Former Ozamiz Vice Mayor Nova Parojinog gets life for drugs | Inquirer News

Former Ozamiz Vice Mayor Nova Parojinog gets life for drugs

Quezon City Regional Trial Court rejects claims of evidence planting and chain of custody violation
/ 09:37 AM December 08, 2023

Former Vice Mayor Nova Parojinog of Ozamiz gets life for drugs

Vice Mayor Nova Parojinog. INQUIRER file photos

MANILA, Philippines — Former Ozamiz City Vice Mayor Nova Parojinog has been sentenced to life imprisonment by a Quezon City Court despite her claim that the police planted evidence following her family’s inclusion in former President Rodrigo Duterte’s “narco list.”

Parojinog was meted with a penalty of life imprisonment and ordered to pay a fine of P500,000 after she was found guilty of illegal possession of 677.6796 grams of shabu.


“There is no doubt in the mind of the Court that the prosecution has proven beyond reasonable doubt that the accused is guilty of illegal possession of 677.6796 grams of shabu,” the Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 228 said.


Parojinog was arrested on July 30, 2017, in Barangay San Roque in Ozamiz City during a raid where her father, former mayor Reynaldo Parojinog Sr., mother Susan, her brother and sister, and 12 others were killed.

Her defense centered on her claim that the government was “impelled by an evil motive” following her family’s inclusion in Duterte’s narco list. She said the policemen planted shabu inside her cabinet drawer to justify the case against her.

But the court said: “When the case is up for trial, the judicial head is empty as to facts involved, and it is incumbent upon the litigants to establish by evidence the facts upon which they rely.”

However, the court said the claim of planting evidence was bare and “unsupported by proof.”

Planting of evidence

Parojinog identified footage from the CCTV inside her room where she was seen locking her cabinet drawer and giving the key to her lady companion for safekeeping at 4:17:04 time stamp.


“Aside from the fact that the particular footage was not offered as evidence, there was no excuse proffered why the CCTV inside the accused’s room failed to capture the planting of two plastic packs containing shabu inside the accused’s cabinet drawer,” the court said.

It added that even Parojinog’s son, Edray, and his friends, who all testified seeing the policemen entering the main glass door of the house and going upstairs, did not mention carrying something suspicious.

The court added that if the CCTV footage captured the 4:17:04 time stamp, why was there no footage before 4 a.m. when the police entered her room?

“It is quite far-fetched that the policemen removed the CCTV before 4 a.m. and installed it again so it could capture the events inside the room past 4 a.m.,” the court said, adding that “

Chain of custody

Chain of custody under Section 21 of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 requires the arresting team having initial custody and control of the drugs to undertake a physical inventory, including marking the confiscated drugs immediately and taking photographs while in the presence of the accused or the person/s from whom such items were confiscated and/or seized, or his/her representative or counsel. The law also requires a representative from the media, the Department of Justice (DOJ), and any elected public official who shall be required to sign the copies of the inventory.

Within 24 hours of confiscating dangerous drugs, these must be submitted to the PDEA Forensic Laboratory for a qualitative and quantitative examination. The forensic laboratory examiner must then certify the forensic laboratory examination results. The certification must be issued within 24 hours after receiving the subject items.

The law requires strict implementation of the process. Otherwise, the case will be dismissed if no other evidence warrants a conviction.

READ: SC issues 4-point mandatory policy to ensure tight drug cases

In this case, Parojinog said the marking was not done at the place of arrest, putting doubt on the integrity of the government’s evidence against her.

But the court said that while there are vast Supreme Court (SC) rulings stating that evidence must be immediately marked at the place of seizure, there were also several instances where the SC allowed the marking of seized evidence in the police station.

The court pointed out that more than 10 people died during the police operation.

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“The extraordinary event which happened on the day of July 30, 2017, is enough justifiable ground allowing a departure from the rule on strict compliance as to the completion of the marking and inventory at the place of seizure,” the court said.

READ: Prosecutors want transfer of Nova Princess Parojinog from Camp Crame to BJMP

Parojinog is currently detained in Taguig after her transfer from the Custodial Center in Camp Crame in 2021. The Court ordered the jail warden of Taguig City Jail to turn her over to the Correctional Institute for Women upon receipt of the decision.

TAGS: Ozamiz City, QC RTC

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