MANILA, Philippines - Justice Secretary Leila De Lima has ordered National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) chief Nonnatus Caesar Rojas to investigate the death of Community Environment and Natural Resources Officer (CENRO) Alfredo Almueda.
Almueda succumbed to multiple gunshot wounds last January 2 after he was shot by two unidentified men at a checkpoint in barangay Villa Sur, Maddela, Quirino. Almueda's group received a tip at the time that a shipment of illegally cut logs would be passing the area.
In a 2-page memorandum dated January 4, De Lima directed Rojas "to assist in the investigation into the incident, particularly through the conduct of NBI's own initial investigation and, thereafter, should it be found necessary and appropriate, to refer the matter to the Joint DOJ-DENR-DILG Fact-finding Committee on Illegal Logging..."
Rojas was ordered to submit a report on the results of the NBI's initial investigation within 15 days.
De Lima'saction was in response to environment chief Ramon Paje's call for all law enforcement agencies, including the NBI, to "act decisively to bring to justice the perpetrators of this terrible crime."