NBI to conduct parallel probe on NegOcc farmers slay

By Benjamin Pulta

October 23, 2018, 8:55 pm

MANILA -- The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) will conduct a parallel investigation into the gruesome killing of nine workers in a sugar farm in Negros Occidental, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra confirmed Tuesday.

"I have directed the NBI to do its own investigation of the Sagay massacre, to submit progress reports to the DOJ, and to file the appropriate complaint as the evidence may warrant against the perpetrators of the crime," Guevarra told reporters.

Guevarra earlier explained that they will not wait for the results of the Philippine National Police's (PNP) investigation into the crime.

"If we think that the circumstances require our immediate participation, we shall conduct our own investigation. Kaya nakikiramdam muna kami (We are assessing the situation)," Guevarra said.

The Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office earlier vowed a thorough investigation into the killing of the victims, who were members of the National Federation of Sugar Workers (NFSW), which occupies a portion of land at Hacienda Nene, Purok Fire Tree, Barangay Bulanon, Sagay City.

Police said approximately 12 unidentified armed men gunned down on the victims and burned their shanties on Saturday night.

Among the motives being looked into by the PNP is the supposed conflict between the land owner and NSFW farmers claiming the same portion of the land.

The owner donated the land to selected beneficiaries instead of having it passed through the government's mandatory agrarian land distribution program. (PNA)