Carl Arnaiz's missing companion found dead in Nueva Ecija

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Updated with statements from senators and Reynaldo De Guzman's father.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 6) — Reynaldo De Guzman, the missing 14-year-old companion of slain Carl Angelo Arnaiz, was found dead in Gapan, Nueva Ecija on Wednesday.

Gapan Police Chief Police Superintendent Peter Madria and the De Guzman's own father, Eduardo, confirmed that it was Reynaldo's body that was found floating in a creek early Tuesday.

Thirty-one stab wounds were found on the body of Reynaldo, whose face was also covered with packaging tape and cloth.

"Syempre masakit ho kasi anak mo yan eh. Katorse anyos ginanyan nila. Katorse anyos, tinadtad ng saksak," Eduardo De Guzman said.

[Translation: It's my son, of course it's painful. They butchered a 14-year-old.]

Police investigator Francisco Capili added the body was brought to Dariz Funeral parlor in San Roque in Gapan, where his remains were identified by his family.

Madria said the police is investigating as to why de Guzman's body turned up in Gapan when he was last seen in Cainta, Rizal three weeks before he was found dead.

"Hindi pa ito matagal na patay bago natagpuan nung matagpuan sa crime scene. Inaalam natin paano napunta yung bangkay ng biktima dito sa Gapan," he said.

[Translation: He was not dead for so long before his body was found in the crime scene. We're studying how his body ended up in Gapan.]

'To stop from testifying'

Cabanatuan National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Agent-in-Charge Pedro Roque, Jr. said the 14-year-old may have been killed to stop him from testifying on Arnaiz's death.

"Si Reynaldo De Guzman ang nakita na huling kasama ni Carl Arnaiz. Kaya kung buhay siya, siya ay magiging vital witness sa kung ano ang nangyari nung gabi na si Carl Arnaiz ay sinasabing napatay," Roque said.

[Translation: Reynaldo De Guzman was last seen with Arnaiz. If the former was alive, he will be a vital witness as to what happened the night Arnaiz was killed.]

Reynaldo was last seen in Cainta, Rizal with Arnaiz on August 18, the night when the latter was killed by Caloocan police officers in an alleged shootout.

Police officers from Caloocan City responded to a report of a taxi driver who was held up. The driver identified Arnaiz as the suspect.

Reynaldo's father said he did not know his son would be with Arnaiz, since he only said he would get some clothes nearby after dinner.

"Nung kinabukasan na ang bali-balita sa Taytay naghiwalay… Nang-holdap daw. Di ako makapaniwala. Katorse anyos sasama sa ganon," Eduardo said.

[Translation: The next day, I heard they parted ways in Taytay. They said he was a holdup suspect. I can't believe a 14-year-old will do something like that.]

The NBI has finished its autopsy on De Guzman's body, but said it might take weeks before it releases the report pending the results of the laboratory tests.

"We can confirm the presence of stab wounds on the body of the victim, but as to the actual cause of death, that has yet to be determined later," NBI medico-legal officer Carlomagno Yalung said.

Justice for Reynaldo's death

In an interview on CNN Philippines' News Night, de Guzman's father, Eduardo Gabriel, said he thought that his son was just hiding from them.

Gabriel recalled that Reynaldo was a happy child, and was close to his mother.

"Hinihingi ko lang po 'yung katarungan ng anak ko," Gabriel said.

[Translation: I'm just seeking justice for my son.]

Meanwhile, Philippine National Police chief Ronald dela Rosa reminded the public not to equate the case of slain minors to the slay of Kian delos Santos, who was killed in anti-drug police operations in Caloocan three weeks ago.

"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.]

Dela Rosa assured the public they will not be covering up the investigation into de Guzman's death.

Some opposition senators condemned the killing of the 14-year-old boy. Sen. Risa Hontiveros said de Guzman did not deserve his fate.

"To be stabbed 31 times is no accident. It is the pure and simple murder of a child," Hontiveros said in a statement.

She added that de Guzman's death should remove doubts there is a pattern of killings in the administration's war on drugs.

"Under President Duterte's bloody war on drugs, there is a pattern of killing young and poor people, particularly innocent minors. There is a policy to kill," she said.

Sen. Bam Aquino echoed Hontiveros' thoughts, calling on the administration to rethink its war on drugs.

"We call on the PNP and the DOJ to ensure these murderers are caught, tried and imprisoned," Aquino said.

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

De Guzman's body will be brought to Cainta on Thursday for the wake.

CNN Philippines' Xianne Arcangel, Lara Tan, Chad de Guzman, and Yvette Morales contributed to this report.