Amid probe into Mayor Navarro’s killing: Station chief axed
CEBU, Philippines — The chief of the Abellana Police Station, Police Maj. Eduard Sanchez, has been relieved from his post effective Friday, November 1, as the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) begins its investigation into the killing of Clarin, Misamis Occidental Mayor David Navarro.
This was confirmed by Police Regional Office – 7 Director Valeriano de Leon yesterday.
“Yes, we did, para matapos na ang investigation at nang sa ganun ay matapos ng lahat,” De Leon said.
Navarro was killed in police custody on the way to the prosecutor’s office in Cebu City where the police were supposed to file charges against him for allegedly mauling a spa attendant and harassing a massage therapist.
Aside from identifying the suspects and the motive in the killing, investigation will also find out if there were security lapses on the part of the police. It was Sanchez’ men who escorted Navarro during the ambush.
Police Maj. Elisandro Quijano will take over as chief of the Abellana Police Station.
Last October 30, Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) Director Police Colonel Gemma Vinluan was also relieved from her post.
“We welcome of the move that another agency will investigate because this will provide an impartial investigation,” De Leon said.
He said there is a bigger chance for people to doubt the credibility of the investigation and even allege a cover-up if the PNP continues to investigate the case.
“It will spare us the suspicion of our possible whitewash,” De Leon said.
The NBI took over the investigation upon orders of President Rodrigo Duterte who raised suspicion that policemen were behind the ambush.
De Leon said Sanchez and Vinluan will return to their posts once investigation clears them of any liability. He said a relief is not tantamount to a penalty.
“Kung wala silang pananagutan doon sa pangyayaring iyon, we will give them a chance to recover,” De Leon said.
Navarro succumbed to 12 bullet wounds inflicted by at least 10 men who blocked the police car ferrying him afternoon on October 25.
He was laid to rest in hometown last Saturday.
NBI-7 Director Tomas Enrile said earlier they will look into Navarro’s history, especially that his sister, Princess, had disclosed to authorities that Navarro had received several death threats.
“We have to conduct a background investigation dito kay Mayor Navarro at ma-interview natin kung sino ba talaga ang mga naging kaaway o nakalitan nito (We have to conduct a background investigation on Mayor Navarro and interviews so we will know who he had a conflict with),” Enrile said. (FREEMAN)