Duterte, NTF-ELCAC must also be held accountable for Bloody Sunday raids

Today marks the beginning of the preliminary investigation against the 17 policemen charged with murder for their involvement in the killing fisherfolk leaders Ariel Evangelista and Ana-Mariz “Chai” Lemita-Evangelista during the Bloody Sunday raids in Southern Tagalog.

As we welcome the start of this legal process to bring justice for the Evangelista couple, their blood is not only upon those who were involved during the raid. President Rodrigo Duterte, officials of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict such as former Southern Luzon Commander Antonio Parlade Jr., then-Philippine National Police chief Debold Sinas and the police’s regional and provincial officials, as well as Judge Jason Zapanta who issued the questionable search warrants that led to their killing must also be held accountable.

We join the families of the victims of the Bloody Sunday raids in this long battle for justice, and we call on the Department of Justice to also exercise the same rigor on other cases of extrajudicial killings and arrests — especially with the clear pattern of Gestapoesque raid targeting activists, human rights defenders, and government critics.

Cristina Palabay
Karapatan Secretary General