The Department of Justice (DOJ) has granted the plea of Caloocan City cops charged in the killing of 19-year-old Carl Angelo Arnaiz and 14-year-old Reynaldo “Kulot” de Guzman to introduce new witnesses in the case.
The DOJ has given respondents Police Officers 1 Jeffrey Perez and Ricky Arquilita up to Nov. 10 to submit the original joint affidavit of two witnesses who allegedly saw Arnaiz fire at the cops first, or bring the affiants themselves to the investigating prosecutors for reaffirmation of the statement.
This, despite opposition from Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) chief Atty. Persida Acosta, who insisted Perez and Arquilita should no longer be allowed to introduce additional evidence and witnesses during the supposedly last setting for the complaint on Monday.
The DOJ investigating panel, composed of Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Ma. Emilia Victorio, and Assistant State Prosecutors Gilmarie Fe Pacamarra and Alejandro Daguiso, ruled to admit the handwritten joint affidavit of Solomon Rosca and Madelene Soliman, and thereafter appreciate the facts presented in the statement.
Rosca, a tricycle driver, and his partner, Soliman, claimed they saw a running Arnaiz fire at policemen on Aug. 18, at around 4 a.m.
Cab driver Tomas Bagcal said in his third statement that the shoot-out between police and Arnaiz was "scripted."
Bagcal, however, changed his narrative in a Senate inquiry into the teens' slay on Oct. 2 and said Arnaiz attempted to rob him but de Guzman was not involved.
After Friday’s setting, the case will be submitted for resolution.
Arnaiz was last seen alive on Aug. 17; his body was found in a morgue 10 days later. De Guzman’s body was recovered in Gapan, Nueva Ecija, 20 days after he and Arnaiz were last seen alive.
The Caloocan cops have claimed they shot Arnaiz in "a legitimate police operation,” after the latter allegedly robbed Bagcal. They did not tackle De Guzman’s death in their joint counter-affidavit.