2 affidavits on Carl Arnaiz? Cop says cabbie ‘afraid’ the first time

Rambo Talabong

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2 affidavits on Carl Arnaiz? Cop says cabbie ‘afraid’ the first time
PO2 Rodolfo Bautista says the taxi driver, Tomas Bagcal, was too afraid to speak to him in detail during his first testimony

MANILA, Philippines – Did the taxi driver who was allegedly robbed by Carl Arnaiz initially forget the details when he first talked to police? The investigator handling the case believes so.

Speaking to senators probing the death of the 19-year-old boy on Tuesday, September 5, PO2 Rodolfo Bautista said the taxi driver, Tomas Bagcal, was too “afraid” to speak to him in detail the first time they talked.

“Natatakot po siya noong unang [affidavit], kasi 7 o’clock na siyang nakuhanan ng statement. Tatlong oras nakapagpahinga pero ‘yung takot nando’n pa rin sa kanya,” Bautista said, responding to Senator Grace Poe, who asked him about Bagcal’s state of mind at the time.

(He was afraid the first time, we were only able to get his statement at 7 o’clock. He had rested for 3 hours already but he was still fearful.)

Bagcal spoke to Bautista first on August 18, right after he was allegedly robbed. Then the two spoke again on August 28, when Arnaiz’s parents from Cainta, Rizal found him in a morgue in Caloocan City.

In his first sworn statement, the cab driver could not give details of Arnaiz’s appearance. But in the second affidavit, he provided complete details of what the boy was wearing, raising concerns on his credibility. (READ: In 2 affidavits, cabbie forgets then remembers Carl Arnaiz)

Poe also asked Bautista why he was unable to get the plate number of Bagcal’s vehicle, to which Bautista admitted he made a mistake.

“May fault po talaga ako doon, may kakulangan po. Sorry po do’n. Kasi during that time, ang focus ay nangyaring holdupan at shooting encounter,” the investigator said. (That’s my fault, failure on my part. I am sorry for that. Because during that time, we were focusing on the robbery and shooting encounter.)

Poe did not buy this explanation, pointing out that Bagcal was the lone victim of the alleged robbery, so complete details should have been gathered on the first try.

Nevertheless, she welcomed Bautista’s admission of his shortcoming.

Arnaiz’s case was tackled as the Senate looked into the death of another teenager, Kian delos Santos, also at the hands of Caloocan City police. (READ: Kian and Carl: What the deaths of two boys have in common– Rappler.com


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Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers the House of Representatives and local governments for Rappler. Prior to this, he covered security and crime. He was named Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs. In 2021, he was selected as a journalism fellow by the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics.