MANILA — The taxi driver who was allegedly robbed by Carl Angelo Arnaiz has been taken in by a human rights group.
Rise Up for Life and for Rights said in a statement on Saturday that Tomas Bagcal sought the group's protection last Monday, as he is a possible witness in Arnaiz's death.
"Rise Up has responded in the affirmative to the request of the family for protective custody and provided sanctuary during the period of Mr. Bagcal’s serious discernment, soul searching, and firm decision-making," the statement read.
ABS-CBN emailed Rise Up seeking more details, but the group begged off answering queries.
"In due course, we and Mr. Bagcal will engage your questions, so the truth will be known," its media team wrote.
The Department of Justice has offered provisional witness protection coverage for Bagcal so that he could come forward and tell the truth about the incident.
Bagcal has submitted two sworn affidavits with different details of the alleged robbery.
In his first affidavit submitted on Aug. 18, Bagcal said he did not see the face of his supposed mugger and that he was robbed past the barangay hall of Barangay 128 in Caloocan City.
But Bagcal had a different version in his second affidavit filed Aug. 29, and said he was mugged along C-3 Road. He added that his mugger was wearing a sweat shirt with a hood, a black cap, and blue shorts, and was carrying a bag.
Police operatives shot Arnaiz dead on August 18 after the 19-year-old allegedly robbed Bagcal. Marijuana leaves were reportedly recovered from the teenager.
But autopsy findings suggested the boy may have been tortured, contrary to police's claim that he was killed in a shootout with lawmen.