NUPL to DOJ: File murder raps vs cops in Batangas 'bloody Sunday' raid | Inquirer News
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NUPL to DOJ: File murder raps vs cops in Batangas ‘bloody Sunday’ raid

/ 07:52 PM April 20, 2022

MANILA, Philippines — The National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL) has asked the Department of Justice (DOJ) to hold liable for double murder the 17 police officers that took part in the “bloody Sunday” operation last year that led to the death of a fisherfolk couple from Batangas.

Ariel and his wife Ana Mariz “Chai” Lemita Evangelista were shot to death by the police on March 7, 2021. The couple had led their community in opposing the construction of at least 150 fish cases that would occupy the fishing grounds of Nasugbo, Batangas.

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READ: NBI files murder raps vs 17 cops in ‘Bloody Sunday’ raid

In a 16-page memorandum submitted to the Department of Justice (DOJ) Wednesday, the NUPL, counsel for the Evangelista family, said the couple was defenseless and unarmed.

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The NUPL said eyewitness testimonies showed that the police officers “greatly outnumbered the victims” and “carried their own individual 9mm short service firearms and 5.56 Galil ACE 22 long service firearms.”

“Chai and Ariel did not own or carry firearms during the incident or at anytime for that matter. The machine pistols allegedly held and used by the victims in firing at the operatives were never recovered. Moreover, the hand grenades allegedly recovered were non-lethal and unserviceable for lack of detonator and explosive fillers,” the NUPL stated in the memorandum.

Autopsy report showed that Chai was shot seven (7) times to the body, while Ariel was shot four (4) times to the body, showing a clear intent to kill.

READ: Murder charges recommended vs cops, soldiers in ‘Bloody Sunday’ raid

“The trajectory of the bullets based on the entry/exit points and the organs it penetrated/perforated, per autopsy report and sketch are downward and diagonal. This is indicative that the shooter was standing and at close range, while the spouses were sitting,” it added.

NUPL also noted that as early as December 2020, there is already an investigation, validation and surveillance being conducted by authorities.

Several conferences were held among the operatives on the implementation of the search warrant. Before proceeding to the area where the search warrants were to be implemented, last-minute briefings were given to the operatives, it stressed.

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The police alleged that the Ugnayan ng Mamamayan Laban sa Pagwawasak ng Kalikasan at Kalupaan (UMALPAS KA) of which the couple are officers is front organization of communist groups.

NUPL said “respondents’ fantastic claim that the victims were hardened criminal members of gun-running and gun-for-hire syndicates and also members of the communist-terrorist group or the NPA (New People’s Army), does not give them the license and justification to murder and extra-judicially kill the victims,” the NUPL said.

Named respondents in the criminal complaint filed were members of the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) Region IVA.

They were identified in the complaint as PLt.Col. Joseph Nandu Jr., PLt. Arjay Santos, PMSg. Rafael Roque, PMSg. Mark Tolentino, PSSg. Elvern Cacatian, PSSg. Rodel Sillacay, PSSg. Edgar Brinas, PCpl. Aldrin Gabrillo, PCpl. Allen Lugue, Pat. Julio Bautista, Pat. Ray Boom Boom Dalingay, Pat. Grizzly Paras, Pat. Rogelio Ninolla, Pat. Ruel Tenoso, Pat. Rich John Melniel Tumacder, Pat. Renzo Santos, and Pat. Mark Lester Padul.

The respondent police officers said they did not fire their firearms. They have also submitted a result of their ballistic examination conducted by the Cavite Provincial Forensic Unit (PFU).

READ: ‘We did not fire our guns,’ cops in Batangas ‘bloody Sunday’ raid tell prosecutors

But NUPL said the report is “unreliable and unworthy” given that it was “made more than eleven (11) months after the incident on March 7, 2021 and after the instant case has already been filed with the Department of Justice (DOJ)” and “the examination was made only on two 5.56mm fired cartridge cases even though what were recovered from the crime scene were nine fired cartridge cases and three fired bullets from 5.56mm rifle. 45 caliber pistol, and 9mm pistol.”

“Some of the 9mm pistols submitted for examination were issued to the respondents only after the March 7, 2021 incident,” the NUPL said.

“No paraffin test was conducted on the respondents immediately after the incident to determine who among them fired their firearms, instead paraffin tests were conducted on the two (2) victims, which produced two (2) conflicting and contradictory results,” it added.

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TAGS: Activists, Bloody Sunday, Calabarzon, Human rights, Search Warrant, Tokhang
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