WHATWENTBEFORE

Philippine Daily Inquirer - - NEWS -

In Au­gust 2016, Pres­i­dent Duterte dis­closed that more than 150 for­mer and cur­rent gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials and po­lice­men al­legedly in­volved in il­le­gal drugs were on his con­tro­ver­sial drug list.

Among the al­leged “nar­copoliti­cians” on the list were Oza­miz City Mayor Rey­naldo Paro­jinog and his daugh­ter, Vice Mayor Nova Echaves.

The Paro­jinogs had ear­lier ap­peared be­fore Philip­pine Na­tional Po­lice Di­rec­tor Gen­eral Ron­ald Dela Rosa in July 2016 af­ter they were linked to con­victed drug lord Her­bert Colangco.

The Paro­jinogs also handed over firearms for po­lice cus­tody af­ter their li­censes were re­voked by the PNP.

The el­der Paro­jinog de­nied the Pres­i­dent’s al­le­ga­tion.

“I am not in­volved in il­le­gal drugs. In fact, I am­a­gainst it and I have been fight­ing it since I be­came mayor in 2001,” Paro­jinog said then.

The Paro­jinogs of Oza­miz are known to be the lead­ers of the no­to­ri­ous Ku­ra­tong Bale­leng crime syn­di­cate, which grabbed na­tional at­ten­tion be­cause of a string of brazen bank rob­beries, kid­nap­pings and a sen­sa­tional rubout case against rank­ing po­lice of­fi­cers un­til Rey­naldo and his brother Re­nato ran for pub­lic of­fice.

Rey­naldo Paro­jinog first ran for pub­lic of­fice in 1997 and won un­op­posed as barangay chair of Sta. Cruz in Oza­miz City.

In 1993, the po­lice listed him as the sec­ond most-wanted crim­i­nal in the coun­try for al­legedly be­ing the chief of Ku­ra­tong Bale­leng gang, which was en­gaged in kid­nap-for-ran­som. In 1994, he re­turned to Oza­miz and en­gaged in the con­struc­tion in­dus­try.

In De­cem­ber 2016, the Paro­jinogs were also ac­cused of graft af­ter the mayor awarded a gym­na­sium ren­o­va­tion project to his chil­dren’s Paro­jinog and Sons Con­struc­tion Com­pany in 2008.

The Sandi­gan­bayan granted the Paro­jinogs’ mo­tion to quash their graft case on April 7 and up­held the dis­missal of the graft case filed on June 14.

Paro­jinog was the third mayor in Mr. Duterte’s nar­col­ist to be slain. Two other politi­cians in the list that died dur­ing al­leged shootouts with the po­lice were Mayor Sam­sudin Di­maukom of Datu Saudi Am­pat­uan, Maguin­danao, and Mayor Rolando Espinosa of Al­buera, Leyte.

On Oct. 28, 2016, Di­maukom was killed by nar­cotics agents in a shootout in Mak­i­lala, North Cota­bato. Nine oth­ers, in­clud­ing five of Di­maukom’s body­guards, were killed in the ex­change of fire.

A few days later, on Nov. 5, Espinosa and his fel­low in­mate, Raul Yap, were shot dead by po­lice­men in their de­ten­tion cell.

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