President Rodrigo Duterte made a major announcement on Sunday morning, August 7 at Camp Panacan in Davao City, when he revealed the names of alleged drug protectors and government officials involved in the illegal drug trade. He exposed judges, police, military, and local government officials.
The judges on Duterte’s list included:
- Judge Mupas, Dasmariñas, Cavite
- Judge Reyes, Baguio City
- Judge Savilo, RTC Branch 13, Iloilo City
- Judge Casiple, Kalibo, Aklan
- Judge Rene Gonzales, MTC (no location included)
- Judge Navidad, RTC Calbayog City
- Judge Ezekiel (according to Palace transcript) or Exequiel (according to Palace PR), Dagala, MTC Dapa, Siargao
Duterte also asked those who were included in his list to report to their mother units “within 24 hours.”
But the thing is that at least one of those people in his list might no longer be able to report to their headquarters. Death would render that task impossible because Duterte named one judge who has been dead for over eight years – Judge Navidad, RTC Calbayog City.
According to Rappler, that judge could be Judge Roberto Navidad of RTC Branch 31. However, reports showed that he was shot to death in January 2008.
Just look at this Philippine Star report about the incident.
Rappler wrote that there are two Navidads found listed as lawyers on the Supreme Court website, but the other one lives in La Union, which clarifies that the dead judge was indeed the one on Duterte’s list.
To further verify whether another Navidad could have been presiding over an RTC branch in Calbayog City, Rappler checked the Judiciary Book of the Office of the Court Administrator (OCA) and found no other Navidad serving as a judge in the said city.
Inquirer reached out to the family of the late Judge Navidad, whose killer remains unidentified and free. His relatives were shocked when Navidad’s name popped up on Duterte’s list of drug protectors.
“That’s a big lie. The reason why he was shot to death was because he fought with the drug lords in Calbayog City. He was my uncle. I know him from head to foot. He was not a drug protector. He was a drug eliminator or a drug buster. That is why he was shot dead by these syndicates,” Elias Navidad Acosta, the judge’s nephew, told the Inquirer in a text message.
Acosta now serves as court sheriff at the RTC-Branch 7 in Calbayog City. He also used to work as sheriff at the RTC Branch 7 in Tacloban, where Navidad used to preside as judge for a decade before he was transferred to RTC Branch 32 Calbayog.
Before his death in 2008, Navidad presided as judge of the RTC-32 in Calbayog for over five years.
According to the Inquirer, Navidad was elected Mayor of MacArthur town in Eastern Samar from 1972 to 1979 before starting with his law practice. His family now resides in the United States.
Checking the other judges
Rappler’s Newsbreak also checked the other judges on Duterte’s list.
They found out that there was no Judge Mupas currently serving at a court in Dasmariñas, Cavite. A certain Judge Jesus Mupas was found presiding over a Pasay City RTC Branch 112, while his wife, Lorida, used to preside as Municipal Trial Court judge in Dasmariñas, Cavite. However, Lorida was ordered dismissed from service by the Supreme Court for “ignorance of the law.”
According to Duterte’s list, a certain Judge Savilo presided over Iloilo City’s RTC Branch 13, but a certain judge named “Adriano Savilo” serves as judge over the city’s RTC Branch 30, a family court.
The other judges did not have first names. But there is a certain “Judge Antonio Reyes” presiding over a Baguio drug court and a “Judge Domingo Casiple Jr” in Kalibo, Aklan.
The list also named a certain Judge Rene Gonzales without a location, but Rappler found a certain “Judge Rene Gonzalez (with a “z”) serving in Iloilo City.
Duterte’s list named Ezekiel Dagala, MTC Dapa, Siargao, but the Judiciary Book showed a certain “Exeguil Dagala” who served in Dapa, Surigao del Norte.
So, were the names in the list really validated? Those who have information about the other names were encouraged to voice out what they know.
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