• Family of dead Samar judge cried foul over his inclusion in Duterte’s drug watchlist
  • They said he was shot dead because he fought with the syndicates in his city
  • Killers have remained unidentified

MANILA, Philippines – The family of a long-dead judge whom President Rodrigo Duterte named as a drug protector are crying foul over his inclusion in his list.

According to Roberto Navidad’s nephew Elias David Acosta, his uncle was shot dead in 2008 because he fought the drug lords operating in his city.

“That is a big lie. The reason why he was shot to death was because he fought with the drug lords in Calbayog City,” he told the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

Acosta, who works as a court sheriff in Tacloban City, said Navidad was known as a drug-buster when he was still alive.

“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,”  he said.

Navidad, who was a judge of Regional Trial Court Branch 32 in Calbayog City for more than five years, was killed inside his vehicle by a gunman.

According to witnesses, the assailant opened fire at the 69-year-old judge at close range outside a pharmacy where he had bought his medicines.  Up to now, the gunman remains at large and unidentified even after a task force was formed to investigate his killing.

Aside from Navidad, Duterte named other judges said to be involved in the drug trade, including a Mupas from Dasmariñas, Cavite, a Reyes from Baguio City, a Savilo from RTC Branch 13, Iloilo City, a Casiple from Kalibo, Aklan, Rene Gonzales of an undisclosed MTC, and Judge Exequiel Dagala of MTC DAPA, Siargao.