The ambush that killed Clarin, Misamis Occidental Mayor David Navarro happened so fast that his police escorts were not able to react properly, the Central Visayas police chief said on Sunday.
According to a report by Jonathan Andal on 24 Oras on Sunday, Region VII police chief Brigadier General Valeriano De Leon made the conclusion after the police conducted a reenactment of the incident at the crime scene on M. Velez Street in Cebu City.
Mga pulis na kasama sa sasakyan ni Clarin Mayor David Navarro, hindi nakapagpaputok ng baril dahil agad natutukan ng armas ng nasa 10 armadong kalalakihan — PRO 7 director PBGen Val de Leon @gmanews pic.twitter.com/M9HUjnwTkc— Jonathan Andal (@JonathanAndal_) October 27, 2019
Navarro was in the middle of a police convoy on Friday when the attack happened. He was being brought to the city prosecutor’s office on Friday for an inquest proceeding over complaints of physical injury, acts of lasciviousness, and usurpation of authority that were going to be filed against him.
In the first car were four Cebu City police officers, the two complainants, a witness, and a friend of the witness.
In the second vehicle were Navarro, his sisters Princess and Lang Lang, a Clarin police officer, and a relative of the Navarros.
In the third vehicle were two police escorts in civilian clothing, family friends, and Clarin municipal Hall employees.
Suddenly, a white van cut them off. Five to 10 armed persons alighted from the van and pointed their weapons at the police officers, dragging them from their vehicles. They then fired 65 times, killing Navarro with at least 25 gunshots.
The first car had already made a turn when the attack happened, so only the second and third vehicle in the convoy were blocked.
De Leon said that the police officers with Navarro were not able to react because it all happened too fast and the attackers had them at gunpoint too quickly.
However, De Leon said that they are still mulling whether to pursue an investigation into the police escorts over Navarro’s killing.
Cebu chief defends cops
In a separate report by Andal on 24 Oras on Sunday, Cebu City Police director Colonel Gemma Vinluan defended the cops for not firing back, saying that the gunmen also fired at the escorts, forced the cops to get out of the vehicle, and made them drop to the ground.
"Actually, si Mayor, binyahe namin papuntang court naka bulletproof vest," she said.
"Tingnan n'yo 'yung security preparations namin. 'Yung harapan ng sasakyan, puro pulis ko' yon. 'Yung nasa likuran, puro pulis ko rin. Even 'yung hepe ko kasama doon sa convoy. 'Yung nasa gilid niya [Navarro], 'yung hepe niya na pinili niya. Niratrat 'yung tail escorts ng mga bala, pinababa lahat nang nakasay na pulis at saka pinababa.
"Nandoon yung hepe niya, andoon yung mga escorts niya. Sana sila ang naglaban para malaman natin na yung police hindi nag-react. Eh hindi rin sila nanlaban eh, so bakit niyo parang sinasabi hindi kami nag-react?" she said. — Joviland Rita/BM, GMA News