Reynaldo de Guzman killed to stop from testifying in Carl Arnaiz case — PAO Chief

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 7) Fourteen-year-old Reynaldo de Guzman was killed to stop him from testifying in the case of slain student Carl Arnaiz, according to Public Attorney's Office (PAO) Chief Persida Acosta.

"Sana buhay pa si Reynaldo. Testigo sana kung ano talagang nangyari kay Carl, pero this indicates na pinatahimik siya. Especially so na, nilagyan ng packing tape and plastic 'yung kanyang ulo," Acosta said in a press conference Thursday.

[Translation: We wish Reynaldo were still alive. He would be a witness to what happened to Carl, but this indicates he was snuffed. Especially so that he was found with packing tape and plastic wrapped around his head.]

According to Dr. Erwin Erfe of the PAO Forensic Laboratory, de Guzman suffered from 28 stab wounds, mostly on the left side of the body. But Erfe reported only three to four of the wounds were fatal, while the remaining were inflicted 24 to 25 times after de Guzman died.

Erfe added it's possible that the 14-year-old was not killed in Gapan, and has suffered physical beating when he was alive based on their forensic studies.

Acosta claimed de Guzman's death was made to look like it was done by drug addicts.

"Bakit patay na, sinasaksak pa? Para ma-mislead ang mga investigators, and mapalabas, gawa ng mga adik-adik 'yan," Acosta said.

[Translation: He's already dead, but he's been stabbed multiple times? To mislead investigators, and to make it look like it was done by addicts.]

But the PAO Chief maintained that evidence shows de Guzman was with Arnaiz on August 17 in Cainta.

Acosta added the manner in which de Guzman was found was meant to sow terror among young people.

De Guzman was found dead in a creek in Gapan, Nueva Ecija on Wednesday. He was last seen with Carl Arnaiz, who died in a police 'shootout' in Caloocan after allegedly trying to hold-up a taxi driver.

Read more: Carl Arnaiz's missing companion found dead in Nueva Ecija

Related to Carl Arnaiz case?

Acosta said de Guzman's death is related to Arnaiz's killing, so only one case will be filed.

"Isang kaso ang isasampa ng dalawang pamilya [One case will be filed by the both families]: double murder and also violation of anti-torture act," Acosta said.

The PAO Chief also called on Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa to address the rampant killings.

"Hinahamon ko si General Bato (dela Rosa). Mag-alert status po kayo, at maglinis sa ranks. Dahil may nag-a-attempt na sirain po ang ating kapulisan," she said.

[Translation: We're challenging Bato (dela Rosa). Declare alert status and clean up his ranks. Someone is attempting to destroy the police's reputation.]

Read more: Holdup group likely linked to 14-year-old teen's killing – Metro Manila police chief

In an interview on CNN Philippines, the PNP Chief reminded the public to keep an open mind regarding the killings, and not immediately attribute them to the police.

"Huwag naman sana kaagad na por que nakitang patay 'yung bata doon sa Gapan, ia-attribute naman natin sa pulis," Dela Rosa said.

[Translation: Let's not assume just because the boy was found dead in Gapan, we attribute this to the police.]

CNN Philippines' Correspondent Camille Abadicio contributed to this report.