March 7 marked the first anniversary of the so-called “Bloody Sunday” massacre. State security forces killed nine activists while six activists were arrested. In the meantime, 34 police and military personal who were involved in a total of three killings have been charged with murder. ‘We also assert that blood is not only upon the hands of the policemen involved in the raids: President Duterte’s kill-kill-kill orders, the red-tagging of NTF-ELCAC officials, and the judges who issued the warrants have clearly and directly led to this gruesome bloodshed a year ago’, said human rights organization Karapatan. However, the threats, attacks, murders and red-tagging of human rights activists continue, as Karapatan and the workers’ organization Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) emphasize. Duterte’s administration uses the massacre to intimidate activists, says KMU Chairperson Elmer Labog.
“Bloody Sunday” already led to debates about the legal process of search and arrest warrants as well as to a Supreme Court decision which resulted in several charges against activists being dropped.
Photo © Raffy Lerma