Mother of slain teen claims Arnaiz planned robbery

CARL Angelo Arnaiz had planned the robbery on August 18 that resulted in his death after an alleged shootout with police officers in Caloocan City, the mother of his 14-year-old companion said Thursday.

Arnaiz allegedly held up a taxi driver before he was killed by Caloocan policemen. His companion, Reynaldo "Kulot" De Guzman, 14, was also found dead in Gapan, Nueva Ecija, last September 5.

Lina Gabriel, the mother of De Guzman, said that a day after her son and Arnaiz went missing, his friend she identified as "MJ" said the two teenagers had planned to carry out a robbery.

"May nagsabi po sa akin 'yung kaibigan niya...Si ano po, si MJ. Tanong po niya sa akin, kung umuwi daw po si Kulot kagabi. Sabi ko hindi, ang sabi sa akin nung umaga, mangho-hold up daw sila eh (His friend, MJ, asked me if Kulot went home last night, and I told her no. She told me they will carry out a robbery)," Gabriel said.

She said the plan was five of them, led by Arnaiz, will perform the robbery but the three went home because they got scared.

"Itong anak kong 'to, hindi naman 'yun sasama kung hindi nila binigkas na sila ay mangho-hold up eh," she added.

De Guzman and Arnaiz, according to MJ, rode a tricycle going to Taytay, Rizal, where they planned to stage the robbery. But according to police reports, the alleged hold-up actually took place in Caloocan City.

Gabriel maintained that Arnaiz and De Guzman were not friends and do not even know each other.

She also denied her son's involvement in any illegal activities, including illegal drugs.

De Guzman was found on Tuesday in a creek in Gapan, Nueva Ecija, with 30 stab wounds and his face covered with packaging tape.

On Thursday, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II said he has offered to put the parents of De Guzman under the Department of Justice's Witness Protection Program (WPP).

Aguirre said he received information that the parents of De Guzman fear for their safety following their son's death.  

The DOJ earlier placed under the provisional coverage of the WPP the parents of Arnaiz. (SunStar Philippines)
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