Duterte: Parojinogs ran Ozamiz like a 'feudal state'
MANILA (UPDATED) - President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday defended the raids that led to the killing of Ozamiz City Mayor Reynaldo Parojinog Sr. and 15 others on Sunday amid his administration's continuing war on drugs.
Duterte said he has a standing order for authorities to make sure that drug personalities who will put up a fight in a police operation should end up dead.
“The police and the military should make sure that their enemies are dead. Otherwise, the other guy can still pull the trigger and you will end up with dead police or dead military soldier,” Duterte said in a chance interview after speaking at the 113th founding anniversary celebration of the Bureau of Internal Revenue.
The President added that the Parojinogs ran Ozamiz City like a “feudal state.”
Policemen on Sunday served 6 search warrants at the properties of the Parojinog family in San Roque Lawis, Ozamiz around 2:30 a.m.
Security personnel of the Parojinogs, however, allegedly fought authorities, triggering a gunbattle that left 16 people dead, including the Parojinog patriarch, his wife Susan, and brother, provincial board member Octavio Parojinog.
Duterte said he stands by the police amid allegations that the raids on the Parojinog houses were carried out irregularly. Senators Francis Escudero and Francis Pangilinan have questioned the time the search warrants were served.
The President said there was nothing wrong if the search warrants were served in the wee hours.
“You know, ‘yang search warrant, ‘yang binibira nila kay ano, that is really for convenience. Because a warrant of arrest can really be served any time of the day or night. Iyong sabi, preferably on daytime, but kung ang operation ng shabu is not carried on during daytime because there is light, the police can go there any time convenient for them to arrest,” Duterte said in a speech at the BIR event.
“And I will stand by the police there. Wala naman nagta-transaction, naga-unload ng shabu ng araw. In public view? That’s crazy.”
During the raids, Parojinog’s daughter, Vice Mayor Nova Princess Parojinog, and her brother Reynaldo Parojinog Jr. were arrested after authorities found P1.4 million in cash, half a kilogram of suspected shabu, and several firearms in their house.
The vice mayor claimed police planted evidence against her family, an allegation denied by Misamis Occidental police chief Senior Supt. Jaysen De Guzman.
Mayor Parojinog was among local government officials named in President Rodrigo Duterte's narco-list. His daughter, meanwhile, was reportedly in a relationship with high-profile Bilibid inmate Herbert Colanggo.
The mayor earlier denied involvement in the illegal drug trade.
In his State of the Nation Address last week, Duterte asserted that his campaign against illegal drugs would be "unrelenting" despite heavy international criticism over alleged extrajudicial slays. His administration has several times asserted that the state does not sanction executions of drug suspects.
The PNP Internal Affairs Service has initiated an investigation into the Ozamiz raids. Senators Leila de Lima and Risa Hontiveros have meanwhile called for a legislative inquiry, saying circumstances surrounding the raids were suspicious.