Anti-drug crack­down leaves 15 dead

Penticton Herald - - WORLD -

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.

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