When You Were Fourteen

Where were you?

Where were you when you were fourteen?

Around that time, I was a first year high school student at Rizal Science, the class president of I-Hope. All I had to think of was the welfare of our class and how not to get a grade lower than 85.

Unfortunately, that was not the case for Reynaldo de Guzman, the fourteen-year-old companion of the seventeen-year-old Carl Angelo Arnaiz who allegedly drew a gun at a taxi driver. The police responded to the taxi driver’s call, but Arnaiz tried to shoot them, causing the police to react and shoot him.

The former was found dead in Nueva Ecija with thirty stab wounds, his head wrapped in packing tape days after the latter was found dead in Caloocan.

He was a fourteen-year-old kid . . .

Try to close your eyes and imagine the scene: a scared fourteen-year-old child, screaming and crying for help, asking for his captors to set him free, enduring every single stab. Every. Single. Stab.

Everything doesn’t make sense.

They were in Cainta. What were they doing in Caloocan? Coming from the same town, I’m sure it’s not just a ride going there. Paano, nag-Uber sila nang madaling araw para mang hold-up sa Caloocan?

And why was the fourteen-year-old  killed? Why wasn’t he found with Arnaiz? To hide the truth of what really happened? Because they could only afford one gun to say nanlaban si Arnaiz?

How could a fourteen-year-old kid go to Nueva Ecija by himself? Why would they do that to Arnaiz and de Guzman? To scare the youth for not going out at midnight? Then what’s the purpose of this war on drugs? I thought it was to make Philippines safer . . .

Then why are we more scared than ever?

There are so many details, I don’t know where to start. But one thing is for sure: I am confused and angry.

We all should be.


  1. http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2017/09/06/1736394/body-missing-14-year-old-reynaldo-de-guzman-found
  2. https://www.rappler.com/newsbreak/iq/181093-kian-delos-santos-carl-angelo-arnaiz-similarities-differences-explainer

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