MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte wants the Philippine National Police (PNP) to end its investigation into the ambush of Clarin, Misamis Occidental Mayor David Navarro, and turn everything over to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).
The President said he wants the NBI to investigate the case to ensure fairness.
"It's being investigated by the NBI. Mas gusto ko ang NBI na lang para walang, kasi nung nangyari 'yan, may kasamang pulis eh. To make it really fair," Duterte told reporters Monday.
"I'd like the police to terminate their investigation and hand it to the NBI, whatever documents and or proof or evidence that they have in their hands," he added.
Navarro, who was previously tagged in Duterte's "narco-list", was gunned down while he was on a police vehicle en route to the Cebu City Prosecutor’s Office.
The ambush happened a day after he was arrested for allegedly mauling a masseur and soliciting sexual favors.
The Cebu City Police said Navarro received threats from organized crime groups prior to his killing.
The Cebu City Police has formed a special investigation task force but the mayor's relatives have expressed disinterest in filing a complaint, police chief Police Col. Gemma Vinluan.
Police said they would investigate all angles, including politics, business, and Navarro's alleged link to the drug trade, she added. Navarro ranked 8th in Misamis Occidental's drug watchlist, according to the police chief.
Meanwhile, the Department of Justice welcomed the President's directive for the NBI to take over the investigation.
"Given the circumstances surrounding the killing of Clarin Mayor Navarro, the President’s directive for the NBI to take over the investigation of the incident should quell any doubts regarding this government’s commitment to solve the case and bring to account those responsible," DOJ spokesperson Markk Perete said in a statement.