CIDG Caraga chief sacked a week after leading raid on Bislig City hall
BUTUAN CITY – The chief of the police’s Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) in Caraga was sacked following last week’s police raid on the Bislig City Hall in connection with the Oct. 24 killing of Bislig City broadcaster Christopher Lozada.
Chief Insp. Renel E. Serrano, the spokesperson of the Caraga police office, confirmed that Supt. Cesar Paday-os was removed from his post as CIDG Caraga chief.
But Serrano said he was not privy as to the reason behind Paday-os’ removal, who has since been reassigned to CIDG-Cordillera.
However, Paday-os’ relief came after Bislig City Mayor Librado Navarro said city hall officials lodged a complaint against Paday-os 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-Ace van supposedly used by the assassins.
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 the complaint filed with the PNP in Camp Crame and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Navarro said Paday-os and his team allegedly forced their way in conducting “forensic” examination on the vehicle, amid their protest for lack of a valid search warrant and proper coordination.
But Senior Insp. Arlene Tanzo, the spokesperson of the SITG Lozada, denied that the search was illegal.
“No illegal search took place. (The SITG) only inspected the van (at the Bislig city hall), which has the same description as the van used by the suspects (in the Lozada killing),” Tanzo told the Inquirer by phone.
She said the police made the proper coordination – including with the Bislig City supply officer, Jonathan Jamora.
“He was there when the van was inspected,” Tanzo added.
She also confirmed that Paday-os had been relieved but said it was part of the PNP’s reshuffling.
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.
Undersecretary Joel Egco of the PTFMS said prior to his death, Lozada had told him about the threats he had received from Navarro.
Egco said he had earlier sent a letter to Navarro, warning him of being held accountable should anything happened to Lozada.
Lozada 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 an interview in Cagayan de Oro City on October 25, Navarro denied any hand in the killing of Lozada, saying he even condemned it.
“I can hold my head up high and say I am innocent and my conscience is clear,” he said.
Navarro said he and Lozada were even related.
“He is like a son to me,” he said, adding that his mother was related to the Lozadas.
“I am open to any investigation and I will face in court anybody who’s interested to file [cases against me],” he added.
He said though that Lozada was the spokesperson of a political rival in the local elections in 2013, which he won handily.
Navarro admitted he and Lozada were at odds that he even filed three libel cases against the broadcaster.
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