By JEFFREY G. DAMICOG
The Department of Justice (DoJ) started yesterday its preliminary investigation on the deaths of youths Carl Angelo Arnaiz and Reynaldo “Kulot” de Guzman.
During the hearing, the DoJ panel of prosecutors chaired by Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Emilio Victorio gave the respondents in the case until October 19 to file their respective counter-affidavits on the accusations against them.
Respondens in the case are taxi driver Tomas Bagcal and Caloocan City policemen PO1 Jeffrey Perez and PO1 Ricky Arquilita.
They are accused of double murder under Article 248 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC), while, the two policemen are also charged for violating the Anti-Torture Law.
Last September 14, the parents of Carl and Kulot filed the criminal complaints before the DoJ with the assistance of their legal counsel from the Public Attorneys’ Office (PAO).
DoJ prosecutors gave the complainants the opportunity to file on October 23 their reply to the counter-affidavits of the respondents.
If they wanted to, the respondents can still file rejoinders on October 26 to answer the filed replies of the complainants.
After which, the preliminary investigation is considered submitted for resolution.
Carl, a 19-year-old University of the Philippines (UP) student, and Kulot, 14, were last seen alive together on August 18 in their neighborhood in Cainta, Rizal.
Caloocan City police claimed Arnaiz died during a shootout last August 18 when he resisted arrest and fired his handgun at chasing cops following the taxi robbery committed against Bagcal.
Almost three weeks later, Kulot was found dead in a creek in Gapan City, Nueva Ecija on September 5 with his head wrapped with packing tape and his body bearing almost 30 stab wounds.
Bacgal, who is in the custody the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), confirmed that Arnaiz robbed last August 18 along C3 Road but he managed to defend himself and catch the youth.
The driver said he brought Arnaiz to the police station alive.
However, Bacgal said the policemen brought him and Arnaiz to C3 Road.
The later heard gunshots and learned Arnaiz was already dead.