ABOUT P100-million worth of “shabu” and weapons were seized by Ozamiz City police in a series of operations on Wednesday, an official said on Thursday.
The suspects behind the 14-kilo shabu haul are believed to be relatives of the late Ozamiz Mayor Reynaldo Parojinog Sr., including his brother, Councilor Ricardo Parojinog, Chief Insp. Jovie Espenido said.
Espenido said that police first apprehended a certain Butch Merino at a checkpoint en route to Ozamiz. Recovered were P8 million worth of the illegal substance and arms.
Merino was a former driver and bodyguard of detained Ozamiz vice mayor Nova Parojinog, daughter of the Parojinog Sr.
Merino later identified his supplier as Melden Rabarez who was arrested in another operation, together with a certain Rosely Walohan. Local police seized one kilogram and P27 million in cash from Rabarez.
Espenido said that “shabu” runners were deployed in different cities in Mindanao and transport their “cargo” through ships.
“Yung transaksyon nila, ‘yung taga-Cebu, magpupunta sa Ozamiz, sakay lang ng barko. Ganundin ‘yung taga-Lanao, taga-General Santos,” said Espenido.
(Those from Cebu will ride a ship to Ozamiz for transactions. It’s the same thing with those from Lanao and General Santos.)
Espenido led the raid in the house of Parojinog who, along with his wife, Susan, and several others were killed in a shootout with police on July 30.
Espenido first hogged the limelight in connection with the arrest and killing of Albuera town mayor Rolando Espinosa while in detention in November in Baybay, Leyte jail also on drug trafficking charges.
Espenido was set to be transferred to Iloilo City where its mayor, Jed Patrick Mabilog, was also linked to the illegal drug trade. Mabilog denied the allegations that President Rodrigo Duterte first made based on his drug list. He is currently out of the country.
The change in Espenido’s assignment, however, did not push through. JASI DE MATEO