Palace: Ozamiz raid part of intensified campaign vs drugs

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

A Philippine mayor accused of involvement in narcotics trafficking was shot dead along with 11 other people in a police raid on Sunday, the latest official to be killed in president Rodrigo Duterte's war on drugs.

Supt. Lemuel Gonda, spokesperson of the PNP 10 regional command said the police raiding party was met by gunfire when they conducted the search at around 2:30 a.m. Sunday.

Parojinog's wife Susan and Octavio Parojinog Jr, a member of the provincial legislative board, were among those killed.

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

He said that the raiding team was serving the search warrant to Mayor Parojinog in his residence in Barangay San Roque, Lawis, Ozamis City when the mayor's security men opened fire, prompting the lawmen to retaliate.

Several high-powered firearms and an unspecified amount of methamphetamines were recovered, Timoteo Pacleb, chief of police of Northern Mindanao, told reporters. His daughter meanwhile, was reportedly in a relationship with high-profile Bilibid inmate Herbert Colangco.

Two other mayors who Mr Duterte mentioned in his so-called "drug list" were killed past year.

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Mayor Parojinog was one of the local government officials named in Duterte's narco-list.

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

His claims were repeatedly denied by the Parojinogs.

In November 2016, police officers killed Rolando Espinosa, the mayor of Albuera town, shooting him inside a jail cell in the central province of Leyte.

Espinosa, an alleged drug lord in Eastern Visayas, was set to name politicians and lawmen linked to the illegal drug trade before his death.

Duterte defended the officers involved in that raid and ordered their reinstatement, but critics said the decision would worsen the nation's "culture of impunity".

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