THE Department of Justice (DOJ) has wrapped up its investigation into the double murder case filed against 17 police officers tagged in the death of a fisherfolk couple who were among those killed during simultaneous police and military operations in Calabarzon (Cavite/Laguna/Batangas/Rizal/Quezon) on March 7, 2021.
This was after the respondent-lawmen and the complainants, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), and private complainant Rosenda Lamita thru the National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL), have submitted their memoranda before the DOJ.
Couple Ana Mariz “Chai” L. Evangelista and Ariel Evangelista were human rights defenders and leaders of the progressive group for fisherfolk, Ugnayan ng Mamamayan Laban sa Pagwawasak ng Kalikasan.
Both of them were strong advocates of protecting the rights of members of their communities.
On March 7, 2022, authorities conducted simultaneous raids in Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, and Rizal, resulting in the deaths of nine activists and arrests of scores of others.
Reports showed that authorities were able to recover explosives, several firearms, and subversive documents during the said operations in Calabarzon.
The Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) carried out the simultaneous raids to serve search warrants for loose firearms and illegal possession of explosives.