MANILA, Philippines – As the Parojinogs were laid to rest on Wednesday, 17 days after they were slain in pre-dawn raids in Ozamiz City, their relatives claimed that the truth was also buried with them because the stories and scenarios allegedly concocted by the police led by Chief Inspector Jovie Espenido to justify the killings prevailed.
“This biased police is close to our political rivals. His (Espenido) fabricated stories won. The fabricated scenario was executed and fabricated reports reached the police director and our President,” said detained Vice Mayor Nova Princess Parojinog in a message that was read for her by her cousin Shielly Parojinog during the funeral mass at the city’s Immaculate Conception Cathedral.
The relatives of Mayor Reynaldo Parojinog Sr., his wife Susan, and siblings Mona and Octavio claimed that the police had intentionally killed the family and 12 others during the July 30 raids.
A man only identified in earlier news reports as “Cesar” said that that he had survived the raids and allegedly witnessed authorities threw grenades at them and then shot the Parojinogs at close range.
But authorities denied Cesar’s claim. Based on the autopsy report of the Philippine National Police Crime Laboratory in Region 10, a grenade pin was found in the finger of one of the bodyguards of the Parojinogs, indicating that they were the ones who used explosives during the raids, which prompted authorities to fight back.
The same report said Octavio and Mona did not have gunshot wounds but sustained blast injuries.
And while Reynaldo and Susan died of bullet wounds, authorities could not determine if the couple were shot at close range as there was power outage when the incident took place, according to Espenido.
In the message read by Shielly for Nova during the funeral mass, the vice mayor assailed Espenido and linked him to a certain politician named John Encenarial.
“Knowing Espenido’s background and style, even his mental state, I knew it, we will never be okay, especially that is he is regularly meeting with John Encenarial. This politician even gave him pick-up truck,” said Nova.
“With all these police surrounding…Ozamiz City, there is no way (that) fairness or truth (will) come out,” the vice mayor added.
According to Nova, the death of her parents and relatives had taught her clan that “there are no permanent allies, no permanent friends” in politics but only permanent “interests.”
She said her father fought drug groups and personalities but his war against narcotics made him step on others’ toes, including that of the mayor’s close but opportunist political allies.
“While Papa (was) doing the right thing, marami s’yang nasagasaan, lalong lalo na ‘yong mga malalapit sa kanya at mga oportunistang kaalyado sa pulitika,” Nova said.
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