DOJ asks NBI to probe killing of two activist farmers in Albay
MANILA, Philippines — Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra has ordered the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to investigate the killing of two activist farmers in Guinobatan, Albay.
In Department Order No. 175, Menardo also authorized the NBI to file the charges, if evidence warrants, against those found responsible for the deaths of Jemar Palero and Marlon Naperi.
The NBI officer in charge, Eric Nistor, was also required to submit reports on the progress of the investigation within 10 days and periodically after.
Palero was a member of the Organisasyon ng Magsasaka sa Albay (OMA) and Naperi was a member of the Albay People’s Organization, an affiliate of Karapatan-Bicol.
Both were killed on Banao Bridge on Maharlika Highway after an alleged shootout with cops, while the two were painting graffiti.
The broad alliance group Defend Bicol Stop the Attacks Network said the two activists were unarmed when they were shot dead by Albay police officers.
The two victims had already spraypainted on Banao Bridge what appears to be an unfinished protest slogan — “Duterte Ibags,” according to the group.
Meanwhile, human rights group Karapatan also decried this killing, claiming that it was another “damning evidence of the bloody state of the nation under [President Rodrigo] Duterte.”
Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, the chief of the Philippine National Police, has already ordered an investigation into the shooting incident.
According to Eleazar, the police officer involved have been placed under restrictive custody.
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