MANILA — The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Tuesday said it welcomes President Rodrigo Duterte’s decision tapping the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to take over the probe on the killing of Mayor David Navarro of Clarin, Misamis Occidental.
“The Commander in Chief (President Duterte) has already spoken, the investigation will be given to NBI and this is a direct order coming from the commander in chief so we follow as a matter of fact turnover to the RD (regional director) of NBI the appropriate evidence that can be used for investigation,” PNP officer-in-charge, Lt. Gen. Archie Gamboa told reporters on the sidelines of his inspection at the Araneta Center Bus Terminal, Cubao, Quezon City.
Gamboa also explained the President’s decision is not a sign of distrust and loss of confidence with the PNP.
Navarro was killed by unidentified suspects in Cebu City last Oct. 25 while he was under police custody on the way to inquest proceedings over a complaint for slight physical injuries filed by a masseur.
The police failed to immediately act on the incident.
Malacañang on Monday condemned the killing of Navarro, saying that rule of law must be observed despite allegations he is linked to the illegal drug trade.
“We condemn any kind of extrajudicial killing. We cannot allow this situation occurring in our country,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a Palace briefing.
Panelo lamented how Navarro was killed while being in police custody for an unrelated case of assault but vowed that authorities would bring the perpetrators to justice.
In an earlier radio interview, Panelo raised the possibility that police personnel guarding Navarro may have committed security lapses.
He also said there could be a chance that Navarro’s killing could be related to the illegal drug trade.
Prior to his death, Navarro said all barangays in Clarin had been declared drug-free and that he had no record with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency as being involved in the illegal drug trade. Christopher Lloyd Caliwan / PNA – northboundasia.com