MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang condemned the ambush of a Misamis Occidental town mayor, and said any allegation against the slain official should have gone through due process.
In a radio interview on Sunday, October 27, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the government condemns the killing of Clarin town mayor David Navarro in Cebu City on Friday, October 25.
Police was about to bring Navarro to the city prosecutor’s office for inquest proceedings arising from an assault complaint when the suspects in a van blocked the police convoy, ordered Navarro to get out of the police vehicle, then shot the mayor dead.
“Well, gaya ng mga pahayag na namin: Hindi maaari na ang mga tao ay basta inaambush at pinapatay, whether sila ay mga pinaghihinalaang involved sa drugs, o sila’y mga wanted criminals. Kailangan paparaanin natin sa proseso ng batas. So we condemn that,” Panelo said.
(Well, like what we have said before, it’s unacceptable that people are ambushed or killed, whether they are suspected of being involved in drugs, or they are wanted criminals. They should still go through due process. So we condemn the killing.)
Navarro’s name was in President Rodrigo Duterte’s list of alleged “narco-politicians” in March 2019. However, Panelo reiterated that Navarro’s killing on this basis is still unreasonable. (READ: Slain Misamis Occidental town mayor got death threats – Cebu police)
“We should not accept that anyone can just kill anybody. It’s not the law we follow. So we will have to let the police do their work and then prosecute those behind the killing,” he said in a mix of English and Filipino.
Asked about Navarro’s death while in police custody, Panelo surmised that even the policemen themselves may have been stunned by the ambush.
“Nagtataka nga kami bakit hindi sila naka-react. Siguro nabigla…Hindi nila inaasahan dahil biro mo, van na ng pulis yun napahinto pa nila,” he said.
(We are also wondering why they haven’t reacted to the situation. I guess they were surprised. They didn’t expect it because the gunmen were even able to stop the police van.)
Since Duterte assumed office, at least 13 mayors and 8 vice mayors have been killed in different circumstances. – Rappler.com
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