Court denies Parojinog son’s bid to junk firearms cases

Mike Navallo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 23 2020 05:41 PM

Reynaldo Parojinog Jr., Nova Princess Parojinog-Eschavez, and others are arrested during the series of raids at the Parijnog residences in San Roque Lawis, Ozamiz City on July 30, 2017. Roxanne Arevalo, ABS-CBN News/file

MANILA—A local court has denied the bid of a Parojinog family member to junk the illegal possession of firearms cases against him.

Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 105, in an order dated January 16, denied the demurrer to evidence filed by Reynaldo Parojinog Jr., son of Reynaldo Parojinog, Sr., the Ozamiz City mayor who was killed in a police raid on July 30, 2017.

A shotgun and 2 pistols were allegedly recovered from Parojinog’s possession during the raid and he is facing 3 counts of illegal possession of firearms before the court.

Parojinog filed the demurrer, essentially a motion to dismiss the case on the ground that the prosecution failed to present sufficient evidence during trial, claiming that the police illegally obtained and served the search warrant and the prosecution failed to prove his guilt beyond reasonable doubt.

Authorities supposedly intentionally used a wrong middle initial to secure a certification showing he has no license to carry firearms from the Philippine National Police firearms licensing division when in fact he had a license to carry firearms.

He also said the shotgun seized belonged to his security guard and was not recovered in his possession but next to the bag of the security guard while one of the pistols was found in the room of his underaged child.

But Judge Edith Miña-Aguba rejected Parojiinog’s arguments, noting that it had twice upheld the validity of the search warrant, which was subsequently affirmed by the Court of Appeals.

Two other courts hearing his drugs and illegal possession of explosives cases also denied his move to quash the search warrant.

Aguba also ruled there was no illegal intrusion in the controversial drug raid which killed 15 people, saying the police officers are presumed to have performed their duties regularly.

Prosecutors presented 3 police officers and a barangay chairman to prove the existence of the firearms and that the accused possessed or owned the firearms without a corresponding license.

The court said the shotgun was registered in the name of a security agency, while the serial numbers of the 2 pistols were defaced, thus, Parojinog needs to prove their ownership and registration.

“As it stands, the totality of the evidence presented by the People is sufficient to sustain a conviction. Presentation of countervailing evidence therefore is indispensable,” the court said.

The court set the presentation of defense evidence on March 6, March 27 and April 17 at 9 a.m.

Meanwhile, Parojinog is also expected to present evidence in the illegal possession of explosives case before QC RTC Branch 104 on April 21 and May 25 at 9 a.m.

Parojinog is currently serving his life imprisonment sentence at the New Bilibid Prison after he was convicted of possession of illegal drugs by QC RTC 79 in May last year for possessing 116.9578 grams of methamphetamine hydochloride or shabu.

The Parojinogs have maintained all the evidence were planted.

He was transferred to the Bureau of Corrections in Muntinlupa on January 7 this year after prosecutors questioned before the court why he continued to be detained at a Bureau of Jail Management and Penology facility in Camp Bagong Diwa despite his conviction.

Convicts are usually immediately transferred to the BuCor NBP facility in Muntinlupa.