Karapatan reasserts call to hold Duterte, NTF-ELCAC accountable for murder of Evangelista couple in Bloody Sunday raids

Karapatan joins the families of slain fisherfolk leaders Ariel Evangelista and Ana-Mariz “Chai” Lemita-Evangelista today in their calls for justice and accountability as the 17 policemen involved in the killing of the couple during the Bloody Sunday raids once again face the preliminary investigations on the murder charges against them.

Genuine justice means holding all perpetrators accountable. The blood of Ariel and Chai Evangelista are not only upon the hands of 17 policemen: the military’s Southern Luzon Command under its former commander Antonio Parlade Jr., then-Philippine National Police chief Debold Sinas, Judge Jason Zapanta who issued the questionable search warrants that led to their murders, the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), and President Rodrigo Duterte himself must be held to account for their hand in these gruesome killings.

The struggle for justice is a long and arduous path — and genuine justice also means putting an end to all forms of impunity and ensuring that the same violations and atrocities are not committed again.

Therefore, true justice for Ariel and Chai Evangelista and all the victims of the Bloody Sunday raids is to assert the call to stop the killings in the Philippines and to abolish the NTF-ELCAC which continues to facilitate killings and other attacks against activists, human rights defenders, political dissenters, and government critics.

Cristina Palabay
Karapatan Secretary General