Promotion of “search warrant factory” judge on Bloody Sunday anniversary a slap in the face of justice

Human rights alliance Karapatan decried on Tuesday President Rodrigo Duterte’s appointment of Vice Executive Judge Jose Lorenzo Dela Rosa as associate justice of the Court of Appeals yesterday — exactly a year after three of the search warrants he issued led to the murder of Emmanuel “Manny” Asuncion as well as the illegal arrests of Elizabeth Camoral and Esteban Mendoza during the Bloody Sunday raids in Southern Tagalog.

“From issuing the search warrants which led to the merciless killing of Manny Asuncion during the Bloody Sunday raids, he also issued the search warrants that led to the killing of Roy Giganto during the gruesome raids in indigenous Tumandok communities. His promotion exactly a year after the Bloody Sunday raids is not merely impunity: it is rubbing salt on the wounds of those victimized by the search warrants he issued. It is a slap in the face of justice. It is a ‘reward’ from President Duterte himself for being one of his cloaked accomplices to State terror,” Karapatan Deputy Secretary General Roneo Clamor said.

Clamor further asserted that the quashal of the search warrants issued by Judge Dela Rosa against at least five of the Tumandok, according to the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers – Panay, and the Department of Justice recommending the filing of murder charges against the policemen involved in the raid that killed Asuncion are “damning indictments of Judge Dela Rosa’s bogus search warrant factory — and he should likewise be subject to scrutiny along with those who implemented and executed the warrants in these deadly raids.”

“The hands Judge Dela Rosa used to sign these search warrants are tainted with blood, and he is culpable in the atrocities that happened during and because of the very warrants he issued. Judges like Judge Dela Rosa — who use their courts and powers for judicial harassment and political persecution — should instead be investigated and held to account for their complicity in these killings and human rights violations and this murderous regime’s campaign of State terror,” the Karapatan official ended.