Group asks DOJ to speed up resolution of 'Kanaga 3' case

November 16, 2011 1:12 am 

MANILA, Nov. 15 — Supporters of the Justice for Leonard Co Movement (JLCM) trooped to the Department of Justice (DOJ) on Tuesday and asked for the speedy resolution of the "Kanaga 3" case.

Botanist Leonard Co, along with peasant guide Julius Borromeo and forest guard Sofronio Cortez, were killed allegedly during a crossfire between a group of New People's Army (NPA)rebels and elements of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Nov. 15, 2010 in Kanaga, Leyte. The trio and their group were on a biodiversity mission in the area.

But surviving witnesses from Co's team testified that there was no crossfire and that the military was the only armed group around during the incident.

This was later verified by a fact-finding mission conducted that same month by volunteer scientists, environmental activists, human rights workers and other groups basing on the trajectory of bullets only coming from the military's direction.

"Leonard's family and the public continue to thirst for justice in the face of turtle-pace investigation. It angers us that already a year has passed and still not a single word or action can be felt," said Dr. Giovanni Tapang, the convenor of JLCM.

Tapang called on the DOJ to "continue with the filing of murder charges against the AFP agents from the 19th Infantry Battalion for the killings of the Kananga 3."

He also asked the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) to immediately release its findings to bolster the case against the respondents.(PNA) RMA/PTR/mec

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