ILOILO City – Councilor Plaridel Nava came to the defense of his two security aides whom the police is poised to file criminal charges for the death of the councilor’s estranged cousin.
“Neither I nor my security personnel have anything to do with the killing of my cousin Mercedes Nava,” insisted the councilor yesterday following the arrest of Delos Reyes brothers Roy and Rey Julius at his office at city hall.
Nava questioned the arrest. It had been three days since Mercedes was shot in Barangay Calajunan, Mandurriao district, he said, so the police could not invoke “hot pursuit operation” as basis for apprehending his men without arrest warrants.
The councilor further said the guns, bullets and a grenade that the police supposedly seized from the brothers were “planted.”
“I do not allow anyone, including my security aides, to bring guns to my office. Even I do not bring my licensed guns to office because I respect the city hall protocol against the bringing of guns inside it,” he stressed.
Security camera video footages would prove that the Delos Reyes brothers entered city hall unarmed, according to Nava.
“When policemen arrested them in my office, there were no bags, guns or grenades seized. Suddenly, at the police station where they were taken, the cops presented what they claimed were items confiscated from my men,” the councilor said.
He warned policemen they could be held legally liable.
Nava believed the arrest of his security aides and the attempts to link him to Mercedes’ murder was politically motivated.
He is running for vice mayor in the May 13 midterm elections.
“May ara sa likod sini. Naka-pattern na ini. Kada election may mga issues sila ginapagwa sa aton,” said Nava. He, however, did not name political foes behind these perceived machinations.
According to the councilor, he hired the Delos Reyes brothers because he wanted to help them.
“Nakita ko ang ila pag bag-o,” said Nava.
The Delos Reyes brothers were previously tagged in the robbery of Sarabia Pawnshop and Jewelry on the corner of Guanco and J.M. Basa streets, City Proper in January 2013, and the death of Police Officer 2 Frederick Capasao, intelligence officer of the Iloilo City Police Office, in October 2007./PN