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DoJ forms inquiry on killing of leftists

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JUSTICE Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra approved the creation of two Special Investigating Teams that will probe the killing of three activists in the Bicol Region. In a statement, spokesperson and Usec. Markk L Perete said the Secretary, pursuant to Administrative Order (AO) No. 35, directed prosecutors to lead the teams tasked to determine if the killings were politically motivated and assist in the buildup of cases for prosecution of those responsible. The prosecutors are required to submit their report to the AO No. 35 secretariat within 30 days upon creation of investigating teams. Last June 15, Ryan Hubilla and Nelly Bagasala, alleged members of human rights group Karapatan, were gunned down in Sorsogon, and former Bayan Muna Bicol regional coordinator Naptali Moraga was killed in Naga, Camarines Sur on June 17. For its part, Human Rights Watch in a statement on Tuesday said in part, “The recent killings underscore that attacks on leftist activists is a serious human rights problem in the Philippines that has never gone away.” — Vann Marlo M. Villegas and Vince Angelo C. Ferreras

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