Parents of Reynaldo de Guzman get state protection

MANILA, Philippines – The parents of slain teenager Reynaldo de Guzman have been admitted into the government's Witness Protection Program, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II said on Friday, September 15.

"This morning, the parents of Reynaldo 'Kulot' de Guzman, Eduardo Gabriel, and Lina de Guzman-Dimaganti, visited my office and they voluntarily and freely signified their intention to be placed under our government's Witness Protection Program or WPP," Aguirre said in a statement.

The two were then provisionally admitted into the WPP on Friday afternoon, after Aguirre ordered Justice Undersecretary Raymund Mecate to process the admission.

Aguirre said he assured De Guzman's parents that they can trust the WPP – the same assurance he gave the parents of Kian delos Santos and Carl Arnaiz, two teenagers whose deaths sparked public outrage against the Duterte administration's ongoing war on drugs.

"I told the parents of Kulot that they can trust the government's Witness Protection Program or WPP. After all, WPP is the only entity empowered under Philippine laws to secure witnesses to a crime and to take care of them," Aguirre said.

De Guzman, 14, was last seen with Arnaiz when the two went missing on the evening of August 17. De Guzman's lifeless body was found floating in a creek in Gapan City, Nueva Ecija, on Tuesday, September 5. He had 30 stab wounds, and his head was wrapped with packing tape.

The Philippine National Police, however, said the DNA of the body did not match the DNA of Lina and Eduardo Gabriel. Despite this, the two decided to push through with the funeral, believing it was the body of their son. (READ: If investigators call for it, 'Kulot' will be exhumed – PNP)

The families of De Guzman and Arnaiz had filed a double murder complaint against two Caloocan policemen and a taxi driver implicated in the boys' killings. –


Jee Y. Geronimo

Jee is part of Rappler's Central Desk, handling most of the world, science, and environment stories on the site. She enjoys listening to podcasts and K-pop, watching Asian dramas, and running long distances. She hopes to visit Israel someday to retrace the steps of her Savior.