Here we go again.
Last September 2, the Philippine Daily Inquirer broke the story about the unexplained death of 19-year-old Carl Angelo Arnaiz. A former valedictorian during his elementary days and an alumnus of Makati Science High School, Arnaiz was on his freshman year at the University of the Philippines-Diliman when he decided to stop studying due to bouts with depression.
Arnaiz is now being accused of armed robbery against taxi driver Tomas Bagcal before subsequently engaging the police in a shootout which resulted in his death. According to a report filed by officers of the Caloocan City Police, they were able to retrieve “three sachets of suspected ‘shabu’ in his backpack and two packets of marijuana” in his pocket.
Speaking to PDI, the victim’s father Carlito Arnaiz emphatically questioned the police’s narration of events. “Even if my son had a psychological condition, I don’t think he would have shot it out with police,” he said. “My son’s only vice was smoking,” the father added. The teenager previously enrolled in UP Diliman’s BS Interior Design program. The University though is yet to issue a statement about his current academic status.
In defense of his subordinates, Chief Insp. Ilustre Mendoza, officer in charge of the Caloocan City police, pointed out that there is a complainant against Arnaiz. There is no reason for this station to make up stories on behalf of the victim,” Mendoza said, adding that it is not impossible to reach Navotas City from Cainta, Rizal in a little over three hours.
Here’s a rough timeline of events based on the information available so far:
August 17, 11:00 PM onwards – This is the last time Arnaiz was last seen alive by his relatives. It was also around this time that his father was able to speak to him for the final time.
August 18, 12:00 AM – Arnaiz went out of their house to buy food from a nearby store with his 14 year-old neighbor Reynaldo De Guzman. It is still not clear if they’re friends or just acquaintances.
3:20 AM: Based on an official report filed before the Caloocan City Police, this is when Arnaiz supposedly hailed Bagcal’s taxi in Navotas City before hold-upping him once they reached the neighboring Caloocan City. The report claimed that Arnaiz used a .38-caliber pistol to attack Bagcal and steal his wallet.
Shortly after, Bagcal is said to have been able to seek help from police officers in the vicinity. Arnaiz then fired at the responding police officers, which led to a shootout that ultimately left him dead.
August 28 – Arnaiz’ body was found were found “in a dark, grassy area along C-3 Road in Caloocan City.” The Arnaiz family was subsequently notified of their teenage son’s death. De Guzman, for his part, remains missing.
— Interaksyon (@interaksyon) September 4, 2017
August 30 – According to the PDI, it was only at this date that a formal police report about the incident involving Arnaiz and Bagcal was filed.
September 4 – An autopsy conducted by Dr. Erwin Erfe and his team of forensic experts from the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) found out that Arnaiz’ corpse “bore signs of torture such as deep bruises, severely distended eyes, and shackle marks in his right hand.” It also showed that Arnaiz was shot five times — four in the chest and one in the right arm.
HERE ARE SOME UNANSWERED QUESTIONS:
1) If Arnaiz only intended to buy food within their barangay in Cainta, Rizal with De Guzman, then how did he get to Navotas City?
2) What is the relationship between Arnaiz and De Guzman? (This can explain how the plot started.)
3) Where is De Guzman now?
4) Is it really physically possible for a slim 19-year old boy to be menacing toward a driver who’s bulkier than him?
5) Why did it take ten days before the body was found?
6) If the altercation indeed happened last August 18, then why was the incident not reported until August 30?
7) What happened to Arnaiz’ smartphone?
8) Are there any witnesses on any of these events?