A mayor, his wife and at least 13 others were killed Sunday when Philippine police launched predawn raids at the homes of local politicians accused by President Rodrigo Duterte of being drug traffickers.
Among those killed was Mayor Reynaldo Parojinog of southern Ozamiz city, his wife, Susan, and brother, Octavio, who was a town official. A daughter, Nova Princess, who is the mayor’s deputy, was arrested.
The raids occurred less than a week after Duterte vowed to continue with his anti-narcotics war amid criticism from rights groups.
Several kilos of methamphetamine hydrochloride and high powered firearms were seized from six homes owned by the Parojinogs, according to officials.
Police said the raiding team “were met with a volley of fire” from the mayor’s private militia, triggering a gun battle that lasted about two hours. One policeman was hurt but was said to be out of danger.
“There was gunfire coming from the security of the Parojinogs, forcing the policemen to retaliate,” local police spokesman Supt. Lemuel Gonda said.
Private militia members employed by the mayor were killed in the gun battle, according to officials. Ozamiz police chief Jovie Espenido said 15 were killed in the raids, the Associated Press reported.
A separate raid at the home of another of the mayor’s brothers, village councilor Ricardo Parojinog, yielded several weapons and drugs, but he escaped and is the subject of a manhunt, police said.
Full story: BenarNews
Cagayan de Oro, Philippines
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