“I can hold my head up high and say I am innocent and my conscience is clear.”
Thus declared Bislig City Mayor Librado Navarro as he denied any involvement in the killing of broadcaster Christopher Lozada.
Navarro said some people might just be out to destroy him by dragging his name to Lozada’s murder.
“He was like a son to me,” Navarro said on Wednesday.
“I am open to any investigation and I will face in court anybody who’s interested to file (cases against me),” he added.
Lozada , anchorman and general manager of PBN 101.7 FM in Bislig, and his girlfriend, Honey Faith Indog, were on board a gray color Toyota Vios on their way home when armed men aboard van pulled over and shot them in Barangay Coleto, Bislig City at around 9 p.m.Thursday.
Indog was wounded in the attack.
Aside from being a manager, Lozada, hosted a public affairs program “Kuskos-Batikos,” where he dished out scathing commentaries against the mayor.
A known critic of Navarro, Lozada even participated in the filing of a graft against the official.
In a statement, the Presidential Task Force on Media Security (PTFoMS), said that prior to Lozada’s killing, the office had sent a “red flag” warning to Mayor Navarro after Lozada filed a complaint where he claimed that the mayor had been threatening him.
Joel Egco, PTFoMs head, said the letter was sent to Navarro on Oct. 24, or barely a day before the broadcaster was shot dead.
“But Lozada was killed even before the letter could reach the mayor,” he said.
According to Egco, Lozada claimed that the mayor sent him text messages, warning him “to leave Bislig if you do not want to die.”
Egco said he had warned Navarro that “in case any untoward incident happens to (Lozada), we will include you (the mayor) as possible perpetrator of the same.”
Chief Supt. Rolando B. Felix, Caraga police director, said a Special Investigation Task Group (SITG) has been formed to focus on the case.
“We leave no stone unturned in our investigation to identify the perpetrators of the slain media man and file appropriate charges against the suspects,” Felix said.
He encouraged witnesses to help solve the case by providing vital information to investigators from the Bislig City Police Station (BCPS) and Surigao del Sur Police Provincial Office (PPO).
Felix appealed to individuals with reliable information on the incident may report to BCPS at mobile number 0998-598-7359 or to the PRO 13 Regional Tactical Operations Center at mobile number 0949-175-8787. By CLC