Gov. Eloy S. Inos took a break from his busy campaign schedule to assure the CNMI community that his administration would do its best to solve the recent killing of two Chinese farmers in Koblerville.
“The whole scenario is unfortunate whether [they were killed] by locals or one of their own, but this thing about locals really bothers me because what group of local people could do that kind of stuff?” Inos said in an interview at the NMI Republican Party headquarters on Beach Road last Wednesday.
Inso said that whether the slaying of Hai Ren Li and Cheng You Li is extortion-related or even drug-related, “we’re going to get into the bottom of this thing.”
“Our hearts go out to the family and friends of the deceased and I just hope that the investigation will continue so we can put this thing into finality,” he added.
Members of the Chinese community staged a protest in front of the Office of the Governor last week to demand that law enforcement authorities solve not only this latest killing but a spate of other murders involving Chinese nationals in the past couple of years.
“That had to do with probably one or two other events that have not been resolved and it only means we have to work harder. And that’s why I’m asking local and federal law enforcement agencies to help out,” Inos said.
Delegate Gregorio Kilili C. Sablan (Ind-MP) said he is both sad and upset about the killing of the two Chinese farmers.
“I think I speak for us all when I say it was a shock and a sadness to have something like this happen in our community. Now we have to rely on our public safety officers to investigate and bring any responsible parties to justice,” Sablan said.
House Speaker Joseph Deleon P. Guerrero cautioned the public against making hasty conclusions on how the two farmers were killed or who murdered them. He said everyone should let local and federal law enforcement do their jobs and investigate the case.
The killing of the two men has even alarmed the Saipan Chamber of Commerce.
“The latest murder of two Chinese resident nationals on Saipan provides an unnerving situation in our quiet tranquil community,” wrote Chamber president Alex Sablan in the organization’s monthly newsletter. “It would seem there is an element of organized crime involved in these heinous senseless act of violence. I hope that the Chinese community on Saipan can help the authorities by providing valuable information that will apprehend the culprits and bring them to justice.”
In an earlier report in the Saipan Tribune, some members of the Chinese community alleged that local extortionists might be behind the killings of Hai and Cheng.
Family members and friends of the two also said a group of six local men who’ve been extorting money from Chinese farmers may be involved in the murders.
They also disclosed that the throats of Hai and Cheng had been slit and that their bodies were found covered with mango leaves.
The two farmers’ bodies were found on Sunday morning at the old airport runway in Koblerville and the Department of Public Safety said there were visible signs of foul play.
It is the third double homicide involving Chinese nationals on Saipan in less than two years.
Last February, the charred bodies of Guo Huang Xu and Qing Xiu Zheng were found inside their house, which had been burnt to the ground.
In December 2012, couple Jun Li Yang and Jing Liu were found murdered execution-style inside their home in San Vicente.