Mariano ordered his men to conduct an investigation and bring to justice the perpetrators of the crime.
Mariano directed Undersecretary for Legal Affairs Office (LAO) Luis Meinrado C. Pangulayan to lead the fact-finding team that would look into the two separate incidents. Pangulayan will be assisted by LAO Assistant Secretay Elmer N. Distor with the following members: Regional Director of the concerned region, Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer and Chief Legal Division of the province, a farmer-representative from a recognized farmers organization in the area and Office of the Secretary representative Attyy. Jun-Jun Malsi.
Aside from investigating the killing incident, Mariano instructed the team to determine if the two incidents were agrarian-related.
Initial reports showed that farmers Baby Mercado, Violeta Mercado, Eligio Barbado and Gaudencio Bagalay were shot dead in Laur, Nueva Ecija by three armed men as they were resting in their farms between 2 to 3 p.m. last Saturday, while three unidentified men killed Ariel Diaz, head of the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) chapter Danggayan Dagiti Manalon or Dagami at his farm in Villa Pereda, Isabela.