MANILA - Ozamiz Vice Mayor Nova Princess Parojinog cannot serve as acting local chief executive while she is in detention, the Department of the Interior and Local Government said Tuesday.
"How can she manage the city if she's inside the jail? Hindi naman po puwedeng ikaw ang punong lungsod ng Ozamiz, ima-manage mo ang Ozamiz sa loob ng kulungan," DILG Assistant Secretary Janvier Echiverri told DZMM.
"As far as the Local Government Code is concerned, any vacancy or incapacitated ang official, the one in charge should be the one active na walang problema sa panunungkulan. Gaya ng nasabi na, ang mamumuno dapat the highest ranking in the absence of the mayor and vice mayor."
Ozamiz Mayor Reynaldo Parojinog Sr. and 14 others were killed in a series of raids in San Roque Lawis, Ozamiz City early Sunday. Their camp allegedly fought policemen who served them 6 search warrants for firearms at around 2:30 a.m.
Vice Mayor Parojinog meanwhile was arrested after the same operation yielded about P1.4 million in cash, half a kilogram of suspected shabu and several firearms from her house. She was transferred Monday to a detention cell at Camp Crame in Quezon City.
She claimed however that police planted evidence against her family -- an allegation denied by Misamis Occidental police chief Senior Supt. Jaysen De Guzman.
Parojinog's lawyer Ferdinand Topacio said he will demand her release after the police failed to file a criminal complaint against her within the prescribed 36-hour period.
The DILG will monitor the looming appeal for Parojinog's release, said Echiverri.
"Kailangan pong tingnan natin kung she will be released at once. Mahabang proses po iyan," he said.
"She has all the right to submit her complaint. Hintayin na lang po natin ang korte kung paano aaksyunan iyan."
Ozamiz second councilor Girlet Luansing assumed the post of acting mayor on Monday. Third councilor Michael Tagal meanwhile was the city's acting vice mayor.
First councilor Ricardo "Ardot" Parojinog should have been the acting mayor, but he was one of the subjects of the search warrants served by the police on Sunday. He remains missing, as of this posting.