THE Police Regional Office 7 yesterday stepped-up its hunt for the killers of Clarin, Misamis Occidental Mayor David Navarro who was shot dead on Friday afternoon while about to be taken to the Cebu City Prosecutor’s Office where he will be inquested for charges of physical injuries and acts of lasciviousness.
PRO7 director Brig. Gen. Valeriano de Leon directed Cebu City Police Office director Col. Gemma Vinluan to create a Special Investigation Task Group, which will spearhead the manhunt for the gunmen and investigate their real motive and identities.
Probers are checking CCTV footages from the hotel where the victim and his companions stayed since they arrived in Cebu City last Tuesday until the time they were attacked.
The SITG is looking into all possible motives behind the attack, including politics, business and the mayor’s alleged drug links.
The mayor was ambushed by unidentified gunmen on M. Velez Street in Cebu City at. 2 p.m. on Friday. He became the latest local government official in the government’s “narco-list” to be killed since July 2016.
Police records show that at least 12 mayors and seven vice mayors have been killed from July 1, 2016 to January 2019, all of them suspected of drug links.
Before Navarro was killed, the mayor, who was included in President Duterte’s “narco-list” early this year, reportedly had received death threats from organized crime groups.
The assassins, armed with rifles, fired at a police vehicle carrying the mayor, killing him on the spot and injuring two of his security men, a member of the Cebu City police force and a member of the Misamis Occidental police.
Navarro was arrested and detained on charges he allegedly mauled a male spa therapist and asked sexual favors from a female attendant.
Vinluan said they have reports that the mayor was under threat and those information were confirmed by the victim’s companions. She also brushed off speculations that the killing could have been triggered by the mauling and sexual abuse case.
The official said that the mayor did not coordinate his visit to the local police and the Cebu City government. He went to Cebu City to attend a meeting of Misamis local government officials.
The family of the slain official has shown lack of interest in the investigation of the case.
Reports said that two weeks ago, the mayor was happy he finally had a meeting with President Duterte to explain his side. During his talk with the President, he claimed that he has no record with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency and the Philippine National Police and that all barangays in Clarin have been declared “drug-cleared.”
Cebu City policemen on Thursday arrested the mayor after he was accused of indecent behavior on a massage therapist and for allegedly assaulting another spa employee.