CHR supports murder complaint filed vs 17 cops for death of Cavite activist

Published December 4, 2021, 1:53 PM

by Jel Santos


Few days after a murder complaint was filed against 17 policemen for the killing of one of nine activists during the so-called March 7 “Bloody Sunday” raids, the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) expressed its support to the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) “move to achieve justice and ensure accountability.”

The filing of the murder charge was recommended by the special investigating team (SIT) of the Inter-Agency Committee on Extra-Legal Killings, Enforced Disappearances, Torture and Other Grave Violations of the Right of Life, Liberty and Security of Persons.

Charged with murder for the death of Emmanuel “Manny” Asuncion were PLT. Elbert M. Santos, PLT. Shay Jed Sapitulla, PSMS Hector R. Cardinales, PMSSG Ariel P. dela Cruz, PSSG, Joemark Sajul, PCPL Ernie A. Ambuyoc, PCCPL Mark John A. Defiesta, PCPL Arjay Garcia, PCPL Caidar Dimacangun, PCPL Bryan Sanchez, PCPL Ericson Lucido, Pat. Jayson Maala, Pat. Juanito Plite, Pat. Jonathan Tatel, Pat. Prince Benjamin Torres, Pat. Jaime Turingan, and Pat. Lopera Rey PJ Dacara.

The Office of the City Prosecutor (OPC) in Dasmarinas City in Cavite is set to hold a preliminary investigation on Jan. 11 and 25 next year. Those charged were ordered to submit their counter-affidavits

“No motion to dismiss will be entertained. Only counter-affidavits will be accepted. Failure to submit counter-affidavits is deemed a waiver of the right to present evidence,” stated the subpoena issued by Investigating Prosecutor Rogelio D. Radoc Jr.

In a statement, CHR Spokesperson Jacqueline Ann de Guia:

“The Commission on Human Rights welcomes the recommendation of the Department of Justice — Administrative Order No. 35 (AO 35) Special Investigation Team (SIT) — to file a murder complaint against law enforcement agents involved in the death of Emmanuel ‘Manny’ Asuncion, a labor leader in Cavite.”

At the time of his death, Asuncion was the provincial coordinator of the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) in Cavite.

“The indictment is a step towards achieving justice and ensuring accountability. The pursuit for justice continues and we expect updates and developments on the other victims of the ‘Bloody Sunday’ raids,” De Guia said.

She said the CHR anticipates the release in two weeks of the results on inter-agency’s probe of the killing of couples Chai and Ariel Evangelista during the raids conducted jointly by the police and the military to ferret out alleged members of communist party groups in South Luzon provinces.

De Guia also said:

“It is expedient that the government will ensure accountability and justice for each death and other alleged cases of extrajudicial killings to demonstrate seriousness in fighting the pervading climate of impunity. We hope that this development will provide the momentum to propel more actions that can show government’s regard for life and adherence to the rule of law.

“As we observe National Human Rights Consciousness Week, we hope that more tangible efforts will be done to reduce violence on the ground and prevent further attacks against activists and advocates of human rights.”