Caloocan cops relieved as police investigates death of ex-UP student

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Updated with the Public Attorney's Office forensic findings

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 4) — Authorities are looking into the death of a 19-year-old former University of the Philippines student  who allegedly robbed a taxi driver, Philippine National Police Chief Director General Ronald Dela Rosa said on Monday.

He added Metro Manila police chief Oscar Albayalde relieved the police officers linked to the death of Carl Angelo Arnaiz in Caloocan City.

"Nag-start na ang investigation. In fact, kahapon pa, ni-relieve na ni Gen. Albayalde yung mga involved na yun at para maka-conduct ka ng investigation," he said during a press briefing.

[Translation: The investigation has started. In fact, Gen. Albayalde relieved those involved yesterday so the police can conduct an investigation.]

In an interview with CNN Philippines, Albayalde extended his condolences to the family, and maintained that these cases are "isolated."

Albayalde also said they have started an additional one-and-a-half months training for police officers, including human rights orientations.


Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II on Monday ordered the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to build a case over the death of Arnaiz. He added NBI can file charges against those found to be involved in Arnaiz's death.

Dela Rosa told the media how Arnaiz, a former University of the Philippines Diliman student who dropped out during his freshman year, was killed on August 18 in a shootout with police.

He said the police officers from Caloocan City responded to a report of a taxi driver who was held up. The driver identified Arnaiz, a resident of Cainta, Rizal, as the suspect.

Dela Rosa said Arnaiz fought with policemen, prompting the police to retaliate. 

"Na-pinpoint ng taxi driver 'yung suspect, so nandoon 'yung mga pulis at rumesponde. Nakipagbarilan itong suspect kaya namatay," he said.

[Translation:The taxi driver identified the suspect. So the police responded. The suspect fired his gun that's why he died.]

Dela Rosa defended his men against accusations of questionable police operations.

"I just would like to caution everyone to please not to be so quick on condemning our policemen," he said. "Dahil ibang-iba po 'yung kaso na 'yan. That is a case of police response," he added.

[Translation: The case or Arnaiz is different (from Kian). Arnaiz's is a case of police response.]

The report on Arnaiz's death comes less than a month after the killing of alleged drug runner 17-year-old Kian Delos Santos in Caloocan City on August 16. Delos Santos' death in  a "one-time, big-time" anti-illegal drug operation led by Caloocan police has sparked outrage and investigations by senate and law enforcement agencies, and the filing of murder charges against four police officers.

Related: 17-year-old student gunned down by cops in anti-drug operations

PAO: Carl was "intentionally killed"

Public Attorney's Office (PAO) Chief Persida Acosta on Monday said the Arnaiz family did not believe the police report, which was why they sought the help of PAO. She said the affidavit of the taxi driver was signed by relieved Caloocan City Police chief Senior Supt. Chito Bersaluna. PAO is also the legal counsel of the Delos Santos family.

The forensic analysis conducted by PAO on Sunday showed Arnaiz sustained a total of five gunshots: three to the chest, one on the left side of his body, and another one on the back of his arm.

PAO Forensics Lab Director Dr. Erwin Erfe said Arnaiz was handcuffed and tortured before he was killed.

"Binugbog siya, namamaga-maga, may black eye, may galos, at markings ng posas. May posas, binugbog, at pinatay... Kinaladkad. Mukhang malayo yung pinagkaladkad dahil malalim ang abrasions tsaka several parts of the body ang abrasions," he said.

[Translation: He was beaten up. He was bloated. He had a black eye, he had wounds, and markings of handcuffs. There was a handcuff, he was beaten up, and killed. It seems he was dragged pretty far because the abrasions were deep.]

Contrary to the claim of the police Arnaiz fired at them, Erfe said the 19-year-old tested negative for gunpowder.

He added Arnaiz was kneeling down when he was shot.

"Initially, mukhang nakaluhod kasi merong dalawa or three shots doon na medyo malaki ang angulation pababa. Malaki ang angulation kaysa doon sa very acute. Mukhang nakahiga na siya later noong binabaril siya," he said.

[Translation: Initially, it looks like he was kneeling since there are two or three shots which were angled downwards. The angulation is larger compared to the ones which are very acute. It looks like he was already lying down when he was being shot.]

Dr. Erfe said there was intention in the killing of Arnaiz.

"Makikita mo doon sa placing ng shots, intention talaga ng shooter na patayin siya dahil kita ang pag-place ng shot sa vital organs of the body. Kapag tinamaan yun, you will not survive," he said.

[Translation: It is obvious with the placing of the shots that the shooter intended to kill him since he was shot in his vital organs. If those are the target, you will not survive.]

Acosta noted the similarities between the cases of Arnaiz and Kian.

"Nakita ko parang may common denominator itong Kian at Carl. Bakit parehong sa Caloocan? Parehong proseso ang ginawa ng kapulisan. Hindi ko nilalahat, pero may iilan na parang naliligaw ng landas, na dapat masupil," she said.

[Translation: I can see there's a common denominator with the cases of Kian and Carl. Why did both happen in Caloocan? The police did the same process. I am not generalizing, but there are some who seem to be taking the wrong path that  should be stopped.]

CNN Philippines is trying to get a copy of the police report on the killing of Arnaiz.

Dela Rosa said the 19-year-old was not identified right away. It was 10 days later on August 28, that Arnaiz was found by his family in the morgue, he added.

"Walang nakapag-identify sa kanya. Hanggang sa naghanap ang parents, pumunta sa Caloocan Police Station at sinabihan ng officer on case na may namatay na holdupper, nandoon sa morgue. Pinuntahan ng parents at na-identify nila," he said.

[Translation: No one was able to identify him. His parents went to the Caloocan Police Station where they were told by an officer that there is a dead holdupper in the morgue. The parents went to the morgue and identified him.]

Related: Bloody week for drug war

It was not immediately known how many Caloocan City police were linked to Arnaiz's death.

CNN Philippines' Anjo Alimario contributed to this report.