By Jeffrey Damicog
The Department of Justice (DOJ) has welcomed the President’s decision to order the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to investigate the killing of Mayor David Navarro of Clarin, Misamis Occidental.
“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,” said DOJ spokesman Undersecretary Markk Perete.
Navarro was killed in Cebu City last Friday during an ambush by unidentified gunmen even though he was in a police convoy which was taking him .to the City Prosecutor’s Office.
The mayor had earlier been arrested by police for having assaulted a massage therapist.
Earlier, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said he would let the Philippine National Police (PNP) first handle the investigation.
“We’ll leave it to the PNP for now and we’ll step in thru the NBI as may be needed,” he previously said..
However, President Rodrigo Duterte decided to have the NBI look into the incident considering Navarro was with police when the ambush took place
“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,” Duterte told reporters on Monday.
The President expressed suspicion that police could be involved since Navarro had told him weeks before that there was someone out to kill the mayor.
He had described Navarro as his “supporter” despite his reported inclusion in the list of politicians allegedly linked to the narcotics trade.