MANILA - Senator Francis Pangilinan assailed on Monday the credibility of a predawn raid that killed Ozamiz Mayor Reynaldo Parojinog Sr. and 14 others.
"Hindi makatotohanan," Pangilinan, a member of the Senate minority, described the raid in a statement.
Police operatives served 6 search arrest warrants on the properties of the Parojinog family in San Roque Lawis, Ozamiz City at 2:30 a.m. Sunday.
Officers, Pagilinan said, reportedly turned off CCTV cameras before entering the houses.
"All 15 suspected drug lords at the scene of the crime and their 'armed to the teeth' bodyguards are killed. No injuries or casualties on the side of the PNP (Philippine National Police)," he added.
The senator raised fear that anyone may suffer Parojinog's fate, saying "Pwedeng gawin ito kaninuman."
President Rodrigo Duterte last year tagged Parojinog among local government officials allegedly linked to the illicit drug trade.
Mayor Parojinog's daughter, Ozamiz Vice Mayor Nova Princess Parojinog, meanwhile, was reportedly in a relationship with high-profile Bilibid inmate Herbert Colangco.
Meanwhile, Magdalo Representative Gary Alejano, an opposition lawmaker and long-time critic of Duterte, wants an investigation into the incident because the incident looks like a massacre.
"Maraming information pa ang dapat dumating sa atin. Sa akin, magiging unfair din sa ating PNP kung hindi natin makita ang lahat pero initially, it looks like that, a massacre," he said.
He also noted that the operation appears to be problematic and reminiscent of what happened in the death of Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr.
"Hindi ho natin maiwasan na mag-isip na mayroong problema doon sa pagconduct ng operations kasi nga, sabi ko reminiscent ito nung nangyari sa bahay ni Mayor Espinosa. Lagi sinasabi, pinaputukan sila, wala silang magawa kung hindi gumanti," Alejano said.
Alejano, likewise, found it questionable that the police did not sustain any casualties.
"Sa isang defensive operation na kung saan ang target mo nasa defensive position…nakabakod bahay niyan, bato, may gwardiya 'yan at offensive force itong raiding team… disadvantaged position yun pero pagkatapos ng operation, patay lahat ng nasa loob. Ni isang pulis walang sugat. Pag pinutukan ka, most likely may casualty... 'Yun sinasabi na parang...may problema sa operations," he said.
For Alejano, although the government is under pressure to bring in the big fish, he hopes it won't come at the expense of democratic institutions.
"Kasi napepressure ang ating pangulo na puro mahihirap, nakatsinelas 'yung pinapatay kaya sinasabi nila, ito malaki ito… ito accomplishment sa war on drugs. Sa tingin ko naman, malaking isda ito pero kahit tayong lahat gusto mawala droga, sana hindi ito mapalitan ng mas malaking problema," he said.
Police said the Parojinogs' security personnel opened fire at them during Sunday's raid.
The ensuing gun battle killed 15 people including the mayor, his wife Susan, brother and Misamis Occidental board member Octavio Parojinog, and their sister Mona.
Vice Mayor Parojinog was arrested after police found alleged drugs and several firearms in her house.
She claimed, however, that police planted evidence against her family, an allegation denied by Misamis Occidental police chief Senior Supt. Jaysen De Guzman. - with reports from RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News