Ozamiz City Mayor Reynaldo Parojinog Sr., his wife, brother and nine others were killed in a series of raids conducted by the Philippine National Police (PNP) Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) in Northern Mindanao on Sunday.
Supt. Lemuel Gonda, spokesman for the PNP in Northern Mindanao, said members of the CIDG and the Misamis Occidental Provincial Police Office and Ozamiz City Police Station conducted raids in different areas in Ozamiz City at 2:30 a.m.
Also killed were the mayor’s wife Susan, his brother Octavio Parojinog, a member of the provincial board, and members of his security team.
Gonda said the raiding teams were met with a volley of gunfire.
The mayor’s daughter, Nova Princess, also the city’s vice mayor, was arrested and will face drug charges, police said.
Police officers recovered grenades, rounds of ammunition and illegal drugs from the Parojinog compound, according to provincial police chief Jaysen De Guzman.
Chief Supt. Timoteo Pacleb, police director of Northern Mindanao, said the search warrant was served at 2:30 a.m. so that it “would remain peaceful.”
“When implementing search warrants, we do not give prior notifications to the targets so the implementation would remain peaceful. If we will give prior notice, then it will not be good that is why we are implementing [the search warrants]at midnight so there could be least resistance from targets,” Pacleb explained.
He added that police operatives also recovered shabu and bundles of cash from Parojinog’s home.
Pacleb said Parojinog’s involvement in illegal drugs and his bodyguard’s use of unlicensed firearms prompted the implementation of the search warrant.
Parojinog was among “narco-politicians” on President Rodrigo Duterte’s drug list.
Two other mayors included in Duterte’s drug matrix were killed last year.
In November 2016, former Albuera, Leyte mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. was killed in a raid in Baybay City Jail also in Leyte. Chief Insp. Jovie Espenido, who was involved in the raid, was also reportedly part of the raiding team in Ozamiz City.
In October, Saudi Ampatuan Mayor Samsudin Dimaukom was killed in a shootout at a police checkpoint on suspicion he was carrying illegal drugs.
Commenting on Sunday’s raid, presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said: “The administration vowed to intensify the drug campaign.”