MANILA - The National Bureau of Investigation is set to determine whether Tuesday’s murder of lawyer Benjamin Ramos is related to the October 20 massacre of nine sugar farmers in Sagay City, Negros Occidental.
“(I) will direct the NBI to include if there are any indications that the incident is related to the previous killings," Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra told reporters yesterday.
Ramos, 56, a founding member of the National Union of People's Lawyers, was shot dead in Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental in a 10:30 p.m. attack by motorcycle-riding men along Rojas Street, Barangay 5, about 3 km. away from a police station.
The NUPL confirmed that Ramos was part of a team that they sent to assist the victims of the Sagay shooting, that occurred in a farm at Hacienda Nene, Purok Firetree, Barangay Bulanon, Sagay City.
Meanwhile, Malacañang said blaming government for the killing of Ramos was "reckless", even as it condemned his slay.
“Putting the blame of the slaying on the government by a group or by a member of Congress not only is reckless [and] irresponsible, [it is] baseless as well,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a statement.
“It can only inflame the emotions of those outraged by the senseless death," he added.
Act Teachers Rep. France Castro said “there is blood in the hands of the Duterte administration” over Ramos’ killing, ABS-CBN News reported.
Panelo said President Rodrigo Duterte would not allow anyone to “violate any law and get away with it.”
He also sent the President's condolences to Ramos’ family and said Duterte "gives his assurance that there will be no stone left unturned in the resolution of the killing of a fellow member of the Bar.”
Six senators, meanwhile, called for a legislative inquiry into the Sagay killing, reports said.
Senators Leila de Lima, Bam Aquino, Risa Hontiveros, Francis Pangilinan, Antonio Trillanes IV, and Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon filed Senate Resolution 929, adding the killing should "prompt the government to take a hard look at the decades-old failure of the government’s agrarian reform program."
“This (killing) is not an isolated case as it only reflects the prevailing situation in many farmlands around the country, necessitating immediate attention of government to address the plight of Filipino farmers,” the senators said in the resolution.*PNA
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