PNP defends operation in Ozamiz that killed mayor, 14 others
The Philippine National Police (PNP) said the serving of a search warrant early Sunday in the home of Ozamiz Mayor Reynaldo Parojinog Sr was above board but the firefight that followed which resulted in 15 deaths was above board was triggered by the mayor’s men.
PNP Director General Ronald dela Rosa said in a press conference Monday their men serving the warrant were fired upon and they had no choice but to shoot back, killing the mayor and his wife, plus 13 others.
:”I want him alive to answer charges but if he fought back, then I want my men alive than him. I always say that after the smoke is cleared, it should be the good man standing and bad man lying on the pavement,” said Dela Rosa.
Replying to an accusation by the Ozamiz City legal officer that the police were meant to kill, Dela Rosa said: “ Is he sure about what is he saying? I know they are meant to be operated upon not to be liquidated… If they fought back, an encounter will ensure and we have no control.
Asked if 2:30 am is a proper time to serve a search warrant, Dela Rosa said: Every time is a legal time serve search warrant. The search warrant does not say when it should be served.”
The warrant, released by the Quezon City Regional Trial Court on July 21, alleged the Parojinogs violated the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation.
Director Rogelio Obusan, head of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group stressed the policemen were “not meant to kill.”
“ We arrested eight, especially the armed members who surrendered so it erases the doubt or claim of the lawyer that they are meant to be liquidated.”
”If that's is really our intention, then all of them should have died. We really intend to bring them to justice…but they maintained a private army,” added Obusan. “:We were fired upon before entering the premises and a policeman was injured in the firefight.”
Ozamiz Vice Mayor Nova Parojinog and her brother, who were among the arrested persons, arrived Monday and were escorted to Camp Crame.
Obusan did not say a woman was among the casualties but he said:” It is a firefight. There is distance, darkness, practically. You cannot distinguish the opponent…What
What you know is that you are from that side they are from that side.” DMS