The Department of Justice (DOJ) will issue a directive to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) formalizing the order of President Duterte for the bureau to take over the probe of the murder of Clarin, Misamis Occidental Mayor David Navarro.
Justice Undersecretary Markk Perete told reporters that the verbal directive of Duterte to the NBI should suffice, as he is the head of the government’s Executive branch.
“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,” Perete said.
The DOJ, he added, will still issue a formal order to the NBI “purely for record-keeping purposes.”
On Monday (October 28), Duterte ordered the Philippine National Police (PNP) to let the NBI conduct the investigation, as he believes the police may have had something to do with the slaying of Navarro.
“PNP, anong ginawa ng PNP? Baka sila ang pumatay, sila ‘yung malapit,” Duterte told reporters, referring to the circumstances surrounding the ambush slaying of Navarro in Cebu City last October 25. Navarro was then inside a police vehicle in the middle of a police convoy when he was shot to death by several armed men in a “lightning attack”.
He added: “Mas gusto ko ang NBI na lang para walang…kasi nung nangyari ‘yan, may kasamang pulis eh. To make it really fair. I’d like the police to terminate their investigation and hand it to the NBI, whatever documents and or proof or evidence that they have in their hands.”
Police investigators earlier said they would look into politics, business and Navarro’s reported link to the drug trade as possible motive behind his murder. Navarro had received several death threats before the incident.
A day before his ambush slaying, Navarro was arrested for mauling a massage therapist.