By Genalyn Kabiling
President Duterte has ordered the Philippine National Police (PNP) to terminate its investigation on the killing of Clarin, Misamis Occidental Mayor David Navarro and let the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) handle the probe.
The President wanted the NBI to take over the probe to ensure fairness after the mayor was killed while under police escort last week.
“It is being investigated by the NBI. Mas gusto ko NBI na lang, para walang … Kasi nung nangyari yan, kasama ang police eh [I prefer the NBI to handle it… because when it happened, he was being escorted by police],” Duterte said in an interview with reporters at the Palace Monday.
“To make it really fair, I’d like to order the police to terminate their investigations and hand it to the NBI whatever documents and/or proof or evidence that they have in their hands,” he added.
The President raised suspicion that some policemen might be behind the slay of the local government executive.
“Ayan ang sinasabi ko. PNP. Anong ginawa ng PNP? Baka sila ang pumatay. Eh, sila ‘yung malapit [That’s why I am saying. What did the PNP do? They probably killed him. They were the ones who were close to him],” he said when asked about the police lapses following Navarro’s death.
Duterte confirmed that Navarro told him that “someone is out to get him” during their meeting weeks before his death.
He also described Navarro as his “supporter” despite his reported inclusion in the list of politicians allegedly linked to the narcotics trade.
The mayor was shot dead by unknown assailants while he was on a police vehicle en route to the Cebu City Prosecutor’s Office last Friday. He was earlier arrested for punching a massage therapist.
Malacañang has condemned the murder of Navarro, among the 40 named on the President’s “narco list”, saying the culprits must be brought to justice.
“We condemn any kind of extrajudicial killing. We cannot allow this situation occurring in our country,” Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said during a Palace press briefing Monday.
“He was being brought to inquest I think in connection with a case and he was ambushed. To my mind, that’s done with impunity and we will not let these transgressors of law go unpunished,” he added.