Director-General Ronald dela Rosa, Chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP) on Monday defended the police officers who tried to serve a search warrant in the wee hours (around 2:00 a.m.) Sunday but ended up figuring in a firefight that resulted in the death of 15 persons, including their subject, Mayor Reynaldo Parojinog and his wife, in Ozamiz City.
None of the law enforcers was reported to have suffered serious injury in the clash with the security detail of the mayor.
Dela Rosa explained that it was a legitimate law enforcement mission that turned into a violent encounter, saying the armed group of the Parojinogs opened fire first and the officers of the law were compelled to fire back.
Dela Rosa also clarified that the odd time of serving the search warrant was not an issue: “There is no stipulation in the search warrant that it is to be served only at some specific time or during office hours. The command is to serve the warrant any time of the day, at any day of the week.”
“I would have wanted them alive,” Dela Rosa stressed. “To answer the charges. But then, if they resisted, I want my men alive.”
The police were supposed to serve the warrant to search the Parojinog house and at least four other properties, but claimed they were met with gunfire and had to defend themselves.
Authorities found high-caliber guns, explosives, and ammunition for a grenade launcher inside the mayor’s house, along with an estimated half a kilogram of shabu and PhP1.4 million in cash.
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