Anti-drug crackdown leaves 15 dead
ZAMBOANGA, Philippines — Police in the southern Philippines said they fatally shot 15 people Sunday, including a city mayor who was among the politicians President Rodrigo Duterte publicly linked to illegal drugs, in the bloodiest assault so far in Duterte’s antidrug crackdown.
Officers were to serve warrants to Ozamiz Mayor Reynaldo Parojinog Sr. to search his houses for the suspected presence of unlicensed firearms when gunmen opened fire on the police, sparking clashes that killed the mayor and at least 14 other people, Ozamiz police Chief Jovie Espenido said.
“He’s a high-value target on illegal drugs,” Espenido, who oversaw the simultaneous, post-midnight raids on the mayor’s residence and three other houses, said at a news conference.
“We enforce the law to protect the people who want peace in this country,” he said. “How can we enforce the law if . . . we’re scared of the drug lords? That cannot be.”
At least five people, including Parojinog’s daughter, who serves as vice-mayor of Ozamiz, a port city, were arrested during the raids.