THE National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) assured the family of the factory worker who died while cleaning a pulverizing machine in Mandaue City, Cebu that it will look into the case should they ask for help.

NBI-Mandaue agent-in-charge Arnel Pura said the family of Stephen Corilla has not coordinated with the NBI yet, a day after Corilla’s father, Bonifacio, said they would seek the agency’s assistance to give justice to his son’s death.

Bonifacio said Tuesday, June 7, that officials of Universal Robina Corporation, owner of the plant where Stephen died, had never approached them nor provided assistance to them following the incident.

Stephen died around 1 p.m. Thursday, June 2, while cleaning a pulverizing machine at the URC plant in Mandaue City. Initial reports stated that one of his co-workers accidentally turned the machine while Stephen was inside it.

He was also allegedly tasked by one of his supervisors to clean the pulverizing machine when Stephen was assigned originally to the packaging area.

Earlier on Tuesday, June 7, Bonifacio went to the Mandaue City Police Office Station 3 in Barangay Basak to ask for a copy of his son's blotter, as he will forward it to several government agencies, including NBI, for further investigation.

Pura said Wednesday, June 8, that once Stephen's case is endorsed to the NBI, they will conduct a separate investigation on his death.

Once criminal negligence is proven, Pura said the NBI has the jurisdiction to file a case against those responsible, including the URC.

He could not yet specify, though, what kind of cases the persons responsible may face, pending a formal investigation on the incident.

In a radio interview on Tuesday, June 7, Stephen's wife, Aimee, condemned the URC for “not telling them the truth” on the day of the incident.

Aimee said that around 3 p.m. of June 2, she received a call from URC asking her to go to the plant through a company ambulance due to an emergency situation involving her husband.

Aimee said she tried many times to ask the company personnel, but she was not told about what happened.

She added that she also tried to ask for a copy of the closed circuit television (CCTV) footage that may have captured the incident, but the company workers did not respond to her.

"Sige ra silag ana nga ang doctor na lang maam mag ingun nimo, then kulit man gyud kaayu ko. Nya ana pa sila magkuha sa tag usa sa iyang igsuon maam, ingun ko nganu mang need pas yang egsuon nga nana man ko, kun emergency man gani need na kaayu kos akung bana karun," Aimee said.

[They (company personnel) kept telling me the doctor would explain what happened, but I kept asking them. They even said they would pick up one of my husband's siblings first before we go to the hospital. So, I said what for? I am already here. If it is an emergency, then my husband badly needs me now.]

"Before we arrived at the hospital, they finally told me my husband was gone. But what surprised me was that they blamed my husband for what happened to him. They said he volunteered to do the work and probably accidentally turned on the switch," she added.

Aimee also said they had coordinated with the Department of Labor and Employment-Central Visayas to check if the company had committed violations.

Police Lieutenant Colonel Franco Rodulf Oriol, Mandaue City Police Office (MCPO) deputy director for operations and spokesperson, told reporters on Wednesday, June 8, that the Police Regional Office-Central Visayas has already cooperated with MCPO Basak Station for an investigation on the incident.

Oriol said the investigation has started and URC has already coordinated with them.

Stephen was assigned to work at URC by his agency in May. The incident happened just about two weeks after his assignment there.

His family said Stephen was excited to work at URC, adding that he planned to save his salary so he can process his papers needed for him to work in Japan.