DOJ forms special teams to probe ‘Bloody Sunday’

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    JUSTICE Secretary Menardo Guevarra yesterday said the DOJ-led inter-agency AO35 task force has created special investigating teams to probe the deaths of nine activists in police operations in Calabarzon, an incident dubbed by human rights groups as “Bloody Sunday.”

    “We have created special investigating teams last week for every incident that happened in Rizal, Laguna, Batangas and Cavite. These special investigating teams have been constituted and will start their work immediately,” Guevarra said in a radio interview.
    Guevarra said they will also coordinate with the Commission on Human Rights.

    “I told them (CHR) of the creation of the special investigating teams under the AO 35 committee and I asked for the CHR’s cooperation in the case build-up,” he said.

    Last week, Guevarra endorsed the investigation to the AO35 task force, saying there was evidence the slain activists were only carrying out “legitimate dissent.”

    Aside from the nine activists killed, six others were apprehended.

    The task force was created under Administrative Order No. 35 issued in 2013 to investigate extrajudicial and politically motivated killings as well as human rights violations in the country.

    The members of the task force are the DOJ as the lead agency, the Department of the Interior and Local Government, Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine National Police and the National Bureau of Investigation.