Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Juan Pedro Navera, one of the best prosecutors of the Department of Justice who handled many controversial and prominent criminal cases, has died. He was 49.
“We are saddened by SASP Navera’s demise. He was one of our best,” Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said, confirming Navera’s death without giving details.
Navera had prosecuted many drug cases that led to the conviction of many alleged drug personalities, including Reynaldo Parojinog Jr. and alleged Chinese drug lord Shi Jian Jia. He also handled the criminal case over the Virac, Catanduanes, shabu laboratory.
Navera also successfully handled the prosecution of retired Army Major General Jovito Palparan over the abduction of student activists Sherlyn Cadapan and Karen Empeño. Palparan was convicted in 2018.
He was the lead prosecutor in the case of the Korean businessman Jee Ick Joo, who was abducted and killed allegedly by police officers in 2016. He was also in the first panel of prosecutors in the Maguindanao massacre case.
He was also part of the team of prosecutors who handled the revived coup d’etat charges against former senator Antonio Trillanes IV after President Rodrigo Duterte revoked Trillanes’ amnesty in 2018.
“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,” the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers said in a statement.
The NUPL worked with Navera’s team in the Palparan case, and they said they owed Palparan’s conviction to him and his team.
“He can be unforgiving and even cocky in his hard questions and grueling cross-examinations. We were awed how he shattered Gen.
Palparan’s testimony to smithereens on cross. It was a model even contrived moot courts in law school cannot match,” the NUPL said.
“Yet he was very amiable and self-effacing, reluctant to be in the spotlight. He was humorous in his own right and self-deprecating yet can throw a teasing jest at his colleagues.”