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  • Philippine mayor and more than a dozen others killed by police

    Police reportedly seized several weapons, bags of suspected methamphetamine and cash after raiding the mayor's home and three other residences

    Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte.Aaron Favila / AP Photo

    By Kristine Phillips

    Philippine police fatally shot more than a dozen people, including a mayor whom President Rodrigo Duterte publicly linked to the drug trade, during an early morning raid Sunday.

    Reynaldo Parojinog, mayor of Ozamiz City in Mindanao in southern Philippines, and at least 14 others, including his wife, are the latest casualties in Duterte’s brutal drug war. It has killed thousands of suspected drug users and dealers. Parojinog was the third mayor killed in the government’s crackdown on narcotics, specifically methamphetamine, locally known as shabu.

    Authorities said Parojinog and others were killed in an exchange of gunfire with police. Ozamiz police chief Jovie Espenido said officers went to search Parojinog’s house for illegal firearms when they were met with gunshots and were forced to fire back, the Associated Press reported. A grenade held by one of the mayor’s bodyguards exploded during the confrontation, Espenido said.

    “He’s a high-value target on illegal drugs,” Espenido said, according to the AP.

    At least five were arrested, including Parojinog’s daughter, Nova Parojinog Echavez, who’s also the city’s vice mayor.

    Echavez told reporters Sunday that no one from their side fired a weapon.

    “I am asking President Duterte to investigate this and the Senate of the Philippines,” she said, as family members stirred her away from reporters.

    She also said that she’s in fear for her life. Asked what message she has for Duterte, she said, in Tagalog: “Look at this closely. He knows my father. He knows my father.”

    Espenido said during a news conference that police used necessary force during the raid.

    “There’s no extrajudicial killing here,” he said in Tagalog, adding that the officers in the field made the right call.

    Among those killed were the mayor’s brother, Octavio Parojinog, a provincial board member, GMA News reported. Police seized several weapons, bags of suspected methamphetamine and cash after raiding the mayor’s home and three other residences, according to media reports.

    Espenido said that Parojinog’s family is the main trafficker of drugs in Ozamiz and that drugs that reached the city came from the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa city, Metro Manila. Duterte said last year that the majority of drug transactions happen inside the prison.

    Protesters gather outside the House of Representatives in Quezon City. Eloisa Lopez / AFP Photo
    The drug trade has become so rampant that it prompted the resignation of Bureau of Corrections Chief Benjamin Delos Santos this month, the Philippine Inquirer reported. He told reporters that the “resurgence of drug trade has made me irrelevant.”

    Reynaldo Parojinog’s name gained national spotlight last year after Duterte accused him and more than 150 politicians, judges and other public officials as being involved in the drug trade.

    The president read their names during a news conference in August as part of a shame campaign.

    In November, Rolando Espinosa Sr., mayor of Albuera in the Leyte province in the Visayas region, was reportedly killed in his jail cell during a gunfight with police. Espinosa and another inmate allegedly fired at officers raiding their cell for suspected illegal firearms, according to the Philippine Inquirer.

    Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon questioned the circumstances surrounding the deaths of Parojinog and Espinosa, both of whom were killed during predawn raids.

    “Why are search warrants, served before dawn as in the cases of Mayor Espinosa and now, Mayor Parojinog, result(ing) in the deaths of the persons being searched? Both are tagged as drug lords. Too much of a coincidence?” Drilon said in a statement, according to Rappler.


    This article was originally published in forum thread: Philippine mayor and more than a dozen others killed by police started by EastBound88 View original post

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