MANILA— President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday promised that cases would be pursued against policemen implicated in the killing of 19-year-old Carl Angelo Arnaiz.
In his speech during the 60th anniversary celebration of the Social Security System (SSS), Duterte said he was late because he met with the parents of the slain teenager in Malacañang.
“I’m a bit late because the parents of Arnaiz, the latest victim of, I don’t know, who (is) still under investigation. I ordered the Secretary of Justice to take over the investigation of the case,” he said.
The President said that he would only defend security forces if their actions were done in the performance of duty, stressing that he would never allow his troops to kill defenseless persons, including enemies of the state.
“Ang sinabi ko naman (What I said) we will protect soldiers and policemen, no doubt about it, but there should always be the element of the performance of duty and you do not kill defenseless persons,” he said.
“I’m sorry but I will pursue the case against policemen and need be, they will go to jail. Wala ako inutos patayin mo bata o matanda (I did not order that you kill young and old alike) and even the enemies on bended knees. It’s not the norm or rule of democracy. I would never ever condone or allow it,” Duterte said.
Arnaiz left his home in Cainta, Rizal last August 17 and was found dead 10 days later in a funeral parlor in Caloocan City.
Caloocan police reports claimed that he robbed a taxi driver in early hours of August 18 and fired at responding policemen.
Meanwhile, 14-year-old Reynaldo de Guzman, the last person seen with Arnaiz, was found dead with at least 30 stab wounds in Gapan, Nueva Ecija early Tuesday.
Malacañang has earlier guaranteed a thorough and impartial investigation into the killing of Arnaiz.
In a Palace briefing Tuesday, Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella assured that there will be no whitewash and that those who will be found responsible would be made accountable.