Mission order vs Laak mayor denied

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Thursday, July 3, 2014

THE Police Regional Office (PRO) in Davao Region belied the information that there was a mission order signed by former Regional Intelligence Unit (RIU) director Senior Supt. Leonardo Felonia recovered from the pocket of a suspect in the murder case of the former Laak town Mayor Reynaldo B. Navarro.

Felonia was tagged to the ambush-slay of the mayor after a mission order signed by him, was reportedly taken from the possession of one of the two armed men killed amid the attack in Asuncion in Davao del Norte last May 28.

PRO deputy director for Operations Senior Supt. Aaron Aquino, during the AFP-PNP press conference at Royal Mandaya Hotel, said he asked all the members of the regional Special Investigation Task Group (SITG) on the matter, but none have recovered a mission order from any pockets of the suspects.


Felonia was earlier charged with murder before the City Prosecution Office here for alleged involvement in the killing of the Cebu-based businessman Richard King, who was shot dead at Vital-C in Barrio Obrero this city on June 12.

"I think the good mayor (Rodrigo R. Duterte) was referring to King's case, not the Navarro case. Because when we checked it with the SITG Navarro, none of them had recovered a mission order from any of the two suspects," Aquino said.

Davao del Norte Provincial Police Office (DNPPO) director Senior Supt. Samuel Gadingan also echoed the same reaction. He said he was among those police officers who responded at the crime scene, and there was no mission order recovered from the possession of the two suspects.

"Kasama ako sa operation at pagkuha ng mga evidence from the suspects killed in the attack, ang meron lang ay papel na may sulat na Latin. In fact, we were able to identify the suspects when their family went to the office," Gadingan said.

"But we got that mission order from the pocket of one of the dela Cerna brothers, Rommel, which it was clearly signed by Colonel Felonia. In fact, the mission order is effective until August 2014, but hindi na ito effective ngayon kasi tapos na ang trabaho nila," Aquino added, referring to the murder case of King.

Aquino also said he was informed that the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) in Davao Region is also conducting its investigation on the crime, but so far, the bureau have not yet coordinated with them on the matter.

"As far as the regional SITG is concerned, we haven't seen this mission order yet. Perhaps, they (NBI) did, but they haven't yet coordinated with us," Aquino said, adding that despite Navarro's case is solve, their investigation is still ongoing, especially that the top of the crime and the other suspects are still at large.

Aquino said the SITG members are already looking into persons of interest, including the three members of the "Big Four Logging Lords" in Southern Mindanao.

The rebels accused the so-called big four, including the late Navarro, of allegedly being involved in illegal logging activities in Davao del Norte, Compostela Valley, and Agusan del Sur, an accusation that Navarro earlier denied.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on July 03, 2014.

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