DOJ eyes independent probe on NegOcc massacre

MANILA — State lawyers will proceed with their own probe into the circumstances of the deaths of nine workers in a sugar farm in a Negros Occidental over the weekend.

“We’ll not wait for the results of the PNP investigation. 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),” Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra told reporters Tuesday.

The Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office, under Supt. Rodolfo Castil Jr., earlier vowed a thorough investigation into the killing of the victims hired day workers of the National Federation of Sugar Workers (NFSW), which occupies a portion of land at Hacienda Nene, Purok Fire Tree, Barangay Bulanon, Sagay City, Negros Occidental.

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

Among the motives being looked into by the PNP is a 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. Benjamin Pulta/