DOJ indicts 17 policemen over March operations
The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Thursday said it will fully cooperate with state prosecutors in the proceedings against the 17 police officers implicated in the so-called "Bloody Sunday" operations that resulted in the death of six militant activists in Laguna and Rizal last March, according to a report by Philippine News Agency.
“The PNP respects the recommendation of the Department of Justice to file murder charges against 17 police personnel who figured in a lawful police operation that resulted in the death of a labor organization leader,” said PNP spokesperson, Col. Roderick Alba, in a statement.
He said the PNP will ensure the availability of these police officers for the scheduled preliminary investigation in January next year.
“Our respect for the DOJ action to prosecute the 17 PNP personnel extends as well to the individual rights of the police respondents to due process and equal protection of the law,” he added.
On Wednesday, the Department of Justice (DOJ) said a special investigating team has recommended the filing of murder charges against “certain” law enforcers tagged in the killing of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan-Cavite official Emmanuel Asuncion.
“In the case of the death of the Evangelista spouses (Chai Lemita and Ariel), the NBI (National Bureau of Investigation) is winding up its interviews of witnesses,” Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said.
Chai Lemita and Ariel are members of the Ugnayan ng Mamamayan Laban sa Pagwawasak ng Kalikasan at Kalupaan.
He said the report of the DOJ's Administrative Order 35 Special Investigating Team will be out “in about two weeks”.
Guevarra said investigation on the deaths of two Dumagat indigenous leaders is still ongoing.
The police operations in Calabarzon on March 7 this year have resulted in the arrest of six people in Laguna and Rizal and deaths of nine -- six in Rizal, two in Batangas, and one in Cavite.
A search warrant issued by Manila Judge Jose Lorenzo dela Rosa had been issued on Asuncion in his home in Rosario, Cavite.
Police said a pursuit operation resulted in the shooting of Asuncion at the Workers’ Assistance Center in Dasmariñas, Cavite.
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