Mayor linked to radioman's killing cries foul
Ben Serrano (The Philippine Star) - October 28, 2017 - 4:00pm

BUTUAN CITY, Philippines —Former Surigao del Sur governor and now Bislig City Mayor Librado Navarro yesterday slammed the Presidential Task Force on Media Security (PTFOMS) for linking him to last Tuesday’s killing of radio anchor Christopher Lozada.

Navarro denied allegations that Lozada had filed a complaint claiming that the mayor had been threatening him.

PTFOMS said that before Lozada was killed, they sent a “red flag” warning to Navarro after the radio broadcaster filed the complaint.

PTFOMS chief Joel Egco said the letter was sent to Navarro on Oct. 24, hours before the broadcaster was killed.

Navarro, on the other hand, claimed he only learned of the PTFOMS notice from social media and has not officially received a copy of the letter.

Navarro said he was never informed about the death threats received by Lozada and was not consulted on the matter by PTFOMS.

According to Egco, Lozada claimed the mayor sent him text messages telling him “to leave Bislig if you do not want to die.”

Egco said he had warned Navarro that if anything happens to Lozada, “we will include you as possible perpetrator.”

At a press conference, the mayor slammed Egco for coming up with such a conclusion. “What was his basis? Because Lozada told him so? Where is the fair trial?” 

Navarro claimed Lozada was being used a mouthpiece by his political opponents, particularly during the 2013 elections.

He said he filed three libel cases against the broadcaster “due to the unfounded attacks on me daily during the May 2013 elections in his radio program.”

He said the prosecutor handling said libel cases found probable cause and the regional trial court had issued warrants of arrest against Lozada.

Navarro added Lozada went out of Bislig and evaded arrest in 2014.

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