NBI identifying ‘lambanog’ makers, charges readied
MANILA, Philippines — The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) is identifying the manufacturers of the lambanog or coconut wine whose product has left 23 people dead and over a hundred others hospitalized.
“The NBI is still in the process of identifying the manufacturers of the toxic liquor and preparing the appropriate charges against them,” Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said Tuesday after receiving the preliminary report from the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).
The NBI conducted a probe upon orders of President Rodrigo Duterte following the coconut wine poisoning in Laguna and Quezon.
Guevarra said the possible complaint to be filed is reckless imprudence resulting in multiple homicides, serious physical injuries, and violation of the food and drugs law.
“I expect them to finish their investigation in January,” he said.
The justice chief said the result of the initial investigation came from information gathered from both the hospitalized individuals and the families of the deceased.
So far, Guevarra said, “the NBI did not find any basis for a willful sabotage angle.”
“Sabotage pertains to the participation of persons other than the manufacturers or distillers of the liquor to willfully ruin the trade,” he explained.
The Department of Health (DOH) reported over the weekend that 23 people have died from the lambanog poisoning outbreak in Laguna and Quezon.
Over 400 persons were reportedly hospitalized since the first reports came out in December 22 about those who got poisoned after consuming the popular locally produced liquor.
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