Slain mayor’s family leaves probe to NBI

THOUGH they are still in pain and disappointed by the circumstances, the family of slain Clarin, Misamis Occidental Mayor David Navarro leaves the criminal probe of his death at the hands of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Central Visayas.

However, the NBI said it struggles with finding qualified witnesses for the probe.

In a phone interview with SunStar Cebu, Wednesday, Dan Navarro, brother of Mayor David said agents of the NBI 7 have approached them and had the initial interview with their family, particularly the mayor’s sister, wife, and son.

“We left it to the NBI because that’s the decision of the President. Though we accept his death, we are still in pain and (find ourselves in a ) disappointing moment,” he said.

He, however, refused to comment further on the investigation.

In an earlier interview, Tomas Enrile, NBI 7 director, said almost a week since they started their own investigation on the murder, they have yet to arrive at a definite finding.

“We have some evidence that we are still making sense of. We have some interviews but the challenge is finding witnesses. In this kind of investigation, the people are usually uncooperative and reluctant. They are usually scared,” he said.

Enrile said his agents went to Clarin last Oct. 31 to talk and secure affidavits of the mayor’s kin who were able to witness the ambush incident.

Mayor Navarro was killed in an ambush past 2 p.m. last Oct. 25, 2019, on M. Velez St. in Barangay Guadalupe, Cebu City.

He was arrested on Oct. 24, after he allegedly hurt massage parlor attendant John Dueñas. A portion of the incident was captured by a security camera. The mayor denied the allegations against him.

He, together with the Abellana police personnel, his relatives, and a police official from Clarin, was on his way for the filing of the complaint of slight physical injuries against him at the Cebu City Prosecutor’s Office.

Masked men armed with long firearms went out of a white van that blocked the convoy and carried out the crime.

Asked if they have verified the information that the mayor, before his death, received threats from an organized crime group based in Ozamiz City, Enrile said there was no mention of such in the family’s affidavit.

“The family didn’t mention anything about an Ozamiz Group. There were death threats but they didn’t mention who they came from,” he said.

The NBI 7 director also said the mayor had no criminal records in their agency.

Meanwhile, the Cebu City Council is requesting the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) to prioritize a training program in countering ambush.

In a resolution sponsored by Cebu City Councilor Lea Japson, the Council wants the CCPO to apprise them of the preparedness of the City’s police force in combating lawlessness, including ambuscade.

She also further amended the resolution during the Council’s regular session on Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019, and requested the NBI to come up with an expedited solution of the said incident.

Japson said that due to the killing of Navarro last Oct. 25, Cebu City was put in a bad light. (WBS, JJL)