After leak, Ozamiz police force replaced
OZAMIZ CITY—Dismayed by the leakage of a law enforcement operational plan here on Sunday, Misamis Occidental’s top policeman vowed to pursue “cleansing” in his command by replacing the city’s entire police force.
“Internal cleansing is needed. Actually, it is long overdue,” Senior Supt. Edgar Daniel, provincial police director, told reporters on Monday.
Combined forces of the police, Philippine Army and antinarcotics agents simultaneously swooped down early Sunday on the houses of 13 personalities allegedly linked to the illegal drug trade. They confiscated various illegal items from seven houses, which, Daniel said, would constitute evidence to file charges against their owners.
However, the lawmen skipped serving the search warrants for the houses of Mayor Reynaldo Parojinog, his daughter and Vice Mayor Nova Princess, and his younger brother Ricardo, who is a city councilor. Intelligence personnel had told them that the Parojinogs already knew about the raid.
Daniel related that barangay leaders and health workers, religious groups, and even local media practitioners were already holding a vigil outside the city officials’ houses, especially the mayor’s, in Barangay San Roque.
Surrender of guns
Earlier, the Parojinogs handed over firearms for police custody after their licenses were revoked by the Firearms and Explosives Office of the Philippine National Police when President Duterte mentioned them as being on the list of “narcopoliticians.”
“It is highly likely that the leak could have come from the ranks of the police,” said Daniel, who used to be stationed in the province as head of the police’s Provincial Mobile Group.
Daniel said that as part of the cleansing process, the city police force of 80 members would be replaced by those coming from other areas of the country. The move is among the priorities of the top leadership of the PNP, he stressed.
The police official is confident that with new officers, the local police would stand up to the challenge of combating criminality in Ozamiz, especially in carrying out the Duterte administration’s intensified war on illegal drugs.
“Before, there had been many raids conducted that always turned out negative,” Daniel lamented.
During the simultaneous raids, the 13 personalities were not in their houses. Daniel warned that operations like these would be a constant feature of police work in the city “until the subjects submit themselves to authorities.”
“We may be relieved of our duties today, but the succeeding police leaderships will still take this up as a priority. Remember, this is the thrust of President Duterte, so it will be like this for the next six years,” he said.
Other officials searched
Three more elective officials figured in the search warrants. They are barangay chairs Brendon Francisco of Tinago and Edgar Echavez of San Antonio, and councilman Marlon Parojinog of Barangay Cogon. Echavez, who used to be a professional basketball player, is the former husband of Nova Princess.
The rest of the respondents are identified as local traders or engaged in business: Grace Sanciangco; Clint Tamparong; Joel Colangco, a relative of convicted criminal and alleged drug lord Herbert Colangco; Jurilyn Bancong; Remy Gumapac; Rey “Popo” Parojinog; Ian Dionson; Artemio Salas, husband of Councilor Daisy Salas; Manuel Francisco, husband of Councilor Rizalina Francisco; and Ted Conde, whose wife is a Parojinog.
In Tamparong’s house, authorities recovered a .38 cal. revolver, five grams of a substance believed to be “shabu” (methamphetamine hydrochloride), two smaller sachets believed to also contain shabu, a rifle grenade, and a list of names believed to be his clients in illegal drugs.
The suspected shabu has an estimated street value of P42,000.
A grenade was seized from Bancong’s house while bullets for M16 rifles and a 9-mm handgun were found in Sanciangco’s house.
Seized from the Salas home were two grenades while Marlon Parojinog’s house yielded cash amounting to P750,000, a grenade, a sachet of suspected shabu, and 25 video gaming machines.
A grenade was found in Dionson’s house.
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