MANILA, Philippines – Teenager Carl Arnaiz had a “difficult” time fighting back Caloocan police, an autopsy on the 19-year-old showed.
Police Chief Inspector Jocelyn Cruz of the Northern Police Crime Lab bared the results of the autopsy on Arnaiz at a Senate hearing on the death of another teenager, Kian delos Santos, on Tuesday, September 5.
Cruz said she conducted the autopsy on August 28, or 10 days after police killed Arnaiz in a supposed shootout, after a taxi driver sought help from police and identified him as the one who robbed him. (READ: In 2 affidavits, cabbie forgets then remembers Carl Arnaiz)
Cruz testified at the Senate hearing that the teenager could not have fought police that easily.
“Based on the body of the victim, there were multiple gunshots. It means the victim wasn’t able to fight back that easily. That’s my personal analysis,” the police officer said.
“Based on his physique – he was tall – there’s a possibility to fight back but he had difficulty in fighting back,” she added.
Senator Paolo Benigno Aquino IV later clarified if Cruz’s statement is her “personal or professional” analysis – to which Cruz said, “Professional opinion, Your Honor.”
Cruz cited the trajectory of the shots, indicating that the shooter was in a standing position while Arnaiz was lying on the floor.
“Almost all of the wounds were going upwards, which would indicate that possibly the assailant was in standing position and the victim or Carl is in a lower position compared to the assailant,” Cruz said.
“[He could be] in a lying position, with his back on the ground and face upwards,” Cruz said.
Poe remarked, “May mga overkill dito (There's overkill here).”
Cruz said she found a swelling on Arnaiz’s right eye, a bruise on his eyelid, two bruises on his wrist, and multiple abrasions in the middle chest and at the lower back.
Cruz also found 5 gunshot wounds – in the right side of the chest, in the lower part of the chest, in the middle part of the chest, in the left part of the chest, and in the abdominal region.
Public Attorney Office’s forensic head Erwin Erfe conducted a separate autopsy and also found 5 gunshot wounds – 3 in the middle of the chest, one in the left side of the chest, and one in the back of the upper arm.
Erfe also said Arnaiz had “marks of handcuffs” and “swollen eyes.” Both said the teenager could have been dragged.
“There is an extensive abrasion. He may have been dragged,” Erfe said.
Cruz said: “Abrasion could have been caused by friction to a rough surface. It’s possible [he was dragged]. The abrasions were irregularly shaped, paguhit-guhit po (they formed lines)."
The PNP Crime Laboratory also said in the hearing that Arnaiz tested positive for gunpowder nitrates.
Senior Superintendent Ligaya Sim of the PNP Crime Laboratory said Arnaiz used a .38 revolver with no serial number.
Senate public order committee chair Panfilo Lacson said the taxi driver would be invited to the next hearing, following his two contradicting affidavits. – Rappler.com
Camille Elemia is Rappler's lead reporter for media, disinformation, and democracy. She won an ILO award in 2017. She received the prestigious Fulbright-Hubert Humphrey fellowship in 2019, allowing her to further study media and politics in the US. Email firstname.lastname@example.org