DOJ mourns passing of one of its senior prosecutors
MANILA, Philippines — “He was one of our best,” Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said of Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Juan Pedro “JP” Navera.
Navera, one of the longest-serving prosecutors at the Department of Justice, passed away Monday evening. His family has not disclosed the cause of his death.
“The DOJ is greatly saddened by the demise of Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Juan Pedro Navera. He was one of our best. Kindly say a little prayer for his eternal rest,” Guevarra told reporters.
Navera has led the prosecution of a number of high-profile cases and successfully litigated them to attain conviction.
Among these cases are the kidnapping and serious illegal detention case against former Army Major General Jovito Palparan. Palparan was convicted and sentenced to reclusion perpatua or up to 40 years of imprisonment.
The National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL), the private prosecutor in the case said “JP was a refreshing welcome in the very few times we collaborated very closely with state lawyers.”
“From where we stand, he was at once an embodiment of a principled, fair, no-nonsense, brilliant and diligent lawyer. He was a quintessential professional,” NUPL said in a statement.
“We owe it also to JP and his prosecution team for putting The Butcher behind bars. While we have very minor differences in tactics, he respected us and cooperated with us as co-equals in a very productive collaboration,” the added.
Aside from the Palparan case, he was also the prosecutor on the case of the American disc jockey arrested in 2012 for possessing over P50-million of shabu and other illegal drugs.
He also led the panel of prosecutors that handled the case against Chinese men arrested in the floating shabu laboratory and another Chinese drug peddler in Makati. The five Chinese were all convicted in separate courts.
He also led the team that handled the case against a Sinaloa drug syndicate member and the case against the Parojinog siblings.
Navera was also part of the panel that handled the rebellion and coup d’etat cases against former Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, until he was given amnesty by the Aquino administration. The cases were later on revived during President Rodrigo Duterte’s term.
“The National Prosecution Service mourns the demise of Senior Assistant State Prosecutor JP Navera. Such a big loss given that he was an excellent litigator,” Prosecutor General Benedicto Malcontento said in a statement.
Law professor and human rights advocate Atty. Theodore Te said Navera “was one of those who related to people as “walang masamang tinapay.”
“He was always professional in the courtroom and, as one fortunate to know him outside the courtroom, one of the nicest—and funniest—persons working that that building along Padre Faura, RIP, JP,” he said in his twitter post.
One of his closest friend, Senior State Deputy Prosecutor Richard Anthony Fadullon described JP as his “go to guy.”
“He will always be my go to guy, my ever reliable partner and my ROBIN. We will miss him but what he has done and the lives he has touched will make his memory live in our hearts forever,” Fadullon said.
The two worked together in many cases including the Oakwood mutiny case against former senator Antonio Trillanes.
He said “together we experienced frustration when they were granted amnesty.”
The two were also among the prosecutors who walked out of then Justice Secretary Alberto Agra for wanting to dismiss the multiple murder case against former ARMM Governor Zaldy Ampatuan. The two were among the members of the first panel of prosecutors that handled the Maguindanao massacre case until they were removed by then Secretary Leila de Lima. They also successfully prosecuted the killer of a prominent businessman in Olongapo.
The latest case they they were working on was the killing of a Bohol mayor by her husband.
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