Several senators criticized the police’s operations and the Duterte Administration in relation to Reynaldo De Guzman, the 14-year-old found floating dead on Kinamatayang Kabayo creek in Gapan, Nueva Ecija on September 5.
The boy’s head was wrapped in plastic, packaging tape, and a T-shirt as he had 30 stabbed wounds.
The senators on separate statements called this case inhumane, calling on President Rodrigo Duterte to put an end to these killings.
Senator Nancy Binay said that this cannot be considered as an ‘isolated case,’ in relation to the consecutive killings of minors. She furthered that there is a strong indication that what happened to Carl Angelo Arnaiz, is connected with what happened to the 14-year-old.
“Killing an innocent child is already a ruthless display of cold-blooded butchery. Thirty stabs is savagery,” she said.
She urged the Philippine National Police (PNP) and all law enforcement agencies to dig deeper into the bottom of these killings. “Huwag na po nating ilihis pa sa ibang isyu ang kaso para lang matabunan ang katotohanan (Let us not divert from the real issue just to cover up the truth),” the Senator said.
Senator Grace Poe insisted to use all forces of the country’s justice system for this brutality, “Huwag naman sanang paikutin ang ulo natin na holdaper rin ang batang ito gaya ng pinalulutang na kuwento tungkol sa kanyang kasama si (Please, let us not use the story that this boy is a robber too like what they did with his companion) Carl Angelo Arnaiz,” she said
On the other hand, Senator Joel Villanueva pointed that the government should rethink its strategy in addressing the country’s drug problem.
“We have established in the senate hearings that there are gaps in the protocols of how our police operates, in terms of coming up with suspects, how they identify areas where they will operate, their protocols when seniors and minors are around. The PNP should take these findings seriously. Otherwise, they should just terminate their operations and rethink the approach in addressing our drug problem,” he said.
Villanueva furthered that the strategy on controlling the drug problem has actually become out of control, and criminal groups may be abusing this campaign by disguising their killings as related to drugs.
In another statement, Senator Bam Aquino supported this saying, “We call on the PNP and the DOJ (Department of Justice) to ensure these murderers are caught, tried and imprisoned. We call on the administration to suspend Oplan Double Barrel and rethink this bloody drug war.”
JV Ejercito joined the senators by saying “Three consecutive killings of minors in a few weeks time and obviously through execution-style is enough!”
Ejercito said that winning this war on drugs is impossible if there are more ‘bodies piling up’ rather than the lives being changed.
Senator Francis Pangilinan called on the PNP Chief General Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa to take responsibility and make sure that De Guzman’s killers are punished through justice.
Pangilinan furthered that the PNP should fulfill their responsibility of serving and protecting, and supported the end on Oplan Double Barrel. “Umaksyon naman kayo. Hindi solusyon ang araw-araw na patayan sa iligal na droga (Act now. Killing for illegal drugs is not the solution),” he said.
“Tanging pag-anunsyo lamang ng Pangulo na itigil ang war on drugs ang siyang makatitigil sa patayan ng mga inosente at sa pang-aabuso at pagiging mamamatay tao ng mga tiwaling PNP (Only the President’s announcement to stop this war on drugs can stop the killing and abuse of the innocent, and the killing-intent of rogue-PNP),” the Senator said.
Senator Risa Hontiveros tells the extra judicial killing (EJK) supporters that ‘this is the result of their policy.’ “Under President Duterte’s bloody war on drugs, there is a pattern of killing young and poor people, particularly innocent minors,” she said.
De Guzman was last seen with Arnaiz on August 17. His parents reported him missing, and confirmed that the body found in Nueva Ecija was his.
Arnaiz’s body was found 10 days after he and De Guzman went missing, in a morgue in Caloocan City. He was killed for allegedly fighting back to the police after robbing a taxi driver.
DOJ Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre ordered the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to investigate Arnaiz’s and De Guzman’s case, on Wednesday.