Probe ordered on death of 2 Albay activists caught spray-painting anti-Duterte slogan

Gen. Guillermo Lorenzo Eleazar, chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP), ordered on Wednesday, July 28, a thorough investigation on the death of two activists who allegedly shot it out with local policemen after they were caught spay-painting anti-government slogan that calls for the ouster of President Duterte in Albay.

The two activists, 22-year old Jemr Palero and 38-year old Marlon Naperi, allegedly opened fire at the local policemen who were about to accost them in Lower Binogsacan in Guinobatan town of Albay on Monday morning, or hours before the State of the Nation Address of President Duterte.

"In order to clear doubts and allegations surrounding their death, I have already ordered the Internal Affairs Service to prioritize and expedite the investigation on this incident in order for us to know what really happened," said Eleazar in a statement.

The group Defend Bicol claimed the activistswere shot dead by elements of the Albay Police.

However, the official police report stated that the activists were armed and that they fired on the cops who were about to accost them after they were caught spray-painting anti-government slogan. This allegedly prompted the policemen to retaliate.

Eleazar said he also directed the Regional Director of Bicol regional police to place the policemen involved in the incident under restrictive custody pending the result of the final report and recommendation of the IAS.

He also appealed to the public to let the investigation take its course before making conclusions on the incident.

"We are also calling on all those who witnessed the incident to surface and help us in the conduct of the investigation," said Eleazar.