A FORMER policeman was sentenced to life imprisonment in relation to the killings of teenagers Carl Angelo Arnaiz and Reynaldo “Kulot” De Guzman at the height of the Duterte administration’s drug war in 2017.

In a decision handed down by Navotas Regional Trial Court Judge Romana Lindayag Del Rosario, Jeffrey Sumbo Perez was sentenced of reclusion perpetua without eligibility for parole for the death of Arnaiz, 19, and another similar judgment for the death of De Guzman.

Perez was also ordered to pay actual damages amounting to P90,000, P100,000 civil indemnity, P100,000 moral damages, and exemplary damages worth P100,000 to Arnaiz’s family, as well as P100,000 civil indemnity, P100,000 moral damages, and exemplary damages worth P100,000 to De Guzman’s kin.

Perez and former Police Officer 1 Ricky Arquilita, who died while in detention in April 2019, earlier claimed that Arnaiz fought back at them after staging a robbery hold-up against a taxi driver in Caloocan City on August 18, 2017.

The police said they recovered from Arnaiz marijuana leaves, methamphetamine hydrochloride (shabu) and a firearm.

Arnaiz’s friend, De Guzman, was found dead with 30 stab wounds in the body, his head wrapped with packaging tape, in Gapan, Nueva Ecija.

In November, the Caloocan Regional Trial Court found Perez guilty beyond reasonable doubt for the torture and planting of evidence on Arnaiz and Delos Santos.

The death of the two teenagers further put the drug war in bad light especially as it came following the sensational killing of a 17-year-old Kian Loyd delos that prompted the relaunch of the Senate’s investigation on alleged extrajudicial killings in relation to the drug war.

It was revealed during the probe that the “nanlaban” claims of the police were lies and that some of the victims were intentionally killed.

Three former police officers were also found guilty of murdering Delos Santos and were sentenced to life imprisonment. (SunStar Philippines)