Taxi driver witness in Carl Arnaiz slay in custody of rights group

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(File photo)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 10) — The taxi driver who was allegedly held up by Carl Arnaiz is now under the custody of a rights group.

Arnaiz was killed in a supposed shootout with police in Caloocan City on Aug. 18, after allegedly holding up taxi cab driver Tomas Bagcal. His death came two days after the killing of another teenager, Kian Delos Santos.

In a statement Saturday, Rise Up Rise Up for Life and for Rights said Bagcal has been placed under protective custody, and is holding a press conference with him Sunday.

Rise Up said it is "a network of church people and human rights advocates primarily dedicated to working with poor families affected by drug-related extra-judicial killings under the Duterte administration."

The group said Bagcal and his family sought refuge on Sept. 4.

"Mr. Bagcal was identified by the police as a victim of a robbery case committed allegedly by one Carl Angelo Arnaiz.  Mr. Bagcal is also a potential witness in the death of the said Mr. Arnaiz," it said.

Rise Up said the request of the family for protective custody came after "Mr. Bagcal's serious discernment, soul searching, and firm decision-making."

Philippine National Police Chief Director General Ronald Dela Rosa on Sept. 4 said, "Na-pinpoint ng taxi driver 'yung suspect, so nandoon 'yung mga pulis at rumesponde. Nakipagbarilan itong suspect kaya namatay,"

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

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

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

Dela Rosa however, asked the public to not be so quick in condemning policemen.

"Ibang-iba po 'yung kaso na 'yan (These are separate cases). That is a case of police response," he said, explaining that police respond based on the threats they face.

CNN Philippines senior digital producer Lara Tan contributed to this report.