May 22, 2024

The Insider News

Direct from the source

DOJ upholds dismissal of murder raps vs 17 cops in ‘Bloody Sunday’ case

By Justine Rich Talusan

THE Department of Justice (DOJ) upheld the dismissal of murder charges filed against 17 policemen implicated in the killing of a fisherfolk couple in Calabarzon on March 7, 2021 known as “Bloody Sunday.”

Government prosecutors denied Rosenda Lemita’s motion for reconsideration regarding the death of couple Ariel Evangelista and Ana Mariz Lemita for lack of  merit. 

According to the resolution, dated May 29, 2023, a thorough examination of the motion did not provide sufficient grounds for overturning the panel’s initial findings.

“The complainant failed to establish a compelling case of conspiracy, relying instead on baseless assumptions that the Philippine National Police (PNP) conducted the operations with the specific intent to kill spouses Evangelista,” stated the resolution.

In the original resolution during the preliminary investigation, prosecutors had discovered that the murder weapon used in the killings did not match any of the firearms carried by the accused police officers, leading to the decision to drop the charges.

Cleared of two counts of murder were Lt. Col. Joseph Tan Nandu Jr., Lt. Arjay Mansalapuz Santos, MSgs. Rafael N. Roque and Mark T. Tolentino, SSgs. Elvern D. Cacatian, Rodel A. Sillacay, and Edgar B. Brinas, Cpls. Aldrin E. Gabrillo and Allen S. Lugue, and Patrolmen Julio Bautista, Ray Boom Boom D. Dalingay, Grizzly O. Paras, Rogelio M. Ninolla, Ruel M. Tenoso, Rich John Melniel L. Tumacder, Renzo B. Santos, and Mark Lester R. Padul.  The accused cops were part of the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) Region 4-A.