PAMALAKAYA doesn’t trust the DOJ probe on ‘Bloody Sunday’
Manila, Philippines – “We’ve heard this script before, but we never saw an ending. It seems it’s a part of a game plan that upon killings of activists, the DOJ will commit an investigation to appease the public outrage,” This was the statement of the militant fishers’ group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA) on Wednesday, doubting the probe being initiated by the Department of Justice (DOJ) on the “Bloody Sunday” police raid that killed 9 activists in Southern Tagalog on March 7.
In a statement, PAMALAKAYA said that Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra is a member of the National Rask Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), created via the Executive Order 70 of President Duterte. The NTF-ELCAC, the fishers’ group said, is “notorious in red-tagging and vilification of activists and progressive organizations, leading to political persecution and extrajudicial killings,”
“What kind of justice could we expect from a member of a body that is rampant in endangering lives of activists through red-tagging? The very mission of the said task force is to politically persecute legal and democratic activists, and this is on top that he is the alter-ego of Duterte who himself ordered to kill, kill, and kill the insurgents without regard for human rights,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA National Chairperson said in a statement.
The fishers’ group said the DOJ has also probed the assassination of late-Anakpawis Party-list Chairman Randall “Randy” Echanis, “but to no avail”.
“Surely, the DOJ can proceed with their own investigation, but we do not give high hopes that its legal mechanisms would be impartial and would have significant results to expose and hold the police perpetrators to account,” Hicap, former Anakpawis Party-list solon added.
The fishers’ group said they would rather back independent initiatives that would probe the killings, such as from the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) and international human rights bodies.