Op-Ed : Search for justice – Editorial Philstar

How she wanted to hug her son again, housewife Lina de Guzman Gabriel sighed the other day. Lina is the mother of 14-year-old fifth grader Reynaldo de Guzman, who failed to return home to their shanty in Cainta after going out for a late night snack on Aug. 17 with an older neighbor, Carl Angelo Arnaiz.

Relatives of Arnaiz had a shorter search for the 19-year-old former student of the University of the Philippines: they found his body the next day in a funeral home in Caloocan, where police had shot him dead allegedly because he resisted arrest for armed robbery.

Lina de Guzman’s search took three weeks, but it allowed her to hold on to hope that her son might still be alive. All hope, however, was dashed yesterday morning, as she and her husband Edwardo Gabriel went to Gapan, Nueva Ecija for the grim task of identifying the remains of their son.

The boy, looking thinner according to Lina, bore about 30 stab wounds. His body, clad only in orange shorts, was found floating in a creek last Tuesday. His head was heavily wrapped in packing tape and covered with a black shirt. Employees at the funeral parlor where the body was taken posted photos of the boy on social media, hoping someone would identify the victim.

People have not yet gotten over their outrage over the murders of Arnaiz and 17-year-old Kian Loyd delos Santos. The brutal killing of a 14-year-old, who according to his relatives and neighbors was a responsible boy who worked to help put food on the table, can only stoke that outrage.

The only thing that can ease the outrage is confidence that justice will be rendered. Lina de Guzman’s search, this time for justice, must not be in vain.


1. A useless filibuster – Daily Tribune
2. Allegations, insinuations at Blue Ribbon inquiry – Manila Bulletin
3. Hush now, general- Manila Standard
5. Life-changing – Phil. Daily Inquirer

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