Press Release
November 24, 2022

Statement of Senator Risa Hontiveros on conviction of cop for torture of Arnaiz and de Guzman

We hail as sorrowful and partial victory the verdict in the trial of erring cops responsible for the deaths of drug war victims Carl Angelo Arnaiz and "Kulot" Guzman.

To the families of Carl and Kulot: Hindi natin maibabalik ang mga anak ninyo, but I hope it eases your pain. May Carl and Kulot rest in peace.

This case shows us that state violence is not law enforcement. It shows that torture, planted evidence, and false police reports have no place in our national police force.

Sa kabila nito, libu-libong pamilya pa ang naghihintay ng katarungan mula sa madugong drug war ng nakaraang administrasyon. Ilan sa mga pinatay nilang mahal sa buhay, tulad rin nina Kian, Carl, at Kulot, ay mga teenagers, na punong-puno ng pangarap sa buhay. They are also looking for closure.

Until that day comes, we should not look away. The time for full atonement for the sins of the war on drugs is approaching.

That being said, 5 years was too long to wait for Carl and Kulot's families. Our justice system must be insulated from the politics that obstructs the fulfillment of its mandate.

Kailangang matukoy kung sino ang nag utos, hanggang sa kataas taasan. Justice is not served when only the foot soldiers are called to account. The whole policy of the War on Drugs must be called into question. The administration should reconsider joining the International Criminal Court (ICC) so that justice can run its course quicker.

Finally, I am calling on the PNP to look into long term institutional reforms that will prevent officers and personnel from acting so brazenly and bding emboldened into committing such brutal crimes.

Full accountability is the only way the public can once again trust the institutions meant to protect them.

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