NBI 7: URC not to blame in factory worker’s death

·2 min read

AN OFFICIAL of the National Bureau of Investigation in Central Visayas (NBI 7) claims that the owners of the food and beverage plant in Mandaue City where a factory worker died cannot be blamed for his death.

Bienvenido Panican, NBI 7 senior investigator, told SunStar Cebu on Thursday, June 16, 2022, that the death of factory worker Stephen Corilla may have been due to “human error” and not because of defective machinery at the plant owned by Universal Robina Corp. (URC) in Barangay Tabok, Mandaue City.

Related story: NBI vows to help solve factory worker’s death

Panican made the statement to address allegations made by some pro-labor groups that Corilla’s death may have been attributed, among others, to unsafe machinery inside the URC plant in Mandaue City.

Based on what they gathered during their initial investigation, Panican believes that someone working at the plant may have turned on the pulverizing machine where Corilla was working at that time, resulting in his death.

“Human error talaga. Non-negligence on the part of the company... Not necessarily nga defective yung machine. Meron talagang nagkamali (Someone really made a mistake),” Panican said.

Panican said they will be gathering statements from witnesses at the plant which will be used as basis of their official investigation.

The NBI 7 is conducting its own investigation after Corilla’s family sought its help on June 9, or seven days after Corilla died.

Person of interest

In a related development, investigators from the Mandaue City Police Office (MCPO) also identified a “person of interest” in Corilla’s death.

But Lieutenant Colonel Franco Rudolf Oriol, MCPO’s deputy director for operations and spokesperson, said that unlike the NBI 7, they have not concluded yet if URC had no fault in Corilla’s death.

Oriol said they have started interviewing 10 workers who were present when the accident happened.

If they find any evidence, both the NBI 7 and MCPO will charge those responsibile with reckless imprudence resulting to homicide.

Corilla, 32, a resident of Barangay Pusok, Lapu-Lapu City, was cleaning the pulverizing machine at the URC plant in Tabok, Mandaue City on June 2 when the machine suddenly turned on while he was still inside.

Corilla sustained severe injuries which resulted in his death.

Several groups and individuals, including Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Junard “Ahong” Chan, have vowed to assist Corilla’s family in finding justice for him.

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