In 2 affidavits, cabbie forgets then remembers Carl Arnaiz

MANILA, Philippines – The taxi driver supposedly robbed by 19-year-old Carl Arnaiz last August 18 was asked to testify twice by Caloocan City police.

But his two affidavits had glaring contradictions.

A tweet by the Inquirer showed that the driver was asked to testify on two different dates: first on the night Arnaiz was killed on August 18, and second on August 29, a day after Arnaiz's family found his corpse in a morgue.

In the first testimony, the driver claimed that he did not remember anything about the appearance of his hijacker. But in the second testimony, the driver said his hijacker wore a black sweatshirt with a hood, black hat, and "blue maong (denim) short pants," and carried a bag.

It matched what Arnaiz wore when he was killed. (READ: Carl Arnaiz handcuffed, beaten up, killed – PAO autopsy)

In the police report acquired by Rappler dated August 18, Arnaiz was described as wearing a blue shirt with a black hood, denim pants, and a baseball cap. Police also said he was carrying a backpack containing suspected shabu.

Forgetting, then remembering

According to National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) Director Oscar Albayalde, adding new statements is "regular."

"Puwede kung meron siyang gustong idagdag, kung binago niya, merong konting dinagdag siya, puwede iyan, parang sa korte puwedeng idagdag," Albayalde told Rappler in a phone interview. (Witnesses can add statements, just like in the courts.)

What Albayalde found irregular, however, was that the cabbie forgot Arnaiz at first, and then issued a second testimony where his description of the teenager completely matched the one in the police report.

"Puwede bang malimutan ang sinasabi niya, nahold-up siya?" Albayalde said. (Can it be that he forgot right after he was robbed?)

"Kung gano'n, kailangang iimbestiga rin 'yung taxi driver kung talagang ano, puwede bang wala siyang natandaan. Mangyari ba naman hindi mo naman puwedeng makalimutan agad-agad," Albayalde added. (If so, the taxi driver also needs to be investigated. It's impossible that he forgot immediately after the incident.) – Rappler.com

Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers security, crime, and the city of Manila for Rappler. He was chosen as a Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs.

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