Remains of activists slain in Calabarzon ops released from funeral parlor — Karapatan
MANILA, Philippines — The remains of four of the nine activists slain during police operations in Calabarzon Region were released on Thursday night, a video footage from rights group Karapatan showed.
According to the live video from Karapatan’s Southern Tagalog chapter, the four bodies have been handed over to the relatives after reports that authorities blocked the bodies from being released.
“ATM: Inaabangan ng mamamayan sa Antipolo Memorial Homes ang paglalabas ng mga labi ng apat na biktimang pinaslang ng AFP-PNP sa mga bayan ng Montalban at Tanay sa lalawigan ng Rizal na tinaguriang “Bloody Sunday Massacre” sa Timog Katagalugan,” Karapatan Timog Katagalugan said.
ATM: Inaabangan ng mamamayan sa Antipolo Memorial Homes ang paglalabas ng mga labi ng apat na biktimang pinaslang ng AFP-PNP sa mga bayan ng Montalban at Tanay sa lalawigan ng Rizal na tinaguriang "Bloody Sunday Massacre" sa Timog Katagalugan. Ilang araw nang nabinbin ang mga labi sa gitna ng pakikiusap ng kaanak na maiuwi ang kanilang kapamilya #DefendSouthernTagalog
Posted by Karapatan Timog Katagalugan on Thursday, March 11, 2021
Karapatan sent out media advisories last Wednesday night to ask for a coverage as they claimed that Philippine Army personnel were blocking the relatives of the slain activists from entering the funeral parlor at Barangay San Jose in Antipolo City.
However, Philippine National Police (PNP) spokesperson Brig. Gen. Ildebrandi Usana on Thursday disputed Karapatan’s claims, saying that the funeral parlor’s management chose to bar them from entering because they stormed the said establishment.
Usana further added that only relatives of the slain individuals can claim the bodies, and that the funeral parlor only wanted to implement minimum health standards like physical distancing to avoid COVID-19 transmissions.
“Baligtad po sir ang report sa inyo. Per info from PD (Provincial Director of) Rizal, sumugod po mga […] Karapatan members at gusto nilang pumasok sa funeraria without due notice. The owner supposedly wanted to file a legal complaint (against) them for their scandalous acts,” Usana told reporters.
(They are giving you a twisted report. As per the information from the Rizal police Provincial Director, Karapatan members stormed and tried to enter the funeral parlor without due notice. The owner supposedly wanted to file a legal complaint against them for their scandalous acts.)
Police reports said that nine activists were killed in simultaneous police operations in Calabarzon last Sunday, after they resisted arrest and fought back. PNP said it was serving search warrants based on information that illegal firearms were located in the said areas.
Earlier, Usana also noted that 37 high-powered and low-powered firearms, aside from explosives like grenades and different improvised explosive device were seized during the operations. But accounts of the activists’ relatives said that they were summarily executed.
While the police has repeatedly stressed that the operations were legitimate, several organizations within the country and abroad have condemned the incident, with the United Nations releasing a statement saying that it is “appalled” by the attacks on activists.
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