Cops who shot dead 2 Albay activists relieved

Emmanuel Tupas - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Two policemen tagged in the killing of two activists caught spray-painting a bridge with anti-government slogans in Guinobatan, Albay on Monday have been relieved from their posts.

Philippine National Police chief Gen. Guillermo Eleazar ordered yesterday the PNP Internal Affairs Service to probe the killing of Jemar Palero, 22, and Marlon Naperi, 38, in Barangay Lower Binogsacan.

Eleazar ordered Bicol police director Brig. Gen. Jonnel Estomo to place the policemen under restrictive custody while an investigation is ongoing.

Bicol police spokesperson Maj. Ma. Luisa Calubaquib said six policemen were involved in the incident.

Rights group Defend Bicol Stop the Attacks Network said the activists were unarmed when gunned down hours before President Duterte delivered his last State of the Nation Address.

However, police claimed a shootout occurred after Palero and Naperi opened fire.

Eleazar appealed to the public to wait for the result of the investigation.

“Makakaasa ang ating mga kababayan ng patas at malalimang
imbestigasyon tungkol sa kasong ito,” he said.

Eleazar urged those who witnessed the shooting to come
forward and cooperate with investigators.

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