Police still hold bodies of 2 slain activists in 'Bloody Sunday' — Kadamay

Two days after the ‘Bloody Sunday’ police operations in Calabarzon, the bodies of slain activists Melvin Dasigao and Marklee “Makmak” Bacasno were still being held by the police, according to urban poor group Kadamay. 

Dasigao and Bacasno, members of San Isidro Kasiglahan, Kapatiran at Damayan para sa Kabuhayan, Katarungan at Kapayapaan (SIKKAD-K3) in Rodriguez, Rizal, were among those killed during the deadly weekend raids. Dasigao was the group’s president, while Bacasno served as a member.

Their families tried to claim their bodies since Monday, March 8, at the Antipolo Funeral Homes to give these proper burial. However, the local police withheld the bodies and asked the families for clearance before they could claim the remains. 

The group condemned the police’s actions Tuesday, March 9, and compared it to the case of slain activist Randall Enchanis whose body was held for at least 3 days. 

"Walang puso ang PNP, mamatay-tao na nga, wala pang respeto sa bangkay at pamilya ng kanilang mga biktima. Kinakasangkapan ng pulis ang mga funeraria para lalong gipitin ang pamilya, (PNP has no mercy. They’re not just murderers, they also have no respect for the bodies of slain activists and their families. Police conspire with funeral homes to further deprive families)," Kadamay Secretary General Mimi Doringo said in a statement. 

"Mga galing sa homeless ang tao riyan, mga walang tahanan na nagsisikap na mabuhay. Wala ngang maayos na tubig at kuryente ang lugar, tapos aakusahan ng pulis na may mga hawak na baril at bomba ang mga tao? (They came from homelessness. They had no homes but they strived to live. In fact, there is no reliable water and electricity supply in their area and now the police claimed they have guns and bombs?),” Doringo added. 

In a text message, Rodriguez town police chief Lieutenant Colonel Christopher de la Peña denied they were holding the cadavers. He added that they just instructed the funeral homes to inform them when someone claimed the body to validate whether the claimants are legitimate. 

Birth of the urban rights group

In 2017, at least 200 residents of Barangay San Isidro inhabited the unoccupied housing units in Rizal. Later, they became known as the SIKKAD-K3, a legal organization that advocated housing rights in Kasiglahan Village, Rodriguez, Rizal. 

They were linked to communist groups and red-tagged by the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC).

The crackdown, which resulted in the killings of at least 9 people and arrest of 6 others, was part of President Duterte's Executive Order 70, which called for a whole-of-nation approach against the communist insurgency in the Philippines. -Rappler.com