Taxi driver in EJK case now suspect

TOMAS Bagcal, the taxi driver who claimed he was robbed by Carl Angelo Arnaiz and Reynaldo “Kulot” de Guzman before the former UP student was killed by police in a supposed shootout, has been included as principal suspect in the killing of the two teenagers.

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II made the disclosure after Bagcal suddenly changed his testimony, claiming that Arnaiz and De Guzman used a knife when they robbed him contrary to his earlier assertion.

“Tomas Bagcal has been included as a principal (suspect) by direct participation in the killing of the two,” Aguirre said, in an interview over DZMM.

Aguirre noted that Bagcal earlier claimed Arnaiz used a gun when the UP student and de Guzman robbed him.

Apparently, Bagcal changed his testimony after a new witness surfaced and claimed that Arnaiz and de Guzman were with Bagcal and the involved policemen from Caloocan City before the UP student was killed in a supposed shootout.

Tomas Bagcal

Bagcal turned himself in to the NBI Wednesday afternoon after earlier being charged as co-conspirator in the double murder case.

He was accompanied by his family and representatives from the Commission on Human Rights and rights group Rise Up for Life and for Rights, which previously took him into custody.

Bagcal has been placed under the protective custody of NBI, Aguirre said.

The murder cases of Arnaiz, De Guzman and Kian Loyd Delos Santos are now undergoing preliminary investigation in the DOJ after the victims’ parents filed the criminal complaints through assistance of Public Attorney’s Office chief Persida Rueda-Acosta.

Bagcal was included as respondent in the charge sheet against Police Officers 1 Ricky Arquilita and Jeffrey Perez for double murder, torture and planting of evidence under Republic Act 10591 or Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act and R.A. 9165, or the “Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act.

Acosta explained that Bagcal was implicated as a co-conspirator in the killings.

“We believe he had knowledge of the twin killings. He should be brought here in the DOJ to explain his inconsistent affidavits,” she told reporters in an interview after the hearing. 

But Acosta explained that Bagcal could still be off the hook and serve as state witness in the case.

“He could even qualify for witness protection program for as long as he tells the whole truth,” she stressed.

Bagcal claimed that Carl Angelo robbed him along C3 Road. 

He recalled that Arnaiz even fired a gun inside the taxi but the driver was able to fight back and ran after the teenager whom he said he caught before being mauled by responding residents.

He said he then brought the teenager to the police station alive.

Bagcal said the policemen brought them back to the alleged crime scene in C3 Road where he heard gunshots and later on learned that Carl Angelo was already dead. 

Topics: Tomas Bagcal , Carl Angelo Arnaiz , Reynaldo “Kulot” de Guzman , Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II
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