Ozamiz mayor wanted to surrender before raid – police

MANILA, Philippines – Ozamiz City police chief Senior Inspector Jovani Espenido said Mayor Reynaldo Parojinog was willing to surrender prior to the raid that led to his death on Sunday, July 30. 

"[Nagsabi] siya sa akin na mag-surrender siya pero kalaunan, noong magkasama na sila ni Vice Mayor (Nova Parojinog, his daughter), 'di na natuloy iyon," Espenido said in a press conference on Sunday afternoon.

(He told me that he would surrender. But eventually, when he was already with the vice mayor, he did not push through with it.)

Espenido said he repeatedly tried to convince the mayor to surrender.

Parojinog, who was among the narco-politicians in President Rodrigo Duterte's list, was killed in a raid when police were supposed to serve a search warrant at 2:30 am on Sunday.

Police claimed that the mayor's security personnel were the first ones to shoot, which prompted them to fire back. 

Senator Franklin Drilon has questioned the circumstances that led to the incident, especially the raid that occurred before dawn. The Senate minority leader compared the Parojinog case to the death of Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr, also tagged in Duterte's list. 

But Espenido denied that this was a case of extrajudicial killing.

"Kung titingnan 'nyo lang mga huli natin, may pagkakataon na nabaril, iyon lang lumaban. Dito naman nangyayari may namatay na involved sa robbery," he said.

(If you look at the cases we handled, there were instances that we only fired after they fought back. There were also cases that suspects killed were involved in robbery.)

Asked about the Parojinog family's alleged involvement in illegal drugs, the police chief said they can confirm this.

They, however, cannot confirm whether the drugs came from New Bilibid Prison inmate Herbert Colanggo. Colanggo is the partner of the vice mayor, who was arrested after the raid. – Rappler.com