Aguirre orders probe into teen's death in Caloocan police 'shootout'

MANILA, Philippines – Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II has ordered a parallel investigation into the death of 19-year-old Carl Arnaiz who reportedly died during a shootout with Caloocan police on August 18, Monday.

Aguirre confirmed in a text message that he has asked the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to launch the probe.

Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa said on Monday that Arnaiz fired at Caloocan police when they tried to apprehend him for earlier robbing a taxi driver.

According to Dela Rosa, the cab driver immediately reported the hold-up incident to the police, after which he was escorted to the crime scene.

Dela Rosa said the complainant and the police found Arnaiz in the same area. This was when the cops tried to apprehend the teenager.

"Nag-responde at nakipag barilan ang suspect kaya namatay. 'Nung namatay na, wala nakapag-identify 'nung namatay kaya... August 18 'yun nangyari.. eh hanggang sa naghanap ang parents pumunta sa Caloocan police station at sinabihan ang officer on case na may namatay doon at bata pa, nandun sa morgue pinunthan ng parents at in-identify nila," Dela Rosa said.

(The police responded but the suspect shot it out with them that's why he died. When he died, nobody couild identify him, that was on August 18. Then his parents looked for him at the Caloocan police station and they were told by the officer-on-case that a teenager died, and his body is at the morgue. The parents went there and identified him.)

Another Kian?

Arnaiz was found dead in the morgue by his parents on August 28 or 10 days after he was killed in the shootout, according to a report by the Inquirer.

Arnaiz' father Carlito said he doubts the police report that his son had shot it out with them. Carlito also denied the police report that 3 sachets of suspected shabu and 2 packets of marijiana were found on Carl.

Carlito said his son's only vice was smoking. The teen Arnaiz left their house evening of August 17 and said he was going to buy food with a friend, said the same Inquirer report.

Dela Rosa said the Caloocan police should produce the cab driver as their witness amid criticisms that Arnaiz's case may have been similar with the death of Kian delos Santos. 

Murder, torture and planting of evidence complaints have been filed before the Department of Justice (DOJ) against the Caloocan policemen who shot Delos Santos during a drug raid on August 16. – With Rambo Talabong/Rappler.com

Lian Buan

Lian Buan covers justice and corruption for Rappler. She is interested in decisions, pleadings, audits, contracts, and other documents that establish a trail. If you have leads, email lian.buan@rappler.com or tweet @lianbuan.

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