Lawyers’ group hits dismissal of 2nd ‘Bloody Sunday’ case
MANILA, Philippines — The dismissal of the second “Bloody Sunday” case is a “grave disservice to the victims”, the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL) said in a statement on Saturday.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) on Friday cleared 17 police officers accused of killing of fisherfolk couple Anna Marie “Chai” Lemita-Evangelista and Ariel Evangelista during a series of police raids in 2021 which came to be known as “Bloody Sunday”.
READ: DOJ clears 17 cops tagged in ‘Bloody Sunday’ raids; gun used didn’t match
“This regrettable development in the much vaunted Bloody Sunday cases, which the government promised to closely investigate under its [Administrative Order 35] mechanism, belies its pompous claim that it is rolling out ‘real justice in real time’ under an ‘effective and responsive justice system.’ It is certainly a grave disservice to the victims,” said the NUPL.
According to the NUPL, despite evidence that the couple did not have any guns, the DOJ still believed that they started a shootout with the police.
“With their discredited ‘nanlaban’ narrative taken at face value, the police were gratuitously presumed to have regularly performed their official duties and were once again gifted with impunity,”the NUPL added.
The NUPL, however, vowed to continue looking for justice, together with the victims’ family.
“In due time, the NUPL will move for reconsideration of the resolution and reassert that the police respondents’ theories — nay, false plots — of self-defense and lawful performance of one’s duty are, under the circumstances, not compelling enough to overcome a finding of probable cause. They should be indicted before a court of law and made to answer for their crimes,” it said.
The first Bloody Sunday dismissal, according to the NUPL, was the one involving labor leader Emmanuel “Manny” Asuncion. His case was dismissed by the DOJ in January 2023.
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