MANILA, Philippines – Ozamiz City Vice Mayor Nova Princess Parojinog is appealing to President Rodrigo Duterte and the Senate to investigate the death of four of her family members and 11 others in a series of police drug raids early Sunday morning.
“I am asking President Duterte to investigate this and the Senate of the Philippines,” Parojinog told media while at a local police station where she was brought hours after her father, Mayor Reynaldo Parojinog Sr., mother Susan, the mayor’s siblings Ozamiz board member Octavio and Mona, and members of the mayor’s security team were killed around 2:30 a.m. on July 30 amid a power outage.
Nova, who was brought to the Philippine National Police Custodial Center in Quezon City Monday morning with her brother Reynaldo Parojinog Jr., asked Duterte to closely look into what really happened, saying the President knew her father.
“Tingnan n’yang maigi. Kilala n’ya ang papa ko, kilala n’ya ang papa ko…,” said Nova, referring to the President.
She said the drugs, arms, and money found during the weekend raid were all planted by the police. The vice mayor likewise claimed that during the raid on her house, she was told to lie on her stomach and then an explosive was thrown at her but she was able to survive because the device failed to explode.
Nova further said that if there were no irregularities in the incident, the police would not allegedly remove the hard disks of the CCTV cameras that were installed in several of the family’s properties in Barangays Baybay San Roque and Baybay Santa Cruz where the killings took place.
“Dapat kung walang irregularity, hindi nila tinaggal ang hard disk ng mga CCTV namin,” she said.
Authorities reported an exchange of gunfire between the mayor’s security team and police serving search warrants.
Ozamiz City Police Chief Inspector Jovie Espenido said that even before authorities could serve the warrants, the Parajinogs and their men began shooting at the policemen.
“So while we are serving [the] search warrant going to the residence of Mayor Aldong Parojinog nagkataon na ‘yong putukan,” said Espenido.
“Nangyari natamaan ‘yong marked vehicle natin na Mahindra, ‘yong patrol car. Pagkatapos nag-explode ‘yong gulong. Natamaan ‘yong police natin na isa [The Mahindra marked vehicle and the patrol car were hit. And then the tire exploded. One of our policemen was also hit],” he added.
But according to the vice mayor, nobody from her family and their security team opened fire on the members of the police raiding team.
“Wala pong nagpaputok from our end,” said Nova.
A report from radio dzMM quoted Espenido as saying that authorities did not get the hard disks from the CCTVs and that these remained “intact” and were not removed from the cameras.
Sen. Franklin Drilon questioned why the search warrants were served before dawn. He compared the incident to the November 5, 2016 killing of Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa, who, according to government investigators, was a victim of premeditated murder.
Espenido, who was the police chief when Espinosa was killed inside his detention cell in Baybay City denied that the latest killings were extra-judicial.
Links to Herbert Colanggo
In August 2016, Duterte named Nova, her father Reynaldo, and the mayor’s brother Ozamiz councilor Ricardo “Ardot” Parojinog as among the politicians allegedly involved in drugs.
In June 2016, Mayor Parojinog denied Duterte’s claim that Herbert “Ampang” Colanggo is his son-in-law but admitted that the convicted drug dealer and high-profile inmate at the National Bilibid Prison had a relationship with his daughter Nova.
According to Mayor Parojinog, Nova’s marriage to Brgy. San Antonio, Ozamiz Chairman Edgar Echavez, a former basketball player for Ginebra Kings, had been annulled but she didn’t marry Colanggo.
Colanggo testified during a congressional inquiry in September 2016 that he gave millions of pesos to Sen. Leila de Lima for her senatorial bid in the May 2016 polls.
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