, who is now handling the case of Arnaiz.
Aguirre already talked to the family of Arnaiz along with Acosta on the investigation and possible charges to file against those men involved in the incident.
“Si Carl Angelo, valedictorian nung grumaduate sa elementary, at scholar sa Makati Science HS, The father was born in Maasin, Leyte, while his mother is presently working in the in UAE,” Aguirre said.
According to the police, Arnaiz robbed taxi driver Tomas Bagcal along C3 Road in Caloocan and took the latter’s wallet before fleeing the scene.
The taxi driver, according to the police, sought their assistance but that Arnaiz allegedly fired at the responding policemen, prompting them to retaliate.
Police said the wallet of Bagcal was recovered at the crime scene along with some marijuana.
But the family of Arnaiz belied the allegations and called for an investigation into his death.
Parents Carlito Arnaiz and Eva Arnaiz went to the DOJ along with Acosta to seek assistance for the immediate investigation of their son’s killing.
They recounted that Carl went out with a 14-year-old friend on the night of August 17 to buy food near their residence in Barangay San Andres in Cainta but when he failed to return, they raised the alarm and started looking for him.
Arnaiz’s body was found by his family at Exequiel Funeral Homes in Caloocan 10 days after he had gone missing.
Acosta said they are still gathering more evidence before filing a case against the policemen involved in the operation.
She said initial investigation and forensic analysis contradicted the claim of policemen that Arnaiz was killed in a shootout.
Acosta said forensic analysis conducted by PAO showed that Arnaiz was tortured before he was killed, saying his wrists were swollen while his eyes were bruised.
His wrists, according to Acosta, also bore handcuff marks.
She said they are preparing the filing of murder charges against the two policemen before the DOJ.
For his part, PAO forensics expert Dr. Erwin Erfe said two or three of the shots indicate that the victim was in a kneeling position, the wound on his right arm indicate that the victim tried to block the attacker or the shooter while the other shots were made while the victim was already on the ground.
He said the three gunshot wounds on the chest were grouping shots that targeted the heart and its vessels.
“Anywhere sa gitna (indicating his chest), kapag tinamaan ka, patay,” he explained.
Aside from the gunshot wounds, Erfe said the handcuff mark was very prominent.
“There were also several abrasions on different parts of his body,” Dr. Erfe said which indicated that the victim was dragged.
“He was also dragged because there are several abrasions on different parts of his body,” Dr. Erfe told reporters in an interview.
Arnaiz’ death came after 17-year old Kian Loyd Delos Santos was also killed by members of the Caloocan police in a supposed anti-drug operation last August 16.