Justice dept. orders NBI probe on shooting of two Albay activists

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 29) – The National Bureau of Investigation will investigate Monday’s killing of two activists who allegedly engaged in a shootout with police, according to a Justice department directive, even as human rights groups rejected the narrative.

In a department order dated July 28, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra told NBI officer-in-charge Eric Distor to look into the case that involved Marlon Naperi and Jemar Palero, who were reportedly spray-painting anti-government slogans before they were shot dead by Albay cops.

Police said they retaliated after the two opened fire, but rights groups said the two were unarmed and that it was “unbelievable” to carry arms while doing graffiti.

Guevarra also gave the NBI authority to file charges against those who will be found liable for the deaths.

“Further, OIC Distor is hereby directed to submit reports on the progress of the subject investigation directly to the Office of the Secretary within 10 days and periodically thereafter,” the order read.

The Philippine National Police also launched an investigation on the shooting. PNP chief Gen. Guillermo Eleazar on Wednesday said he ordered restrictive custody for the policemen involved pending the investigation.

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