Mayor in narco list ambushed in cop van
A sister of Clarin Mayor David Navarro sits beside his body after he was killed in an ambush on a police van that was bringing him to the Cebu City prosecutor’s office for inquest proceedings yesterday afternoon.

Mayor in narco list ambushed in cop van

Romina Cabrera, Iris Hazel Mascardo (The Philippine Star) - October 26, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — A town mayor of Misamis Occidental, on the government’s narco list but arrested on other charges, was being transported by police for inquest proceedings in Cebu City yesterday when a white van blocked the police vehicle.

Probers said 10 heavily armed men jumped out of the van and surrounded the police vehicle. Two of the men dragged Clarin Mayor David Navarro out of the police van and shot him dead.

The mayor’s two sisters, who were accompanying him in the van, were spared along with Clarin’s chief of police. The killers were not challenged by Navarro’s police escorts.

Navarro was killed a day after he was arrested for beating up a massage therapist and supposedly asking for sexual favors from another.

One of the police escorts, identified only as Corporal Catalan, was hit in the foot by a stray bullet. Three of the mayor’s aides were also hit, initial reports said.

Regional police director Brig. Gen. Valeriano de Leon said Clarin police chief Capt. Jun Matugas and Navarro’s sisters Novie Grace and Princess Carmel were in the convoy but were unharmed.

De Leon said a white van had blocked the police convoy along M. Velez Street in Barangay Guadalupe before several men armed with M-16 rifles and automatic pistols emerged and subdued the policemen.

One of the police escorts, M/Sgt. Carlo Balasoto, said the speed of the attack caught them by surprise.

“We were forced to lie face down on the ground before they dragged the mayor out of the van and shot him several times,” Balasoto said.

Princess Navarro said they were overwhelmed by the sheer number of heavily armed men who appeared from nowhere and executed her brother.

“I was shocked and surprised. They were heavily armed and we could do nothing,” she said.

Navarro, tagged as a narco-politician by President Duterte, was facing charges of acts of lasciviousness, usurpation of authority and physical injuries for punching a male massage therapist and allegedly asking a female massage therapist for sexual favors.

The masseur whom Navarro allegedly attacked filed a complaint before the Abellana Police Station. The mayor was arrested by police on Thursday at the airport 30 minutes before his scheduled flight back to his province.

Abellana police chief Maj. Eduard Sanchez said the charges of usurpation of authority against Navarro stemmed from his allegedly introducing himself as a police officer when he arrived at the massage parlor, according to a witness.

Sanchez said the other three still unidentified companions of the mayor who were seen in the security video of the massage parlor will be facing charges of physical injuries for helping the mayor in assaulting the masseur.

Sanchez said they have yet to identify the three companions, saying they may be the victim’s bodyguards. –

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