by Camcer Ordonez Imam
Cagayan De Oro City – Slain Ozamiz City Mayor Reynaldo Parojinog Sr., who was fondly called “Aldong,” had an anti-illegal drug policy of his own even as he knew death was coming his way because of threats to his life, according to some relatives.
Parojinog was killed Sunday dawn, along with his wife, younger brother, and 12 others inside his residence during a series of police raids in Barangay Baybay San Roque early Sunday morning.
Relatives of the mayor who requested anonymity said Parojinog was a staunch anti-drug crusader, contrary to allegations that he was a drug lord, and had been cooperating with the Duterte administration in its fight against the illegal drug trade in the country.
That is why they were surprised that the mayor was killed. “We were shocked. We could not believe it,” said a relative close to the mayor.
“I knew Aldong personally and I am certain that he was not what he was accused of,” another relative said.
Relatives even said that Parojinog did not spare those he suspected to be involved in illegal drugs, including his kin.
“If he found out you are using or selling shabu, you will get a mouthful from him,” a relative said, saying he was so strict when it comes to illegal drugs’ use and trade.
But relatives said the late mayor was aware that there was a threat to his life.
“He (Parojinog) knew that he would be killed. It’s no secret to him,” a relative said.
In previous interviews, Parojinog said he had launched his own anti-drug campaign in Ozamiz, even before President Duterte started his war on illegal drugs last year.
Vice Mayor Nova Princess, the mayor’s daughter, has been detained after her house was also raided.
According to reports, police operatives confiscated about P1.4 million in cash, 500 grams of suspected illegal drugs, two cell phones and an M16 rifle inside the mayor’s house.
The raiding team also went to the residence of Parojinog’s brother, Ricardo, in Barangay Bagakay, but he was not around. Seized from his home were assorted firearms and ammunition including a shotgun, three rocket-propelled grenade launchers, M79 rifles, two hand grenades and eight M79 bullets. Taken were alleged illegal drugs and drug paraphernalia.
Superintendent Lemuel Gonda, chief of Public Information Office and spokesman of the Police Regional Office 10 (PRO-10), said mayor Parojinog was killed along with 14 others during police operations conducted by virtue of six search warrants against the Parojinogs in Ozamiz City, Misamis Occidental, at around 2:30 a.m., at the several barangays of Ozamis City by the joint efforts of a composite team of Regional CIDG 10, Misamis Occidental Provincial Police Office and Ozamiz City Police Station, led by Chief Inspector Jovie Espenido, all under PRO 10.
The warrants were against Mayor Parojinog Sr., Vice Mayor Nova Princess Parojinog, Reynaldo Parojinog Jr., and board member Ricardo Parojinog.
Among those killed were Miguel del Victoria, Nestor Cabalan, Daniel Vasquez, a certain Lydia and a JR of Lumad TV; and Parojinog’s sister Mona and still-unidentified persons some of them were members of the Barangay Peacekeeping Action Team (BPAT).
Gonda said the operation was based on information and intelligence monitoring. “During the implementation of search warrant, the operating police personnel encountered volley of fire from the security of the Parojinog, which prompted them to retaliate with their own fire. Initial investigation revealed that there were 15 who died on the Parojinog side during the encounter,” Gonda said in a report.
Placed under the custody of Ozamiz City Police Station and Regional CIDG 10 was Vice Mayor Parojinog. She was later take to Camp Crame in Quezon City.
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