MANILA — Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla said Wednesday they are having difficulty in getting witnesses in the 2021 murder of nine Southern Tagalog activists dubbed as "Bloody Sunday" killings.
Talking to the House Appropriations Committee, Remulla assured those willing to testify about the incident that they will be placed under the Department of Justice's (DOJ) witness protection program, except if they are uniformed personnel.
"Ang problema rin ho, kung ang salarin po rito ay naka-uniporme, hindi po sila sakop ng Witness Protection Program. Ngunit lahat ho ng paraan upang mahanap po ang mga salarin sa Bloody Sunday po na ating pinag-uusapan ay hindi po natin pinalalampas," Remulla said.
Earlier in the same budget briefing, Justice Undersecretary Brigido Dulay revealed that 30 police officers and personnel are now being investigated in relation to the Bloody Sunday incident.
Dulay said the respondents are not yet detained.
ACT Teachers party-list Rep. France Castro said she finds this unacceptable.
"Pag involved yung uniformed personnel, ang tagal ng [preliminary investigation]. Pero 'pag magta-trumped up cases, kulong agad," she said.
Castro flagged Dulay's failure to give updates on the Bloody Sunday incident when she asked for it on Tuesday, and admitted that she got emotional over the murders.
Dulay apologized to the lawmaker and assuring her that his staff already turned in an "initial update on the case."
Remulla also assured Castro that he is keeping close tabs on the case.
"Ito ho'y iniimbestigahan pa ho ng NBI at hinahanap ko pa rin ho ang mga paraan para masagot itong mga katanungan ng EJK (extra-judicial killings) na ating tinatawag," he said.
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