THE head of the Abellana Police Station in Cebu City has been relieved of his post while the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) 7 is conducting an inquiry on the ambush-slay of Clarin, Misamis Occidental Mayor David Navarro.
P/Maj. Eduard Sanchez, Abellana police chief, had led his personnel in escorting Navarro to the Cebu City Prosecutor’s Office for the filing of complaints against the latter before the attack happened on Friday, Oct. 25, 2019.
Sanchez’s transfer on Monday, Nov. 4 came after the relief of P/Col. Gemma Vinluan, the Cebu City Police Office director.
The relief orders were issued by Police Regional Office (PRO) 7 Director Valeriano de Leon.
Vinluan and Sanchez are now in the PRO 7-Regional Personnel Holding and Accounting Unit.
The Regional Internal Affairs Service 7 of the Philippine National Police is also investigating the incident, focusing on how Navarro died in police custody. Navarro was gunned down on his way to the prosecutor’s office for inquest proceedings after his arrest on allegations of hitting a massage therapist and asking a masseuse for a hand job while he was in Cebu City last Oct. 23.
Aside from determining the motive behind the fatal ambush, the NBI 7 investigators would also want to know why the Abellana police failed to fight back. The unidentified assailants were armed with long firearms. Their getaway vehicle was a white van.
De Leon, in an interview, said Vinluan and Sanchez should not be judged right away, saying it is part of the police procedure to relieve an official during an investigation.
“Administrative relief is not a penalty... It’s just to pave the way for an impartial investigation,” he said, adding that he welcomed the investigation of the NBI 7 on the incident.
President Rodrigo Duterte, in a recent public speech, said he would like the NBI to investigate Navarro’s murder as the police may have had a hand in the attack. (From AYB of SuperBalita Cebu, KAL)