DOJ finds probable cause to charge Parojinog siblings

Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 03 2017 04:13 PM | Updated as of Aug 03 2017 05:59 PM

MANILA (UPDATE)- The Department of Justice (DOJ) has found probable cause to file drugs and weapons possession charges against the Parojinog siblings following a bloody raid in their homes that left their parents and 14 others dead Sunday morning.

Ozamiz City Vice Mayor Nova Parojinog and her brother Reynaldo Parojinog Jr. are facing charges of illegal possession of firearms and ammunition and possession of dangerous drugs.

There is also probable cause to charge Reynaldo for illegal possession of explosives, the DOJ said Thursday.

In a 15-page inquest resolution dated Aug. 2, the DOJ ordered the filing of three separate cases against Parojinog Jr. for illegal possession of firearms and ammunition, and separate cases of illegal possession of explosives and possession of dangerous drugs.

His sister, meanwhile, will be indicted for illegal possession of firearms and ammunition, and possession of dangerous drugs.

The resolution was signed by Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Juan Pedro Navera and Assistant State Prosecutors Josie Christina Dugay and Ethel Rea Suril, and approved by Senior Deputy State Prosecutor Amor Robles and Acting Prosecutor General Severino Gaña Jr.

The Parojinogs were flown to Manila on Tuesday and subjected to inquest proceedings at the Philippine National Police headquarters in Camp Crame, where they are now detained. 

On the filing of illegal possession of firearms and ammunition charges against the two, the DOJ said neither of the Parojinog siblings had a license to carry a firearm of “any kind of caliber.”

On the illegal possession of explosives case against Parojinog Jr., the DOJ explained “it is clear that there is probable cause… corresponding to his possession of an explosive or incendiary device.”

The series of raids in their homes at San Roque Lawis, Ozamiz City yielded suspected shabu and several firearms and explosives, including M-16 rifles and a hand grenade, police said.

Ferdinand Topacio, the Parojinogs' legal counsel, said Thursday that, per the Vice Mayor's account, police gathered her and several others into a room after the raid in her home and threw a grenade at them, which did not explode.

The siblings' father, Ozamiz Mayor Reynaldo "Aldong" Parojinog, was killed in the raid. He was among local officials that President Rodrigo Duterte earlier linked to the drug trade.

Before his death, the Mayor had revealed in an interview that his daughter, the Vice Mayor, had a relationship with New Bilibid Prisons (NBP) high-profile convict Herbert Colanggo, who is also a known drug personality.

The Parojinog family has long been tagged in criminal activity. Its patriarch, Octavio Parojinog, the slain mayor's father, headed vigilante group 'Kuratong Baleleng,' which was formed by the military in the 1980s amid the communist insurgency in Mindanao. 

The group, however, later evolved into an organized crime syndicate involved in kidnapping for ransom, robbery and extortion, among other crimes, according to authorities.

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.

On Wednesday, Duterte defended the bloody raid, saying he had a standing order for authorities to neutralize drug personalities who would put up a fight in an anti-drug operation. 

-with reports from Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News