Philippines mayor among 15 killed in drug raids

Combo images of Mayor Reynaldo Parojinog and his daughter Vice Mayor Nova Parojinog Echaves. FROM

Combo images of Mayor Reynaldo Parojinog and his daughter Vice Mayor Nova Parojinog Echaves. FROM

Ozamiz City Police Chief Senior Inspector Jovani Espenido said at the media briefing that Parojinogs were the source of illegal drugs in Ozamiz.

The Parojinog family was among those named by President Duterte in his list of government officials involved in the drug trade previous year.

In a statement, the Palace said the Parojinogs are included in Duterte's list of personalities allegedly involved in the illegal drug trade.

Police said Dimaukom and his men fired at officers who had set up a checkpoint after receiving reports that the mayor and others were on their way to transport illegal drugs, according to CNN Philippines.

Critics say Duterte has turned a blind eye to thousands of deaths during police operations that bear all the hallmarks of executions.

Duterte in several of his news conferences and public events has waved a thick book he said contained names of officials suspected of drug links.

The vice mayor Nova Parojinog and her brother Reynaldo Jr were arrested.

Mr. Duterte has singled out local officials - tagging them an "narco-politicians" - along with policemen and judges as part of a crackdown that has made him popular with many Filipinos but has been condemned by human rights groups and other critics.

Police also raided the house of his daughter, Vice Mayor Nova Parojinog, two of the Parojinog clan's farms and other properties, Philippine National Police Scene of the Crime Operatives said.

De Guzman said they were armed with six search warrants for firearms, corresponding to the six places that were raided.

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"Every time he would arrest illegal drug suspects, he was repeatedly saying that he is getting closer to the head and he would tag the Parojinog family", he added.

Mr Duterte took office just over a year ago following an election campaign in which he promised to kill tens of thousands in order to put an end to the illegal drugs trade.

Aside from the mayor and three of his family members, also killed were Miguel del Victoria, Nestor Cabalan, Daniel Vasquez, and one unidentified person, who were all members of the Barangay Peacekeeping Action Team (BPAT).

Policemen were approaching the mayor's house when his bodyguards opened fire and hit a police auto and injured an officer, sparking a firefight amid a power outage, Mr Espenido said. Police claimed Espinosa shot at them first despite being in custody.

In November, another mayor, Rolando Espinosa Sr., was shot and killed by police officers in his jail cell.

Meanwhile, Espino said with Parojinog's death, Central Visayas will now be safe from the criminal group known as Ozamiz Kuratong Baleleng.

She said Parojinog did not spare those he suspected to be involved in illegal drugs, including his kin.

"The administration vowed to intensify the drug campaign", presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said in a statement.

Mr Duterte has vowed not to stop until the last drug dealer in the country has been eliminated.