Karapatan: Teams searching for other victims in Calabarzon ‘bloody Sunday’ also targeted
LUCENA CITY –– The groups searching for the other victims of simultaneous police operations in the Calabarzon region on Sunday were also targeted by state security forces.
Cristina Palabay, Karapatan national secretary-general, said their “quick reaction teams” (QRT) were having difficulty locating other victims, including those reported missing.
“The QRTs were also being pursued (by government forces),” Palabay said in an online interview Monday.
On Sunday midnight, the Police Regional Office 4A based in Camp Vicente Lim in Canlubang, Laguna issued a report that nine persons died, six arrested, and nine others were the subjects of police manhunts.
The nine fatalities were from Cavite (1), Batangas (2), and Rizal (6).
The police said the six arrested were from Batangas and Laguna.
Police trackers were still targeting one suspect from Batangas and eight others from Rizal.
The police did not disclose the identities of the fatalities and those arrested.
Palaby said she could not provide the identities of the other four fatalities since they only have five victims on their list.
Karapatan identified the five victims as Emmanuel “Manny” Asuncion, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan coordinator in Cavite, who was killed in a police raid in his home in that province; Mark Lee Bacasno and Melvin Dasigao, both members of the urban poor group San Isidro Kasiglahan, Kapatiran at Damayan para sa Kabuhayan, Katarungan at Kapayapaan, who were killed in Rodriguez, Rizal; and Ariel Evangelista and wife, Chai Lemita Evangelista, fishermen’s rights advocates, who were killed in their Nasugbu, Batangas home.
Palabay said the remains of the five victims were at the funeral homes in their respective provinces.
Esteban Mendoza, national executive vice president of Olalia-Kilusang Mayo Uno, who was arrested in Cabuyao City, called on his fellow workers through a video message posted on Facebook to remain strong and not to cowed but always alert amid the onslaught of the effects of the controversial Anti-Terror Act.
The police report said the raiders, armed with a search warrant, allegedly found one grenade, one caliber .45 pistol with two magazines, and 12 bullets in Mendoza’s house.
The other arrested, Nimfa Lanzanas, 61, appealed for help.
“Sana po ako ay kaawaan ninyo dahil ang trabaho ko lang po ay isa lang po akong simpleng maybahay, nag-aalaga ng aking mga apo. Sana po, kung sino man po ‘yung mga nakakarinig, matulungan ninyo ako na makalabas sa jail na ito,” she said.
(Please have mercy on me, for I am only a simple wife, taking care of my grandchildren. Please, to anyone who hears this, help me get out of jail.)
According to Palabay, Lanzanas, a grandmother of four, is a paralegal of Karapatan and a member of Kapatid – Families and Friends of Political Prisoners.
“As a paralegal, she assists victims of human rights violations, including her son, Edward Lanzanas. Now, she is a political prisoner herself,” Palabay said in the video message.
Lanzanas, who was arrested in Calamba City, was detained at Camp Vicente Lim along with Mendoza.
The police also reported that Elizabeth Camoral, who was arrested, yielded a loaded caliber .45 pistol in her house during the search.
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