MANILA - Former Ozamiz City Councilor Ricardo "Ardot" Parojinog died in detention because of cardiac arrest, police said Saturday as they ruled out foul play behind the high-profile suspect's death.
Philippine National Police spokesperson Police Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac told ANC investigators found no sign of violence inside the cell where Parojinog was found dead early Friday morning.
"As of this time we are ruling it out because there was no indication of violence that transpired during the night and upon examination of his body, there were no physical injuries or violence on his body," Banac said.
"So, upon the determination of the city health official, it was determined that cause of death is cardiopulmonary arrest," he said.
Parojinog, who is facing multiple charges including murder, was brought to Ozamiz City on Thursday from the PNP Custodial Center in Quezon City for a court hearing. He had been held at PNP headquarters facility since his arrest in 2018.
Banac said a COVID-19 swab test was administered on Parojinog's body and that police are awaiting results.
He said the investigation report may be released "by early next week."
"Initially, the statements of all police officers involved in the security (of Parojinog) have been taken," he said.
Parojinog was the younger brother of the late Ozamiz City Mayor Reynaldo "Aldong" Parojinog, who President Rodrigo Duterte linked to the illegal drug trade. The mayor, along with over a dozen others, was killed in a July 2017 drug raid.
Parojinog, who was linked to the Kuratong Baleleng crime syndicate, hid for 10 months before he was nabbed in Taiwan in 2018 for entering the country using illegal documents. He was sentenced to 3 months in prison and a fine of NT$ 1,000 (around P1,750) per day.