POLICE officers involved in the slaying of teenagers in Caloocan City will be held accountable if results of the investigation will prove that they commit wrongdoing, President Rodrigo Duterte assured Wednesday.
At the 60th founding anniversary of Social Security System (SSS) in Quezon City, Duterte reiterated that he does not give directives to authorities to exercise killing of "defenseless" individuals.
"I really said we will protect the soldiers and policemen. No doubt [about that] but always, there has to be the element of the performance of duty and you do not kill defenseless persons," Duterte said.
"I'm sorry but I will pursue the case against the police and [if] need be, they will go to jail. I did not order to kill a child or an adult, and even the enemy on bended knees. That's not the norm or the rule of democracy," he added.
Carl Angelo Arnaiz, a 19-year-old former University of the Philippines student, went missing for 10 days before his body was found at Exequiel Funeral Homes in Caloocan City on August 28.
Arnaiz's parents, Carlito and Eva, said their son and his companion, Reynaldo De Guzman, 14, on August 17 to buy midnight snacks near their house in Cainta, Rizal but he never returned home.
On August 18, Arnaiz's body was recovered along with a dark portion of C-3 Road in Caloocan City.
The police report claimed Arnaiz was gunned down after he resisted arrest when he purportedly attempted to rob cab driver Tomas Bagcas.
Authorities said two packs of marijuana were found in the teenager's pocket and three packs of shabu were recovered in his backpack but his parents denied the allegations against him.
Arnaiz sustained four gunshot wounds on his chest and one in his right arm.
Public Attorney's Office autopsy report showed there were indications that Arnaiz were tortured before being shot.
The President confirmed that he met Arnaiz's parents before heading to the anniversary celebration of SSS.
He said he already tasked the Department of Justice (DOJ) to conduct an investigation on Arnaiz's slay.
"I'm a bit late because [I met] the parents of Arnaiz, the latest victim of I don't know who is still under investigation. But I ordered the Secretary of Justice to take over the investigation of the case," he said.
De Guzman, Arnaiz's companion that night, was found dead Tuesday, September 5, in Gapan, Nueva Ecija. Thirty stab wounds were found on his body, which was recovered in a creek.
Before Arnaiz and De Guzman, 17-year-old Kian Delos Santos was also shot dead by Caloocan cops after being linked to illegal drugs. (SunStar Philippines)