Days after the president vowed to continue his war on drugs ‘no matter how long it takes’, police shot dead Reynaldo Parojinog, the mayor of Ozamiz who Duterte last year accused of having ties to the drug trade
Reynaldo Parojinog, the mayor of Ozamiz in the southern Philippines, was shot dead by police on Sunday, along with his wife and 10 others, after officers said they were “met with a volley of fire” from the mayor’s security guards while attempting to serve him a warrant.
A spokesman for Parojinog, who President Rodrigo Duterte included on a list released last August of 150 individuals accused of involvement in the illegal drugs trade, refuted the reports, claiming that the police opened fire without provocation.
Parojinong is the third mayor on that list to have died at the hands of the police.
In a raid on a separate address in the city, the mayor’s brother was also killed, while his daughter Nova Princess Parojinog-Echavez, the deputy mayor of Ozamiz, was arrested on drugs charges, along with “scores” of others, according to Ernesto Abella, a spokesman for Duterte.
More than 8,000 people have been killed in the president’s war on drugs, a ruthless campaign characterised as a “war on the poor” by the Catholic church and condemned by international human rights groups. Duterte, however, continues to enjoy popular support among the Philippine population.
Sunday’s raids typify the Philippine National Police’s controversial use of extrajudicial killings in their bloody clampdown on the drug trade.
In June, Reuters published a report based on analysis of crime data and extensive interviews suggesting that police were sending corpses to hospitals in a bid to cover up extrajudicial killings. The report found that 85% of victims of police drug shooting deaths were declared ‘dead on arrival’ at the hospital, despite many being shot in the head or heart from close range, wounds which doctors say would have killed them instantly at the scene.
The news of Parojinog’s death came just days after Duterte vowed to continue his bloody campaign “no matter how long it takes”.
“The fight will be [as] unremitting as it will be unrelenting,” he said during the annual State of the Nation Address, which was perforated with numerous off-the-cuff, foul mouthed remarks.
“Despite international and local pressures, the fight will not stop until those who deal in it understand that they have to cease – they have to stop because the alternatives are either jail or hell.”