Kian and Carl: What the deaths of two boys have in common

Rambo Talabong

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Kian and Carl: What the deaths of two boys have in common
(UPDATED) Kian delos Santos, 17, and Carl Arnaiz, 19 – handcuffed, kneeling – were killed by Caloocan policemen two days apart

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Another boy dies in the hands of Caloocan police.

The case of Carl Angelo Arnaiz has parallelisms with the death of Kian delos Santos, but the chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP), Director General Ronald dela Rosa, insists they are “very different” from each other.

Arnaiz got killed by police supposedly responding to a distress call by a taxi driver; Delos Santos was slain by cops during a drug raid. They both allegedly shot it out with the arresting officers, but autopsy results released by the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) show they were handcuffed, dragged, and shot.

Here’s a detailed look at police, forensic, and witness reports on the two incidents.


Kian delos Santos was a 17-year-old who helped man the family sari-sari store in an impoverished community in Caloocan City. His mother is an overseas Filipino worker (OFW) in Saudi Arabia. His father manned their store with him.

Carl Arnaiz was a 19-year-old who managed his own sari-sari store in a neighborhood in Cainta, Rizal. His mother is an OFW in Dubai, the Middle East. Carl’s father is unemployed.



Delos Santos was killed while Caloocan police were conducting a drug raid in their neighborhood on August 16. Police saw suspicious men during the raid and chased them.

At the end of a path, Delos Santos allegedly shot at the cops, prompting them to retaliate and kill him.

He was killed by PO3 Arnel Oares, supported by PO1 Jerwin Cruz, and PO1 Jeremias Pereda of Caloocan Police Community Precinct 7 (PCP-7).

Arnaiz was killed while Caloocan police were responding to a call from a taxi driver allegedly robbed by the boy on August 18. Cops with the driver searched for him.

When they found Arnaiz, the boy supposedly shot at them, prompting them to retaliate and kill him.

He was killed by PO1 Jefrey Perez and PO1 Ricky Arquilita of Caloocan PCP-2.



Delos Santos went out to buy a late night snack but did not return. His father found him when the police operation was over. The boy was slumped in lot that was used as a garbage dump in their neighborhood.

The father denied his son had a gun, saying the latter couldn’t even hold one. If he did, it would be in his right hand, not his left, where the gun was found. Delos Santos was not a leftie. 

Arnaiz went out to buy a late night snack with his friend in Cainta, but did not return for 10 days. His parents searched until they were pointed to a morgue in Caloocan.

His father doubted the boy would fight back, saying his only vice was smoking.



Delos Santos was murdered, according to the Public Attorney’s Office and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).

Their and the police’s finding: the boy was killed while he was kneeling. The NBI also found that the evidence found at the scene pointing to the boy fighting back was planted.

Arnaiz was killed with excessive violence, according to PAO’s initial report. They found bruises around his eyes and his wrists were swollen from the metal handcuffs. In the autopsy, they saw 4 gunshot wounds to his chest and one to his arm.

They have not filed a case, but PAO chief Persida Acosta has condemned the killing. PAO says it was a case of overkill.



Delos Santos was found dead with two transparent plastic sachets containing crystalline substances believed to be “shabu.” Police also accused his father of using him as a drug runner. His parents denied the cops’ allegations.

Arnaiz was found dead with a backpack containing 3 packs of suspected shabu and marijuana leaves in his pocket. Police have not investigated Carl’s or his kin’s alleged involvement in the drug trade. Nonetheless, his parents already denied their son’s ownership of illegal drugs.



Delos Santos caught national attention after CCTV footage of cops manhandling him before he died went viral. Police later said they were dragging their informant and not the boy.

Their claim that Delos Santos fired at them is refuted by the findings of investigators – that the boy had not fired a gun.

Arnaizhis family pointed out, was unlikely to have gone to Caloocan just to hijack a taxi and start a shootout with police.

They denied that the backpack where suspected drugs were found belonged to their son. They said the boy only had a sling bag on the night he went missing.

Unlike Delos Santos, Arnaiz tested positive for gunpowder nitrates in the PNP Crime Laboratory’s paraffin test.



Delos Santos’ case immediately led to the temporary relief of all policemen involved in his killing, including Caloocan police chief Chito Bersaluna and Northern Police District Director Roberto Fajardo. President Rodrigo Duterte met with Delos Santos’ parents after the boy’s burial, and promised them justice. 

The Senate is conducting its own probe into the case, and will hold the next hearing on Tuesday, September 5.

Arnaiz’s case led to the temporary relief of the policemen involved in his killing. Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II has ordered the NBI to begin a probe into case. Senators are alarmed by the incident, but have not initiated their own investigation. – with reports from Eloisa Lopez/

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Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers the House of Representatives and local governments for Rappler. Prior to this, he covered security and crime. He was named Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs. In 2021, he was selected as a journalism fellow by the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics.