The Department of Justice (DOJ) will start today its preliminary investigation of the murder complaint filed against 17 policemen for their alleged involvement in the killings of activists Ariel Evangelista and his wife Ana Mariz during the so-called “Bloody Sunday” operations conducted in Southern Tagalog on March 7, 2021.
This came after the DOJ panel of prosecutors earlier issued a subpoena to the 17 policemen who were commanded to appear on February 22 and March 1, 2022, both at 2:00 p.m. during the preliminary investigation of complaint at the DOJ in Manila.
Named respondents in the complaint were 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.
They are all members of the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) in Region IV-A, Southern Tagalog region.
The National Bureau of Investigation- Death Investigation Division filed the complaint against the policemen before the DOJ last Jan. 14.
The “Bloody Sunday” incident is being investigated by the NBI on orders from the Administrative Order 35 (AO 35) Inter-Agency Committee on Extra-Legal Killings, Enforced Disappearances, Torture and Other Grave Violations of the Right to Life, Liberty and Security of Persons.
Reports showed that the Evangelista couple were killed in Nasugbu, Batangas while policemen were serving search warrants against them.
Apart from the Evangelista couple, seven other activists died and six others were arrested during the joint military-police operations to ferret out persons allegedly linked to communist terrorist groups in Southern Luzon provinces.
“This filing (of the murder complaint) comes as the culmination of months of tireless work on the part of the Administrative Order No. 35 (s. 2012) Special Investigation Team that conducted the investigation and case buildup with the valuable and diligent assistance of the NBI,” the DOJ said in an earlier statement.