'Bloody Sunday' massacre: At least 30 cops to face murder charges, says DOJ

·Senior Editor
·2 min read
Activists in the Philippines, holding the photos of the Bloody Sunday Massacre victims, call for justice.
On President Rodrigo Duterte's State of the Nation Address (SONA) July 26, 2021, activists in the Philippines call for justice for the Bloody Sunday Massacre victims Manny Asuncion, Ariel Evangelista, Chai Evangelista, Randy dela Cruz, Puroy dela Cruz, Greg Dasigao, Makmak Bascano, who were killed on March 7, 2021 by state forces and Dandy Miguel, a labor leader who was killed three weeks after. (Photo: Pola Rubio)

At least 30 policemen implicated in the 2021 "Bloody Sunday" massacre will face murder charges, said the Department of Justice (DOJ) on Monday (September 12).

Justice Undersecretary Brigido Dulay told ANC's "Rundown" that the officers will be indicted for the killings of labor leader Manny Asuncion and fisherfolk leaders Chai Lemita-Evangelista and Ariel Evangelista.

Dulay added that while there are other alleged victims of "Bloody Sunday", these are still being investigated by the AO 35 Special Investigation Team. Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin "Boying" Remulla had earlier said the agency found it difficult to obtain witnesses.

"Ang nagiging problema lang namin is because, based on my review of the case, the site of the crimes are in different locations. Hindi lang isa ang location ng lahat ng ito. Iba-iba," said Dulay.

(Our only problem is because, based on my review of the case, the site of the crimes are in different locations. These did not have a common location.)

"So, that is what is complicating it because you can't just put this under one panel. You have to have different panels because these are treated as separate cases."

According to ABS-CBN News, the AO 35 inter-agency task force probe grave human rights violations such as extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances and torture involving activists and rights defenders.

On March 7 2021, authorities implemented 24 search warrants in Calabarzon that left 9 activists dead after simultaneous dawn raids. Activists have questioned the killings and contested the issuance of the search warrant against activists.

The slain activists were labor leader Emmanuel “Manny” Asuncion, environmental defenders couple Chai and Ariel Evangelista in Batangas, and urban poor leader Melvin Dasigao, Mark Bacasno, Abner Esto, and Edward Esto. Police and military officers also allegedly killed indigenous Dumagat Puroy and Randy “Pulong” Dela Cruz in Tanay, Rizal.

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