Ozamiz City Vice Mayor Nova Princess Parojinog-Echavez and her brother, Reynaldo Parojinog Jr., were flown to Manila on Monday, hours after the raids in their hometown that killed their parents, uncle and several others.
From the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, the siblings were whisked off to Camp Crame under heavy guard. They were detained at the Philippine National Police’s (PNP) Custodial Center.
The Parojinog’s legal counsel, Lawrence Carin, accompanied the siblings to Manila but was barred from seeing his clients at the Custodial Center.
“There were several personnel who stopped me. I was with my clients all the way from Ozamiz. I was with them on board the plane and on the way here but I was stopped from going inside [the Custodial Center],” he told reporters.
CIDG chief Roel Obusan, said the Parojinogs had to be moved to Manila because the search warrants served to their family were issued by the Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 89.
Obusan said the CIDG is considering asking the court to hear the Parojinogs’ cases in Metro Manila.
“It would be very expensive for us and their security too might be at risk,” he explained.
On Sunday, police operatives conducted a series of raids in Ozamiz City, leading to the killing of Ozamiz Mayor Reynaldo Parojinog Sr., his wife Susan and his brother Octavio, a member of the provincial board.
Authorities have yet to release the identities of the other casualties.
With the killing of Ozamiz mayor and detention of its vice mayor, second councilor Girlet Luansing assumed the post of acting mayor on Monday.
First councillor Ricardo “Ardot,’ one of the subjects of the search warrants served by the police, is missing. He should have been the acting mayor.
The third councillor, Michael Tagal, is the city’s acting vice mayor and will preside during the regular session of the city council every Monday.
Under the law “if a permanent vacancy occurs in the office of mayor or vice mayor, the highest-ranking member of the Sanggunian or the second highest ranking Sanggunian member shall become the mayor or vice mayor.”