NBI takes over probe into mayor Navarro slay
CEBU, Philippines – The Philippine National Police has turned over to the National Bureau of Investigation the probe into the killing of Clarin, Misamis Occidental Mayor David Navarro.
Cebu City Police Office Director Gemma Vinluan said yesterday they are set to turn over initial evidence and report to NBI-7.
“Itu-turn over natin lahat. Pati na yung nasimulan nating mga gathering ng evidences (We will turn over everything, including the evidence we have gathered, so far),” Vinluan said.
She believes that the order of President Rodrigo Duterte to let the NBI conduct the investigation is a wise one, especially that the PNP is a party to the case.
Navarro was killed in PNP custody as it was the police that escorted him on the road when he was ambushed on October 25.
Duterte has raised suspicion that policemen were behind the ambush and ordered the PNP to terminate its probe.
“That is a very wise wisdom ng ating presidente na para mawala rin yung agam-agam ng iba na maaring ma-tainted sa credibility ng Cebu City Police Office (That’s very wise wisdom from our president to avoid insinuations that can taint the credibility of the Cebu City Police Office), Vinluan said.
“Of course, kung kami ang gagawa ng desisyon ng case, maaring isipin din ninyo na biased yan (Of course, if we will be the one to come up with findings, it is possible that you will say it’s biased),” she said
She said CCPO is open to an investigation.
“Lahat ay pwedeng maging suspect. Wala tayong ili-limit at hindi rin natin pwedeng i-excuse ang ating sarili (Anyone can be a suspect. We can’t limit and we also cannot exclude ourselves),” she said.
She clarified, though, that being the subject of investigation is not indicative of the PNP’s liability. In fact, a formal probe can clear the PNP from allegations of security lapse.
The policemen escorting Navarro at the time of the ambush have been required to submit their affidavit.
Still, Vinluan said the PNP is ready to assist the NBI when the latter asks for help.
In Manila, Justice Undersecretary Mark Perete said the NBI should start investigating even without a formal order from the Department of Justice since orders came straight from the President.
“The President has control over the entire Executive Department, including the PNP and the NBI. His directive should therefore be sufficient for the NBI to commence its probe. Nevertheless, and purely for record-keeping purposes, the DOJ shall issue a Department Order reiterating the President’s directive to the NBI,” Perete said.
Duterte’s order to transfer the investigation to the NBI should also dispel doubts that the President was involved in Navarro’s killing, especially that the mayor is in Duterte’s narcolist.
“Given the circumstances surrounding the killing of Clarin Mayor Navarro, the President’s directive for the NBI to take over the investigation of the incident should quell any doubts regarding this government’s commitment to solve the case and bring to account those responsible,” Perete said.
Meanwhile, CHR-7 also opened its own investigation into the incident.
Investigation will answer, among others, how the suspects managed to reach their target despite the tight security.
“Why is it that despite tight police security, nalutsan gihapon ang police unya namatay ilang gi-escort-tan (Why is it that despite tight police security, the suspects managed to penetrate security and the kill the target)?” said CHR-7 chief investigator Leo Villarino.
He said they have already reached out to Navarro’s family.
He also hopes to have easy access to NBI’s findings.
“We hope also that in our investigation, manuktok man gyud mis purtahan pud sa NBI for any help that we can get, we hope that the local NBI office will also be very helpful to us… we pray nga easy access ra (Considering that we will definitely have to coordinate with the NBI, access will be easy for us),” he said.
CHR has not had access to the investigation conducted initially by the police, Villarino said. Philippine Star News Service/JMO (FREEMAN)