Press Release
January 17, 2022

Dispatch from Crame No. 1205:
Sen. Leila M. de Lima on the NBI Findings there was "deliberate intention to kill" spouses Ariel and Chai Evangelista in the Bloody Sunday raids in March 2021

The findings of the National Bureau of Investigation that there was "deliberate intention to kill" spouses Ariel Evangelista and Ana Mariz "Chai" Lemita-Evangelista in the Bloody Sunday raids did not come as a surprise.

I laud the step taken by the NBI in filing murder complaints against 17 cops from the PNP-CIDG CALABARZON, over the killing of two of the nine activists killed during the "Bloody Sunday" operations in March 2021.

Truly, this is the only proper turn that this case could take, especially given the evidence of irregularities in an operation that was supposedly merely for the implementation of a search warrant. For one, the operating team not only conducted the operation in the cover of darkness, but further deliberately obscured their identities by wearing bonnets, while other members of the operating team told neighbors to close the windows and warning guests of Lemita's cottages not to take videos. These are far from the standard protocols for legitimately implementing search warrants. Furthermore, the reported trajectory of the bullet, and location of the entry and exit of the fatal wounds all belied the go-to "Nanlaban" defense theory favored by cops.

As welcome as this development may be, it, however, remains sickening and horrifying especially because we know that this may be the fate of the other activists, drug suspects, and ordinary people in the many still unresolved cases of extrajudicial killings in our country. This could also happen to anyone of us.

This development in the Bloody Sunday raid cases is a big step forward for the human rights community. Lalo na kung iisipin natin ang mga buhay at kalayaan na isinakripisyo. Kaya hindi puwedeng masanay tayo sa namamayaning sistema ng kawalang-katarungan, kahit paulit-ulit na ang patayan at pag-atake sa mamamayan.

The filing of murder charges by the NBI against the state agents who were involved in the killing of the couple should be a warning to law enforcers never to allow themselves to be used as weapons against the very people they vowed to serve and protect. Kahit gaano pa man kahaba at kasalimuot ang proseso, sa huli mananaig pa rin ang katotohanan.

(Access the handwritten version, here:

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