Dagupan mayor, city PNP chief deny link to radioman shooting
DAGUPAN CITY, Philippines—Mayor Belen Fernandez and the city’s police chief on Thursday denounced insinuations that they were involved in the shooting and wounding of a radio station manager here.
Fernandez said that when Orlando “Orly” Navarro, station manager of dwIZ News Radio here, was shot and wounded on Tuesday, she was out of town attending a meeting of the League of Cities of the Philippines, where she has been serving as an officer.
“When I heard about it (Navarro’s shooting), I was shocked. And then I saw on TV that my name was being mentioned. But I hope that he’ll be getting very well soon,” Fernandez said.
Navarro was attacked minutes after he alighted from a tricycle that took him home to Barangay Pantal here at about 1 a.m. Tuesday.
Police arrested a suspect, Rolando Lim, 46, nine hours later and had filed a frustrated murder case against him in the city prosecutor’s office on Wednesday.
Fernandez said some people might just be out to destroy her by dragging her name to Navarro’s shooting. “I’m a God-fearing person. That won’t happen. That’s very impossible,” she said.
“They’ve been saying that [Navarro] is a critic of the administration, but the truth is, I don’t even have the time to listen to what he is saying because I’m too busy,” she said.
Supt. Christopher Abrahano, city police chief, said insinuations that he and Fernandez were involved in Navarro’s shooting were baseless. “As much as possible, I would not want to glorify these insinuations,” Abrahano said.
“The filing of the case against the suspect was a result of an investigation, backed up by evidence, and in consultation with the victim himself and other witnesses. We have enough evidence to point to the suspect [and conclude] that this is a neighborhood rift,” Abrahano said.
He said there were hired guns and getaway vehicles involved in the shooting.
In earlier interviews, Navarro said his shooting might have something to do with his commentaries on the proliferation of illegal drugs in his village.
But on Thursday, Navarro admitted having mentioned Fernandez’s and Abrahano’s names as he was being treated at the emergency room of the University of Pangasinan Medical Center, where he was taken after he was shot.
“I actually dictated a lot of names to my daughter. I did this so that if I died, investigators would have something to start with. I think this is normal because you do not know if you would live or die,” Navarro said.
But he said he had explained this to Abrahano, who visited him on Wednesday night to update him on the filing of a case against a suspect.
“I told him to make sure that they have enough evidence against the suspect so that we will not be jailing an innocent person. Otherwise, the real culprit will just be laughing out there,” Navarro said, adding that he appreciated the police effort to solve the case.
The slug lodged on Navarro’s upper left back was removed on Wednesday after a 45-minute surgery. Abrahano said it was a small slug and it could have come from a .22 pistol.
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