Makabayan bloc: Probe killing of Carl Angelo Arnaiz
MANILA, Philippines – The majority-allied Makabayan bloc in the House of Representatives filed a resolution on September 4, Monday, calling for a legislative probe into the death of another teenager at the hands of Caloocan police.
In House Resolution 1279, the Makabayan bloc – composed of different progressive groups – said the killing of the 19-year-old Carl Angelo Arnaiz “bears the marks of an extrajudicial killing.”
He died two days after 17-year-old Kian delos Santos was killed by police during the implementation of a massive drug operation in Caloocan City.
Arnaiz and Delos Santos’ deaths share common details. While Delos Santos was accused of being a drug runner who “fought back (nanlaban)” against cops, Arnaiz supposedly robbed a taxi driver at gunpoint. (READ: In 2 affidavits, cabbie forgets then remembers Carl Arnaiz)
Caloocan police claim they pursued Arnaiz and got into a shootout with the teen, who once studied in the University of the Philippines.
Police claim Arnaiz was later found with packs of shabu in his bag and alleged marijuana leaves in his pocket.
But his family and forensic exams tell a different story.
The Public Attorney’s Office (PAO), after conducting an autopsy on Arnaiz, found that he was handcuffed and beaten up before he was killed. Trajectory studies indicate he was shot while he was kneeling and later, laying down on the floor.
The PAO also said there were no indications that the 17-year-old fired a gun, contrary to the police’s claims.
Both Delos Santos and Arnaiz were children of Filipinos working blue collar jobs abroad. (READ: Kian and Carl: Parallelism in the deaths of two boys)
“It appears that Carl Angelo Diaz is another victim of the so-called ‘war on drugs’ of the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte which is being waged in total disregard of due process and rule of law and has already claimed thousands of lives,” reads the Makabayan resolution.
It was filed by ACT Teachers Representatives Antonio Tinio and France Castro, Bayan Muna Representative Carlos Zarate, Gabriela Women’s Party Representatives Emmi de Jesus and Arlene Brosas, Anakpawis Representative Ariel Casilao, and Kabataan Representative Sarah Jane Elago.
The same bloc had earlier filed a resolution urging the House to probe Delos Santos’ death.
As early as 2016, it also filed a resolution calling for a probe into the apparent spike of deaths linked to the war on drugs. The 2016 resolution has been pending in the committee on rules for over a year.
The war on drugs is among Duterte’s main campaign promises during the 2016 elections. It has been both popular and widely-criticized, particularly because of its high death toll.
Philippine police, which has to take on the bulk of drug war work, has been repeatedly criticized for supposedly breaking the law in the name of the anti-illegal drugs campaign.
The Makabayan bloc is part of the majority in the House, which is dominated by Duterte’s party mates and allies.
While resolutions calling for a legislative probe have gone unnoticed in the House, the Senate had already launched several probes into both summary killings and kills by police in the drug war. It is also conducting a legislative probe into Delos Santos’ death. – Rappler.com