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Who was Carl Arnaiz? Elementary valedictorian, iskolar ng bayan, aspiring businessman


 

Family and friends of Carl Angelo Arnaiz still couldn't believe that the teenager is gone.

Contrary to police claims that he was a robber, those closest to him swear that he's a smart young man who never got into trouble.

The 19-year-old's string of medals and plaques of achievement were on display in Saleema Refran's report on "24 Oras" on Monday.

He graduated valedictorian from Tibagan Elementary School, before posting the second-highest score in the Makati Science High School entrance exam. He got into the University of the Philippines to study interior design.

After suffering from depression, he decided to take a break from his studies, but still kept busy.

He shifted his attention to his family's sari-sari store and even thought of his own business, sketching a model of a french fries stand that would never turn into reality.

Arnaiz was killed by Caloocan police officers on August 18 after allegedly staging a hold-up against a taxi driver.

"Wala namang masamang record 'yan, ni minsan hindi 'yan nakipag-away," said his grandmother Norma, who last saw him at their small store.

"Tahimik lang po siyang tao. Simple lang po siya, mabait, tas...over-preotective, mapagmahal," younger cousin Nicka Escoton said. "Mag-aral daw po ng mabuti, para din daw po sa kinabukasan ko 'yun."

"Matalino 'yang si Karl eh, kasi kahit minsan, hindi nag-aaral 'yan, pumapasa 'yan," said his friend Keith Dagondong.

After Carl went missing for ten days, the family received a text message from a funeral home on August 28 saying they found him.

In a police report, Carl's mother insisted that someone had changed her son out of his clothes.

"Yung damit, damit hindi po sa kaniya 'yun, kasi wala siyang maong na Dickies, wala po siyang Vans na hoodie at 'di nagsusumbrero," she wrote.

Marijuana and shabu were also reportedly found in his possession.

But Norma cast doubt on that police claim as well.

"Kasi may dala pa po siyang pera noong oras na 'yun eh. Pati ang cellphone niya nawala, pinalitan nila ng lumang cellphone," she said.

The Caloocan police said Carl robbed a taxi driver of his wallet containing P450, which was recovered from the crime scene.

His friend Keith dared the police to present the alleged victim.

"'Yung driver, hindi talaga ako naniniwala d'un kasi hanggang ngayon wala pa rin pong lumalabas. Dapat kung meron nga, nagpakita siya kaagad," he said.

Adding to the pain of the family was the evidence suggesting Carl was tortured before his death.

The Public Attorney's Office (PAO) found handcuff marks on both of the boy's wrists, along with scars and bruises on his face.

"Ba't po nila ginawa kay kuya 'yon? Kasi napakabuti pong tao ni kuya, iniisip po namin na bakit sa kanya nangyari 'yon? Sa dinami-rami ng tao sa mundo, siya pa?" said Nicka.

"Pinahirapan pa nila 'yong apo ko, 'yun po talaga ang masakit para sa akin, hindi naman kasi masamang bata 'yan, bakit nila gaganunin?" Norma said.

"Sana kinulong nalang nila kung ano, sana hindi na nila pinatay, hindi na nila tinorture," the grandmother added. —Margaret Claire Layug/JST, GMA News

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