IAS recommends dismissal of cops in Arnaiz slay case

THE Philippine National Police (PNP) Internal Affairs Service (IAS) has recommended the dismissal of two Caloocan City policemen involved in the killing of 19-year-old Carl Angelo Arnaiz as well as the demotion of their immediate superior.

IAS inspector general Alfegar Triambulo said their recommendation has been submitted to PNP chief Ronald dela Rosa.

Facing dismissal are Police Officer 1 Jeffrey Perez and Police Officer 1 Ricky Arquilita. Their superior, Chief Inspector Fortunato Ecle Jr., faces demotion.

Perez and Arquilita, both members of the Caloocan City Police Community Precinct 2, were administratively charged with grave misconduct and conduct unbecoming of a police officer over the killing of Arnaiz on August 18 while Ecle, their commander, was charged with grave neglect of duty and less grave neglect of duty under the principle of command responsibility.

Triambulo said they found the policemen culpable of the charges filed against them.

Arnaiz was killed by Caloocan policemen who responded to a complaint by taxi driver Tomas Bagcal, who said the teen tried to rob him. Bagcal later said he brought and endorsed Arnaiz alive to the police. Witnesses saw Arnaiz shot by police officers along C-3 road, Caloocan City.

The policemen, however, have denied Begcal’s claim saying that he came to the police station and reported that he was held up along C-3 road.

After receiving the report, the police said they conducted a follow up operation in the said area and chanced upon the suspect, who allegedly fired at them prompting them to fire back and kill him.

Illegal drugs and a calibre .38 were allegedly recovered from Arnaiz.

Triambulo said they found Bagcal’s statement more believable than that of the policemen. He noted that they have not found a motive for Bagcal to hide the truth behind the incident.

He said the evidences they have gathered, including the medico-legal and autopsy report from the Public Attorney’s Office, also matched Bagcal’s statement.

Triambulo further noted that the evidences pointed that Arnaiz was intentionally killed as claimed by Bagcal.

The killing of Arnaiz and 17-year-old Kian delos Santos, in a separate operation, in Caloocan City have sparked protests nationwide and the resumption of the Senate investigation into extrajudicial killings in relation to the government’s war on drugs.

It was also one of the reasons that National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) director Oscar Albayalde ordered the relief of the entire Caloocan City Police Station.

Aside from Perez and Arquilita, also facing dismissal are the 15 Caloocan police who took part in a raid on the home of Gina Erobas without a search warrant. (SunStar Philippines)
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