Probe death of 2 Albay activists, NBI told

Evelyn Macairan - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra has ordered the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to look into the killing of two activists after they were caught spray-painting a bridge with anti-government slogans in Albay on Monday.

Marlon Naperi, 38, of the Albay People’s Organization, an affiliate of Karapatan-Bicol, and Jemar Palero, 22, of the Organisasyon ng mga Magsasaka sa Albay were reportedly killed hours before President Duterte delivered his last State of the Nation Address.

Police said a patrol car was hit when the two opened fire.

However, rights group Defend Bicol Stop the Attacks Network said the activists were unarmed.

“The NBI, through officer-in-charge Eric Distor is... directed and granted authority to conduct an investigation on the killing of activists Naperi and Palero... and if evidence warrants, to file the appropriate charges against all persons involved and found responsible for any unlawful act in connection therewith,” a department order Guevarra issued on Wednesday read.

The NBI was tasked to submit an initial report within 10 days.

Militant and human rights groups have called for a thorough and impartial investigation of the incident.

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