MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) on Monday, July 31, launched its investigation into the raid that led to the death of 15 people, including Ozamiz City Mayor Reynaldo Parojinog.
“The Commission has already commenced its motu proprio investigation [into] the Ozamiz case,” CHR spokesperson Jacqueline de Guia told Rappler.
“No conclusions yet at this time, but the purpose of the investigation is to determine if protocols were followed in the implementation of the search warrant and use of deadly force, among others,” she added.
Members of the Regional Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG), Misamis Occidental Police Provincial Office, and the Ozamiz City Police Station raided the residence of the influential clan early Sunday, July 30. (READ: From Kuratong Baleleng to elected gov’t: The rise of the Parojinogs)
According to police, they were serving a search warrant when the security guards allegedly fired at them. This, however, was contested by the camp of Parojinog.
Also killed during the raid are Parojinog’s wife Susan, his brother Octavio Parojinog Jr, and their sister Mona, with 11 others, including members of the Barangay Peacekeeping Action Team (BPAT).
Section 18, Article XIII, of the 1987 Philippine Constitution mandates the CHR to investigate alleged human rights violations – on its own or through a complaint filed – perpetrated by state actors or the government. It does not need the approval of the President.
Parojinog is the latest addition to the list of narcopoliticians killed by the police. In 2016, two other mayors were killed: Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr in November, and Datu Saudi Ampatuan Mayor Samsudin Dimaukom in October.
The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the Senate panel that looked into Espinosa’s death both tagged the killing as a “rubout,” while the Department of Justice (DOJ) downgraded the charges against cops from murder to homicide.
Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon stressed that the circumstances surrounding the deaths of both Espinosa and the Parojinogs were similar. (READ: Deaths after nighttime warrants suspicious – Drilon)
“Why are search warrants served before dawn, as in the cases of Mayor Espinosa and Mayor Parojinog, result in the deaths of the persons being searched?” he said. “Both are tagged as drug lords. Too much of a coincidence?”
Philippine National Police chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa on Monday said that the deaths of the Parojinogs should serve as a warning to mayors allegedly involved in illegal drugs. – Rappler.com