Justice and accountability on Southern Tagalog’s “Bloody Sunday” sought
Manila, Philippines – The police units, officers, and mastermind involved in the Southern Tagalog deadly crackdown should be held accountable over the bloody operations that claimed the lives of 9 activists and arrested 6 others, according to the militant fishers’ group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA).
The fishers’ group denounced and is seeking justice for the slain activists, which they said, mostly were involved in coastal protection in the region.
Slain Bagong Alyansang Makabayan-Cavite (BAYAN) Manny Asuncion, was working closely with the Cavite fisherfolk against reclamation projects in Manila Bay covering at least 4, 000 hectares of the province’s fishing waters. The said reclamation projects would cover at least 4, 000 hectares of Cavite’s extremely vulnerable coastal ecosystems.
The fisherfolk couple Chai Lemita-Evangelista and Ariel Evangelista, PAMALAKAYA added, were both members of Ugnayan ng Mamamayan Laban sa Pagwawasak ng Kalikasan at Kalupaan (UMALPAS KA), a local environmental organization in Nasugbu, Batangas. The Evangelistas were active in the long-standing campaign against coastal and land-grabbing by private developers within the 8,650-hectare Hacienda Looc in Nasugbu.
“We demand justice for our murdered colleagues in a form of bringing the police perpetrators and their mastermind to account. They were non-combatants, environmental defenders and democratic activists most of all, contrary to the police claim that they possessed weapons and fought back against authorities who savagely raided their houses,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA National Chairperson said in a statement.
PAMALAKAYA said the region-wide deadly crackdown “came at the heels” of President Duterte’s “Kill, Kill, Kill” order to police.
“It is without a doubt that President Duterte himself was the mastermind of this Sunday bloody carnage in Southern Tagalog. He should be held accountable as he has the murdered activists’ bloods on his hands,” ended Hicap. ###
Victims of “Bloody Sunday” in Southern Tagalog: Manny Asuncion, Bayan Cavite Secretary-General killed in Dasmarinas City, Cavite; Chai and Ariel Evangelista, leaders of UMALPAS KA killed in Nasugbu, Batangas; Puroy and Randy Dela Cruz, dumagat farmers killed in Brgy. Sta. Inez, Tanay town; Marklee “Makmak” Bacasno and Melvin “Greg” Dasigao, urban poor activists killed in Kasiglahan Village, Rodriguez town.