Ozamiz mayor tagged by Duterte says he was fighting drugs
OZAMIZ CITY, Philippines – Unfazed by allegations hurled by President Rodrigo Duterte that he was involved in the illegal drugs trade, Mayor Reynaldo Parojinog Sr. vowed to continue cleaning this city of shabu.
“I cannot do this without your help, together let us rid this thing that has ruined our youth and our city’s name,” Parojinog said Sunday morning, noting that the accusation had tarnished the reputation of this city and its population.
Speaking to a crowd of more than 5,000 that trooped to the Cotta Fort grounds in Barangay Triunfo for the “Run Away From Drugs” fun-run, he said the proliferation of shabu had substantially gone down in Ozamiz.
Parojinog said the run-for-a-cause was initiated by the local government with the support of residents to show that the city was serious in its anti-drug campaign.
Aside from government employees, professional runners, and running enthusiasts, thousands of suspected drug personalities also joined the fun run.
“This (fun run) is our way of showing that everyone must participate in stamping out this menace that has invaded our city,” he said.
He said that because of the city’s relentless effort, there had been a huge drop in the illegal drug business as suspected drug retailers had come forward and promised to mend their ways.
According to him, the city’s anti-drug campaign was in line with the Philippine National Police’s “Oplan Tokhang” (knock and plead) based on the directive of President Duterte and boosted by the cooperation of residents.
“Because we have been effective in going after drug pushers, residents are now the ones giving the location (of drug suspects). This has disrupted their operations,” he added.
Drug sellers, Parojinog said, have resorted to guerrilla-style selling of narcotics. They no longer stay in one place and most of the transactions are being done through cell phones, he said.
“The people are sick and tired of being dragged into this drug trade. They are now fighting back to reclaim the good reputation of the city,” he said.
During the fun run, Parojinog threatened to use violence, if necessary, to stop those involved in illegal drugs.
He said that he had been waging war against illegal drugs since he became mayor in 2001.
Parojinog said his resolve had been strengthened by Duterte’s declaration to wipe out the shabu trade in the country in six months./rga
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