By Minka Tiangco
The Navotas City Regional Trial Court (RTC) denied the bail petition of the two police officers tagged in the killings of Carl Angelo Arnaiz and Reynaldo “Kulot” de Guzman in 2017.
Navotas RTC Branch 287 Judge Romana Lindayag Del Rosario said in her August 6 order that bail was not a matter of right because the evidence of guilt against Patrolmen Jeffrey Perez and Ricky Arquilita is strong.
The order reached the Department of Justice prosecuting panel on Thursday, August 15.
Perez will have to face trial alone for allegedly murdering Arnaiz and De Guzman. Arquilita’s case was dismissed since he died in April this year while in detention due to hepatitis.
“With the evidence thus presented by the prosecution, the Court finds the evidence sufficient to sustain the continued prosecution of the accused without opportunity to post bail,” Del Rosario’s order read.
“There is reason to uphold therefore the constitutional provision which provides that in crimes punishable by Reclusion Perpetua, when the evidence of guilt is strong, bail is not a matter of right,” it added.
Nineteen-year-old Arnaiz, a University of the Philippines student, went missing on the night of August 17, 2017 when he went out of his house in Cainta, Rizal to buy snacks.
He was found dead with five gunshot wounds and several other injuries 10 days later in a morgue in Caloocan City.
An eyewitness said he saw Perez and Arquilita shooting Arnaiz to death in a secluded area in Navotas City on August 18, 2017.
Fourteen-year-old De Guzman was found with over 30 stab wounds, with his head wrapped in a plastic bag and packing tape, and his leg wrapped in a sack, floating in a creek in Nueva Ecija.
The presentation of evidence-in-chief of the prosecution will continue August 30.