By JEFFREY G. DAMICOG
Taxi driver Tomas Bagcal remained firm in his stand that slain youths Carl Angelo Arnaiz and Reynaldo “Kulot” de Guzman tried to rob him last August 18.
“I am standing firm with this statement because this was really the truth of what happened to me,” read his rejoinder-affidavit submitted before the Department of Justice (DoJ) yesterday.
The DoJ is currently conducting a preliminary investigation over the criminal complaints filed by the parents of the two youths against Bagcal and two policemen–PO1 Jeffrey Perez and PO1 Ricky Arquilita–over their involvement in the deaths.
Meanwhile, the DoJ panel of prosecutors handling the case is set to conduct another hearing on November 7.
In his rejoinder-affidavit, Bagcal reiterated he was forced by police to sign the August 18 and August 19 false sworn affidavits which stated Carl had fired at arresting policemen.
“I am vehemently disowning said police-made 2 Salaysay. They just required me to sign the same under threat and intimidation,” he said.
Now that he is secured and safe in the custody of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), Bagcal said he was able to issue another sworn statement which he submitted during the Senate inquiry on the deaths of the two youths.
The taxi driver said the 12-page sworn statement detailed “how Karl was executed and the disappearance and eventual death of Kulot.”
“The only reason that I could think of as to why do complainants do not believe the allegations contained in my sworn statement is my assertion that Karl and Kulot were involved in robbing (hold-up) me and I was able to subdue them (with the help of a tricycle driver and tanod) and later turned them over to the Caloocan police,” Bagcal said.
Arnaiz, a University of the Philippines (UP) student, and de Guzman, 14, were last seen alive together on August 18 in their neighborhood in Cainta, Rizal.
Caloocan City policemen claimed Arnaiz died last August 18 when he resisted arrest and fired his handgun at chasing cops following the taxi robbery.
De Guzman was found dead in a creek in Gapan City, Nueva Ecija on September 5 with his head wrapped with packing tape and his body riddled with around 30 stab wounds.