BAGUIO CITY, Philippines – Fear and anger swept through residents of this city after the discovery of the body of a missing teener in a creek in this northern Luzon city following a six-day search.
The sight of the decomposing body of 17-year-old Vaughn Carl M. Dicang – which turned up just a day after 14-year-old Cainta 5th grader Reynaldo de Guzman was found dead in a creek in Gapan City a mere three hours’ drive away – reminded them of what happened to three killings of teenagers the past three weeks: Kian Lloyd delos Santos, 17, of Caloocan City; Carl Angelo Arnaiz, 19, of Cainta, Rizal and Carl’s friend-neighbor who disappeared with him on August 18, the 14-year-old de Guzman.
The almost weeklong search for Dicang began right after he went missing on September 1, 2017. Dicang, a grade 12 student of the University of Baguio Science High School, had left their house and just went missing, said a FaceBook post by his brother, Barangay Lower Quirino Hill Captain Van Dicang.
On September 7, personnel of Station 10 of the Baguio City Police Office (BCPO) reported that a cadaver was discovered at 10:05 AM Thursday in a creek off the circumferential road in Bakakeng Sur, Baguio City. A cousin identified the body, in an advanced stage of decomposition, as the missing Vaughn.
The body of Vaughn was processed by personnel of the Scene of the Crime Operatives (SOCO). He was brought to St. Peter Funeral homes for autopsy.
Meanwhile, BCPO Ramil Saculles said in an interview said they are waiting for the autopsy as investigation is ongoing. He appealed to the public not to prematurely blame the police for the death of Vaughn because the case is still being investigated. The appeal comes as the PNP has come under attack for the deaths of Kian, Carl and Reynaldo alias “Kulot.”
Caloocan cops had claimed they shot Kian because he resisted arrest and drew a gun during an anti-drugs sweep through his neighborhood on the night of Aug. 17. The claim became shaky after witnesses surfaced and CCTV footage showed two cops holding an apparently unarmed and defenseless Kian, leading him away from his neighborhood in the direction of an old pigsty where he was shot dead: in a kneeling position, said initial forensic reports.
Another set of Caloocan police also claimed they had to shoot Carl dead because he shot at them when they responded to a call for help from taxi driver Tomas Bagcal, whom Carl supposedly robbed at gunpoint somewhere near Navotas. The police report made no mention of de Guzman, even though witnesses had seen the 14-year old student in a Pasig public school as the companion of Carl, who simply stepped out to buy midnight snack.
Meanwhile, the family and relatives of another Baguio teenager are still searching.
Jesharah Rufino Diazen, 19 years old and a 4th year General Education student of University of Baguio, was declared missing since September 1.
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