MANILA, Philippines – Long before the fatal encounter at the house of Ozamiz City Mayor Reynaldo “Aldong” Parojinog, where lawmen arrived to serve a search warrant in the wee hours Sunday, President Rodrigo Duterte had dropped hints that he and his henchmen were involved in the illegal drug trade.
The search warrant was never served or shown to the occupants of the house at 2:00 a.m. Shots rang out and police claimed a firefight ensued. A grenade went off inside the house.
When the smoke cleared, some 15 persons had died, including Aldong Parojinog and his wife. The rest of the fatalities were members of his security detail.
Aside from the involvement in drugs, Mayor Parojinog and his daughter, Nova Princess Parojinog-Echavez, were also reportedly implicated in anomalies attending the construction of a public gymnasium.
Furthermore, the mayor had acknowledged that the Vice Mayor had been involved in a relationship with convicted drug lord Herbert Colangco.
The Parojinog’s have lorded it over Ozamiz City for almost a decade and a half.
Their patriarch, Octavio “Ongkoy” Parojinog, Sr., was the acknowledged benefactor of the vigilante syndicate Kuratong Baleleng, which was originally organized in the 1980s by Philippine Army Major Franco Calanog to counter the communist News People’s Army.
Kuratong Baleleng allegedly used weapons sourced from the military, and it grew in force and influence supposedly under Ongkoy Parojinog.
In 1988, the military disbanded Kuratong Baleleng, but its remnants continued its lawless ways in Ozamiz, while a splinter faction led by Aldong and Renato shifted operations to Metro Manila, while still another spin-off group led by Carmelito Calasan, staked out a criminal sphere of influence in Iligan City, General Santos City, Cebu City and also Metro Manila.
In 1996, the Presidential Anti-Crime Commission led by then Police officer, now Senator Panfilo Lacson, killed 11 members of Kuratong Baleleng.
Nato had been captured in 1993, and then Aldong and a brother, Ricardo, surrendered to face a slew of charges including assault and robbery, including
* P2 million robbery of Solid Bank in Tangub City in 1988,
* P12 million Monte de Piedad armored van robbery on Roxas Blvd. in 1990
* P5 million heist at an RCBC bank in Pampanga
* P12 million Traders Royal Bank robbery in Buendia in 1991
But these cases were dismissed for insufficient evidence or absence of prosecution testimonies to pin down the Parojinogs, not long after which they made their presence felt in the political arena.
Renato “Nato” Parojinog became a provincial board member of Misamis Occidental in 2001 but was assassinated the following year.
Reynaldo “Aldong” Parojinog was elected and then re-elected Mayor of Ozamiz City. This was his fifth term as city mayor, until his death at the weekend.
Ricardo Parojinog is an incumbent Councilor of Ozamiz City and is the object of an all points bulletin for questioning by authorities.
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