The Philippine National Police Internal Affairs Service (IAS) recommended the dismissal from the police service of 11 Caloocan City cops responsible for killing 19-year-old Carl Angelo Arnaiz and the robbery case of a businesswoman’s house.
The IAS’ investigation found PO1 Ricky Arquilita and PO1 Jeffrey Perez administratively culpable for conduct unbecoming of a police officer and grave misconduct after they “intentionally killed” Arnaiz and have been recommended for dismissal from the service.
“Corroborating physical evidence na tumugma doon sa narration of facts noong witness—yung driver na allegedly hinoldap at nagdala ng biktima—si Carl sa police station and dinala doon sa area kung saan siya natagpuan at siya ay doon namatay the entry of the bullet and the position of the victim, shows that he was intentionally killed,” IAS Insp. Gen. Alfegar Triambulo said.
The IAS also recommended for the demotion of Maypajo police precinct head Chief Inspector Fortunato Ecle to a lower rank by virtue of command responsibility.
In August 2017, both Arquilita and Perez’ consolidated position papers insisted that Arnaiz was killed in a “legitimate police operation.”
“They put to note that aside from the .38 caliber revolver, shabu and marijuana were recovered from the possession of Carl Angelo Arnaiz. They thus posited that their acts are worth emulating and they must be given commendation for their noble acts in the conduct of official police duties,” the IAS resolution read.
PNP-Internal Affairs Service recommends dismissal from service of PO1 Ricky Arquilita & PO1 Jeffrey Perez both involved in the killing of Carl Angelo Arnaiz | via @maan_macapagal pic.twitter.com/YXleohPCif
— ABS-CBN News Channel (@ANCALERTS) November 22, 2017
However, the cops’ statements were contradicted by the consistency in the taxi driver Tomas Bagcal’s testimony as well as the bullet entry on Arnaiz’s body and the crime scene.
“Direct po ang statement. And there is no motive ng witness to falsify or concoct the story regarding nung holdapan, pagdala niya ng biktima sa precinct at yung dinala sa scene of the crime, kasama siya at yung nakita niyang pagbaril ay tumugma doon sa mga entry ng bullet and position ng victim,” Triambulo said.
The IAS, however, was unable to establish whether Arnaiz really robbed Bagcal, as per the taxi driver’s testimony, considering how the teenager had no criminal record.
“Lumalabas na yun ay boluntaryong ginagawa ng mga pulis na yan, unang-una, wala namang record sa kanila ng previous cases, yung tao na magsasabi na siya ay problematic sa kanilang jurisdiction,” Triambulo said.
“Pati record ng DSWD sa kaniyang lugar sa mga police station na nakarating, wala pong other incidents na sila po ay involved sa criminal activities. Maliban doon sa sinasabi ng taxi driver. Ibig sabihin, iyan po ay motive,” he added.
Arnaiz left home on August 17 and was said to robbed a cab the following morning. He was missing for 10 days until his body was found at Caloocan morgue. His companion, 14-year-old Reynaldo de Guzman, was also reportedly found dead on September 6 in a creek in Nueva Ecija.
Triambulo also revealed that the IAS recommended the dismissal of nine other cops who raided businesswoman Gina Erobas’ house in the guise of a drug operation.
CCTV footage from the 51-year-old victim’s house showed the police officers ransacking her house on September 7 with a minor companion after accusing Erobas of hiding shabu.
Erobas said she lost P26,000 in cash and valuables during the raid.
The IAS found them guilty of conduct unbecoming of police officers and grave misconduct.
Triambulo said that Tala police precinct commander Chief Inspector Timothy Aniway Jr. had a 50-day suspension for grave neglect of duty.