MANILA - Reynaldo De Guzman, a 14-year-old companion of Carl Angelo Arnaiz, remained missing Tuesday, 19 days after the latter was killed in an alleged shootout with lawmen.
Reynaldo's mother, Linda Gabriel, said her son left their home in Cainta, Rizal to have midnight snacks with 19-year-old Arnaiz and other neighbors last July 17.
Hours later, Arnaiz was shot dead by policemen after he allegedly attempted to rob a taxi driver along C-3 Road in Caloocan, some 22 kilometers away from his home.
Arnaiz's family found his body in a morgue 10 days later.
Forensic experts said the boy's body bore torture marks, and that he was repeatedly shot while kneeling or sprawled on the ground.
Reynaldo's parents meanwhile have yet to receive word on the whereabouts of their son.
Linda said she believes Reynaldo is still alive, but is being held against his will.
"Iyun po ang kutob ko. Buhay pa ang bata kaya lang iniipit. Hindi po naaalis ang pangamba ko sa anak ko. Sana po umuwi po nang buhay," she said in a DZMM interview.
She also told her son: "Kung saan ka man andoon, kung sino mang tao ang may hawak sa iyo, huwag kang biglang uuwi. Hayaan mo na humayo kayo ng mga media para makauwi ka nang buhay rito."
Reynaldo is a Grade 5 student in Pasay. Arnaiz meanwhile was a freshman at the University of the Philippines-Diliman until he dropped out due to depression.
The police and Department of Justice are looking into Arnaiz's death, which happened the same week that anti-narcotics cops in Caloocan shot dead 17-year-old Kian Loyd Delos Santos.
Witnesses have claimed Delos Santos, whom policed tagged as a drug courier, was mauled by officers and given a gun. Police also admitted that they verified the Grade 12 student's alleged drug links on social media, only a day after his killing.