The “Bloody Sunday” last March 7, in which nine activists were killed and six others were arrested in four provinces across Southern Tagalog, was met with widespread condemnation by individuals, organizations and even agencies of the reactionary government.
On top of the five victims initially reported in Ang Bayan last March 7, four others were were killed by state agents under COPLAN ASVAL. They were identified as Dumagat siblings Puroy and Randy dela Cruz who were killed at Sitio Mina, Barangay Sta. Inez, Tanay, Rizal; and Abner and Edward Mendoza, members of San Isidro Kasiglahan, Kapatiran at Damayan para sa Kabuhayan, Katarungan at Kapayapaan at Sitio Macaingalan, Barangay Puray, Rodriguez, Rizal.
The killings were called a “massacre” perpetrated by a “murderous regime” by Vice Pres. Leni Robredo. The United Nations, other international human rights groups, academics, the religious and the Commission on Human Rights also expressed their alarm over the killings.
On March 10, the relatives of two of the victims were harassed and threatened with arrest by the police when they claimed the cadavers of their family members. They only managed to retrieve the bodies with the help of their supporters.
Bayan-Laguna spokesperson Elizabeth Camoral, one of the arrested was already released last March 15, while the 5 other activists remain detained.