Night falls on the Parojinogs

By: Joshua Fidel Feria
September 03, 2017
1272

The story told is of fallen tyrants.

Columns in national dailies say they have ravaged the people of Ozamiz, and have amassed wealth and influence by preying on the lives of innocent civilians. Reports from ABS-CBN have documented the family patriarch’s involvement in crimes of robbery in Manila. Furthermore, despite having been disbanded by the military in 1988, its then anti-Communist Kuratong Baleleng group based in Mindanao which later became known as an organized crime outfit, heading into extortion and robbery along with other crimes.

One July morning, sixteen implicated individuals, including the head honcho in Ozamiz City Mayor ‘Aldong’ Parojinog, were made corpses in the name of the administration’s anti-illegal drug crusade.
So goes the story of the Parojinogs of Ozamiz City, and their final hours in Rodrigo Duterte’s Philippines.

It was a scene that began in the darkness. It was after 2 A.M. on the 30th of July, and the city of Ozamiz, over a rare and abrupt power outage, was cloaked pitch black. By all indications, it appeared to be a quiet evening. It wouldn’t be for long.

Drawing near was talk of six search warrants to be served on a total of four Parojinog houses. As per the account of Chief Inspector Jovie Espenido, it was in this pre-dawn effort of serving these warrants that he and his men were met with gunfire from the Parojinog outfit.

The shoot-out lasted for two hours. When the sun rose, the Parojinogs of Ozamiz, who had for decades been invincible to the force of law, were no longer. The corpses of Mayor Reynaldo Sr., his wife Susan, his brother Octavio Jr., and a bevy of armed bodyguards, ran the pavement red with blood, lying dead on the very streets they had once roamed as the most powerful people in Ozamiz.

Rodrigo Duterte was propelled to the presidency on a promise of spilled blood. In the time since his notorious presidential campaign, leading up to his oath of office on June 30, 2016, the narrative had altogether been lodged, burned, and carved into the collective Filipino conscience: heed the warning, all you crooks, junkies, and lowlifes who threaten posterity in the land of his birth, for you shall meet the strong arm of his wrath, one way or another, in the form of a bullet to the temple. We had but little else to take the man at his word.

It has been a year since, and that promise has been kept— close to 3,000 Filipinos that have since been made “fish feed” in the name of the anti-criminality, anti-illegal drug purge should prove that much to be true.

For the Parojinogs, the alleged criminal ties that envelop the family are glaring. Reynaldo Sr. had been involved in robbery cases in Metro Manila with the Kuratong Baleleng Group in the 1980’s. His daughter, Nova-Princess, had been romantically involved with alleged drug kingpin and high-profile Bilibid inmate Herbert Colanggo. Furthermore, in the book ‘Modern Warlordism in the Philippines’, author Roland Simbulan wrote of the Parojinogs: “These people took advantage of the fact that they had weapons, and were backed by the military to engage in criminal activities.”

When this President so brazenly tagged Ozamiz Mayor ‘Aldong’ as a “narcopolitician” in August of 2016, it was said neither in bravado nor in anger, which he has for both a proclivity. Duterte was blunt, but he was calm. It was a declaration of edict.

A week before the Parojinogs were gunned down, the Commission on Human Rights was again at the mercy of Digong’s storied irreverence. Over fear of an inquiry to the government intervention in Marawi, Duterte, in his bluster, said the commission would be “better (off) abolished.” (The death toll in Marawi as of writing has breached the 500 mark--39 of which were innocent civilians.)
The war on drugs, as he has maintained throughout his presidency, is for the benefit of children in the country. If by chance you become a number in a tally of carcasses, then all he has to offer, he said, are his apologies.

He pays no mind to the violence, the disdain for the rule of law and basic human rights, and the needless culture of impunity that is emboldened by his rhetoric.

What hope we had of unearthing any semblance of truth on the criminal underworld laid on the prospect of a trial in a court of law, that which could have been achieved from a peaceable serving of search warrants to the Parojinogs.

Instead, we have 16 corpses, varying accounts from both the Parojinog camp and the local Police force, and clarity--to the ultimate defeat of the public-- amounting to absolutely nothing.

This is a disturbing state of affairs, for it is neither a conscionable or functional society that does away with its criminals with bullets to the head. Human rights, to criminal or no, are an inalienable privilege of the Filipino, as it is part and parcel of the promise of this democracy.

The day we cheer for spilled blood will be the day we forfeit our humanity. There is time yet to change that.

Comments

  1. COA: Donations for Typhoon Ulysses Victims found Rotten and Undistributed
  2. Philippines, Vulnerable to Rising Global Temperatures
  3. Knights bite the dust, succumbs to San Beda
  4. Filipino authors, books withstand Red-Tagging remarks VS KWF
  5. Sen. Hontiveros seeks to plumb the P7B "questionable releases" of CHED's UniFAST
  6. Letran celebrates Hybrid Binyag Arriba for Senior High School
  7. COA Reports on the Overpriced 39,583 Laptops Units DepEd Procured
  8. Senate Steps in, Files Resolution to solve Gilas Woes
  9. Students and RSOs Hardwork Pays Off in the Collegiate Orientation and Gaward Arriba 2022
  10. Knights fall to neighbors Pirates, record first loss
  11. Academic Year 2022-2023, Commences with Three Subsequent Annual Events
  12. Letranites Creativity and Passion Mirrors RSOs booths in the 2022 Org Fair
  13. Caralipio, Paraiso lift Knights past Tamaraws in FilOil EcoOil Preseason
  14. First Year CBAA Students, Welcomed to the Colegio with Binyag Arriba Day 2
  15. Colegio welcomes CLAS, COED, CEIT freshmen for Binyag Arriba Day 1
  16. Letran falters to UST, Gets Eliminated from Playoff Contention
  17. Wangs-Letran Bows To Baste, Drops Their Third in a Row
  18. Monkeypox detected in PH, Senate marks DOH Chief as 'urgent'
  19. Vape Law lapses into Law
  20. Wangs-Letran Stung by CEU Scorpions with Second Straight Loss
  21. Kobe Monje powers Letran to first FilOil Preseason Cup Win
  22. The New Slate of Officials for the 19th Congress of the Philippines
  23. Knights succumb to Green Archers in D-League
  24. The Trial Classes for the Elementary, Junior High School, and Senior High School of Letran: A Testament
  25. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. delivers his first SONA at the newly renovated Batasang Pambansa
  26. Shooting in Ateneo de Manila University Results into 3 Deaths and Several Injuries
  27. Teatro de Letran’s “Piladelpiya, Hirrr Ay Kammm!!!” Wows Teatro Europa’s Third Edition Launch; Letran Filipiniana Dance Company Opening, a Dazzling Comeback Performance.
  28. The Letran Let’s Flex Hyflex Program: The Start of Modern Innovative Education
  29. Wangs-Letran Outguns Gutsy Marinerong Pilipino, Gains solo Lead in D-League
  30. Letran Survives Gritty AMA Scare to Get 2nd Straight D-League Win
  31. Cyberknights Grab First Win in CCE, Goes 1-3
  32. Letran Gets Swept By San Sebastian, Officially Ends Season 97 Campaign
  33. Former CBCP President, Archbishop Lagdameo, dies at 81
  34. Sangalang, Paraiso, Caralipio provide championship composure as Letran overcomes pesky St. Clare
  35. Knights unveil roster for PBA D-League
  36. Letran stuns Mapua, Improves to 2-6
  37. Esports: Letran bows to Arellano and CSB in MLBB at the Collegiate Center for Esports Competition
  38. Lady Knights Yield to Lady Generals
  39. A Fight Against Poverty: Launching of Angat Buhay NGO
  40. President Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos Jr.; Now on the Highest Seat of the Nation
  41. First woman-elect Lacuna takes oath as the 28th Mayor of Manila
  42. “It’s not a signal for me to stop, but to keep on going.”: NBA Dream still alive for Kai Sotto even after Draft Snub
  43. Letran bows to Lyceum; Drops to 1-4
  44. Lady Knights Escape San Beda in Five Set Thriller; Finally Enters Winning Column
  45. Knights sweep Cardinals, cops 19th NCAA title
  46. Letran Completes Comeback Over Mapua to Take Game One
  47. Still in Shining Armor: Letran Escaped The Altas’ Scare, Charges to the NCAA 97 Finals With an Unblemished Record.
  48. Letran Escapes Arch-rivals, Finishes Elimination Round With A Clean Sweep
  49. Elite Eight: Abando, Paraiso Lead Knights to Gritty Win Against Golden Stags, Secures Final Four Slot.
  50. Knights Thrash Bombers, Extending Their Unbeaten Streak to 7-0.  
  51. A Look Into Ping Lacson
  52. Letran Escapes Lyceum, Secures Fifth Straight Win of the Season
  53. Knights Continue Hot Streak, Trounces Mapua
  54. Letran Triumphs Over Perpetual, Abando Records Career Game
  55. Letran Dominates Arellano, gets 2nd Straight Win
  56. Letran Charges Back, Edges Benilde in NCAA ‘97 Opener
  57. Rewriting OPM: The P-pop Takeover
  58. Filipino Humor and Pinoy Comedy Films: A Sacrosanct Relationship
  59. The Unfaltering Voice of the Press
  60. To Get The Fire Back
  61. Pearl's Pride and Glory: First Philippine Republic Day
  62. CHED and DOH Visit Letran In Preparation For NCAA Bubble, Colegio Now Approved For Training
  63. Stand-up Comedy Culture with The KoolPals
  64. LCES, Finally an Official Alliance of AcadArena
  65. To The Unsung Heroes in Our Screens
  66. Tokyo 2021: Looking back and moving forward
  67. Exhibiting ‘Resiliency and Creativity’: NCAA Season 96 to kick off on June 13
  68. NCAA ‘Special’ Season 96 to push through with online sporting events in May
  69. Letran alumnus to send Colegio’s 400th Anniversary score and lyrics to the moon
  70. LOOKBACK: A glimpse of Letran’s Yellow Brick Road of Sports in 2020
  71. Two bullets each
  72. DENR awards Colegio with Gawad Maparaan
  73. Letran conducts webinar on violence against women
  74. The Greatest Reset
  75. Lloyd Cadena: More than a vlogger
  76. Long live the King!
  77. Former Tigers Paraiso, Bataller set to become new members of the Knights
  78. Killing our heroes
  79. Students urge suspension of online classes despite memo from VPAA
  80. Philippines under state of calamity due to COVID-19
  81. NCAA Season 95 suspended indefinitely
  82. Letranites express dismay over Paskong Arriba
  83. Quadricentennial Year 4 ends with a double celebration
  84. Letran dethrones San Beda, claims 18th title
  85. Dugong Arriba: Kilalanin ang ating Rektor