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PNP chief Carlos assures availability of 17 cops charged for ‘Bloody Sunday’ killings

Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Police General Dionardo Carlos on Saturday said that the 17 police officers accused of killing two activists last March will be available to face investigation at the Department of Justice (DOJ).

“I have instructed the Director CIDG to ensure that all concerned personnel is accounted for and available to face further investigation,” he said in a statement.

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has filed a complaint for murder against 17 police officers who were involved in the serving of the search warrants in Nasugbu, Batangas on March 7, 2021.

The fatalities were identified as spouses Ariel and Ana Evangelista, members of the Ugnayan ng Mamamayan Laban sa Pagwawasak ng Kalikasan at Kalupaan.

“This is among the occupational risks faced by police personnel arising from service-related circumstances and regular performance of duty. Our personnel deserves to avail of all legal remedies provided by law,” Carlos said.

Carlos maintained the legitimacy of the police operation, adding that the police officers acted upon a court order to serve a search warrant for illegal firearms at the address of the Evangelista couple.

The operation, however, led to an armed confrontation, he said. 

“At any rate, the PNP respects the legal action of NBI in bringing the case up for prosecution before the DOJ (Department of Justice). This will allow the respondents the opportunity to face their accusers and present their side in the best interest of due process,” he said.

Carlos said there is no need for the PNP to conduct its own probe. However, it will look into the "administrative liability of personnel concerned as a matter of policy," he added. 

“We are confident that this indictment is not enough to dampen the resolve of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) or any other PNP unit in pursuing the objectives of the PNP against terrorism and criminality,” Carlos said. — VBL, GMA News