The chief of the police’s Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) in Caraga region was sacked following last week’s raid on the Bislig City Hall in connection with the Oct. 24 killing of Bislig City broadcaster Christopher Lozada.
Chief Insp. Renel Serrano, spokesperson for the Caraga police office, said Supt. Cesar Paday-os was removed from his post as CIDG Caraga director and had been reassigned to the CIDG Cordillera office.
Serrano, however, said he did not know the reason behind the move.
Paday-os’ relief came after Bislig Mayor Librado Navarr lodged a complaint against the official for alleged abuses, harassment and grave misconduct in connection with the Nov. 7 search of the City Service Office in Bislig City.
Paday-os led operatives from the Special Investigation Task Group (SITG) Lozada, which was formed to solve the killing of Lozada, in searching for a Toyota Hi-Acevan that was of similar make with the vehicle used by gunmen who attacked the radio broadcaster last month.
The search was conducted just hours after Felixberto Villocino Jr., the suspected lookout of the gunmen who shot and killed Lozada, was arrested at his home in Barangay Tabon, Bislig City.
In his complaint filed before the Philippine National Police headquarters in Camp Crame, Quezon City, and in the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Navarro said Paday-os and his team forced their way in conducting a “forensic” examination on the vehicle, amid their protest for lack of a valid search warrant and proper coordination.
But Senior Insp. Arlene Tanzo, spokesperson for SITG Lozada, denied that the search was illegal.
“[The SITG] only inspected the van [at the City Hall], which had the same description as the van used by the suspects (in the Lozada killing),” Tanzo said.
The police made the proper coordination with local authorities, noting that Bislig supply officer Jonathan Jamora was present when the van was inspected, she said.
Tanzo also said Paday-os’ relief was part of the PNP’s reshuffling of officers.
On Oct. 24, Lozada, 29, had just arrived home in Barangay Coleto in Bislig with his girlfriend when a group of men aboard a van, armed with M-14 and M-16 rifles, shot him. He died instantly.
Lozada, host of the public affairs program “Kuskos-Batikos,” had been at odds with Navarro and even participated in the filing of a graft case against the executive.
In September, the Ombudsman ordered Navarro’s dismissal from service over the alleged anomalous purchase of a hydraulic excavator in 2012 worth P14.75 million.
Prior to the attack, Lozada went to the office of the Department of the Interior and Local Government in Butuan City to follow up on the serving of the dismissal order on Navarro.
But Navarro, said it was clear to him the Lozada murder case has been politicized and that there was a concerted effort by the Presidential Task Force on Media Security and the SITG Lozada to implicate him in Lozada’s killing.
Navarro, who has been tagged as a “person of interest” in Lozada’s death, had denied any hand in the murder of Lozada. By CLC