PNP leaves Carl Arnaiz, Reynaldo de Guzman probe up to NBI

MANILA, Philippines – Following the order of President Rodrigo Duterte, the Philippine National Police (PNP) announced on Thursday, September 7, that it will no longer probe the cases of slain teenagers Carl Arnaiz and Reynaldo de Guzman. Instead, police will back "whatever result" the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) will find.

"The PNP will be supporting the conduct of [the] investigation by the NBI, as ordered by the President. This is in a way para maalis 'yung agam-agam o sasabihin proprotektahan, iwa-whitewash (so that we can get rid of doubts or suspicions that cops will be protected and that we will whitewash the investigation)," PNP spokesperson Chief Superintendent Dionardo Carlos said in a press briefing.

Carlos was referring to Duterte ordering the NBI to "take over" the investigation of Arnaiz's case, as the President promised a "fair and impartial" probe.

The PNP usually dispatches its local investigation units to look into a crime, or when the case is of national interest, its Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG). (READ: CIDG ordered to probe Kian delos Santos slay)

Instead, according to Carlos, police will form a Special Investigation Task Group (SITG), still led by the CIDG, and composed of other PNP National Support Units (NSUs) to assist the NBI in its investigation.

They will not have a say in recommending charges, Carlos said. They will only help the NBI gather evidence.

The slain boys, Arnaiz and De Guzman, were last seen together on the evening of August 17 in Cainta, Rizal, before they went missing.

Arnaiz allegedly robbed a taxi driver along C3 Road in Navotas early on August 18, then was killed in a supposed shootout with Caloocan City police.

With discrepancies and doubts surrounding the circumstances of Arnaiz's death, his case sparked outrage as well, similar to the case of 17-year-old Kian delos Santos, another boy killed by Caloocan City cops. (READ: Kian and Carl: What the deaths of two boys have in common)

De Guzman, on the other hand, was found dead just last Tuesday, September 5, with around 30 stab wounds, and his head wrapped with packing tape. His body was floating in a creek in Gapan, Nueva Ecija. No piece of evidence has pointed to police involvement in his case.

Carlos said they welcome the NBI's role. "Mas tama nga po 'yun eh (That is better), that another law enforcement agency will conduct the investigation kapag involved naman po 'yung ating miyembro (if members of the PNP are implicated)." – 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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