Published: Wed, August 02, 2017
World Media | By Shelia Harmon

Philippines mayor among 15 killed in drug raids

Philippines mayor among 15 killed in drug raids

A Philippine mayor accused of involvement in narcotics trafficking was shot dead along with 14 other people in a police raid - the latest official to die in President Rodrigo Duterte's war on drugs.

Vice mayor Nova Princess Parojinog-Echavez, who is Parojinog's daughter, and her sibling, were also arrested, Pacleb added.

Among the executed Duterte named was Reynaldo Parojinog, mayor of Ozamiz city on the southern island of Mindanao.

Police on the scene recovered several high-powered firearms and an unspecified amount of methamphetamines, Timoteo Pacleb, chief of police of Northern Mindanao, told reporters.

Duterte, a former mayor from the southern city of Davao, won presidential elections last May after pledging to slaughter tens of thousands of drug suspects.

Significantly, the pre-dawn Sunday raid on the Parojinog compound was led by Chief Inspector Jovie Espenido, the Ozamiz city police chief.

Two councilors of Ozamiz City on Monday will temporarily assume the posts of mayor and vice mayor following the death and arrest of their city's officials.

He is the same Jovie Espenido who, as local chief of police of Albuera town in Leyte previous year, arrested Mayor Rolando Espinosa who is linked to the drug dealing activities of his son, Kerwin Espinosa.

Relatives of the mayor who requested anonymity said Parojinog was a staunch anti-drug crusader, contrary to allegations that he was a drug lord, and had been cooperating with the Duterte administration in its fight against the illegal drug trade in the country.

According to CIDG chief Director Roel Obusan in an interview, the Parojinogs were brought to Metro Manila since the search warrants served by the local police were issued by a Regional Trial Court judge in Quezon City.

A Parojinogs spokesman denied the mayor's security fired any shots.

In 2016, two other mayors were killed: Samsudin Dimaukom of Datu Saudi Ampatuan, Maguindanao, in October, and Rolando Espinosa Sr of Albuera, Leyte, in November.

The drug killings have been widely criticized by Western governments and human rights groups, which have called for an end to what they suspect are extrajudicial killings related to the anti-drug campaign.

All three mayors were among more than 160 officials Duterte named publicly as being linked to illegal drugs in August a year ago as part of a shame campaign.

The president's spokesman mentioned that in the statement released today.

"If he found out you are using or selling shabu, you will get a mouthful from him", a relative said, saying he was so strict when it comes to illegal drugs' use and trade.

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