DOJ takes over Caramoan massacre case

NAGA CITY—The preliminary investigation of the gruesome Caramoan massacre case has been transferred to the Department of Justice (DOJ) in Manila.

Mass at Barangay Gata for the victims of the Caramoan massacre
Mass at Barangay Gata for the victims of the Caramoan massacre
Photo by Oscar Esmenda/BICOLSTANDARD.COM
This was the confirmation made by National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Region V Director Atty. Tomas Enrile in an interview by BICOL STANDARD today.

Enrile said that a special investigation panel was created by the DOJ to expedite the resolution of the case that resulted to the death last March 22 of Julio Labiano, Rene Labiano, Salem Virtuz, and Jesse Brondia, all residents of Barangay Gata, Caramoan, Camarines Sur.

The initial investigation of this case tagged the members of Task Force Sagip Kalikasan, as the persons allegedly involved in the crime.

According to the investigation, said Task Force were also involved in mining operations, and were competing with the local gold panners in the gold rich island of Lahuy in Caramoan.

Enrile further belied reports that the private complainants already lost interest in pursuing the case, due to the delay in the resolution of the criminal incident.

He however said that he had received unverified information that there is an individual who contacted the complaints enticing them not to pursue interest in the case.

Streamer calling for justice in Barangay Gata, Caramoan, Camarines Sur
Streamer calling for justice in Barangay Gata, Caramoan, Camarines Sur
Photo by Oscar Esmenda/BICOLSTANDARD.COM
As far as the NBI Bicol is concerned, he stated that they have submitted their investigation report to the proper authorities, he added.

Punong Barangay Mercy Sueno earlier revealed that she has been in contact with Secretary of Justice Leila de Lima over the developments of the case.

Rep. Wimpy Fuentebella of the 4th District of Camarines Sur also previously said that the House of Representatives will conduct its own investigation on the alleged illegal activities of the Task Force.

Groups like Citizens Crime Watch (CCW), Violence Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) and Karapatan Bikol have also assured the families of the victims of their sustained efforts to urge the government to resolve the case.—BICOLSTANDARD.COM

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