Mayor Reynaldo Parojinog of Ozamiz City and 13 others were killed during a bloody raid conducted by elements of the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) in properties owned by the Parojinog family in Barangay San Roque Lawis around 2:30 AM of July 30.
The fatalities also include his wife Susan and Misamis Occidental Board Member Octavio Parojinog Jr. Meanwhile, Reynaldo’s daughter, Vice Mayor Nova Princess Parojinog-Echavez, is now under arrest. In a statement sent to the media, presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said the raid against the Parojinogs are part of the administration’s intensified anti-drugs campaign.
As of Sunday afternoon, details about the incident are still sketchy. Authorities are yet to announce to the public the names of those who died in the raid as well as those who are in detention. According to press reports, several kilos of shabu as well as firearms were recovered from the Parojinog compound.
It can be recalled that members of the Parojinog family was included in the list of government officials that President Rodrigo Duterte publicly implicated in the drug trade as early as August 2016. That prompted the the elder Parojinog to go to Camp Crame last August 8 to deny the allegations and try to clear his name.
By August 15, the family surrendered their high-powered firearms in an attempt to show their willingness to cooperate with the Duterte administration’s anti-drug campaign. Despite this, the national government trasferred control of the Ozamis City police from Mayor Parojinog to the Department of Interior and Local Government and the National Police Commission.
Interestingly, Chief Insp. Jovie Espenido, the current director of the Ozamiz City police, was the police chief of Albuera, Leyte when the town’s mayor, Rolando Espinosa Sr. and his son Kerwin was identified as the major drug traffickers in the Eastern Visayas. The elder Espinosa was infamously killed during an alleged firefight inside the Baybay City Provincial Jail last November 5.
At present, it appears that Ozamiz City has no functioning local government unit. Since she’s now under arrest and facing prosecution for her alleged involvement in the drug trade, Vice Mayor Nova Princess Parojinog-Echavez is unlikely to be able to succeed her father as Mayor. Meanwhile, the number one councilor, Ricardo Parojinog, is facing drug charges himself and is now at large.