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Town mayor killed as Philippines war on drugs escalates

02 August 2017

Reynaldo Parojinog, mayor of the city of Ozamiz on Mindanao island, was killed with his wife and 10 others, after reportedly resisting arrest, as police stormed the farm where he and his family lived.

Parojinog Sr. was killed in a series of raids in San Roque Lawis, Ozamiz City early Sunday along with 14 others.

Confiscated from the mayor's home were $27,000 in cash, three rifle grenades, bags of suspected illegal drug shabu and a firearm, the Mindanaoan Broadcasting Channel told CNN Philippines. Mayor of the Philippines' Ozamiz city Reynaldo Parojinog was shot dead in a police raid on July 30 for illegal drug trade.

Eight people were arrested, including two of Parojinog's children - Ozamiz Vice Mayor Nova Princess Parojinog-Echavez and her brother Reynaldo Parojinog Jr., officials said.

Chief Inspector Jovie Espenido, Ozamiz City police director, said the elder Parojinog was one of the government's high-value targets and had been named by Duterte as among the politicians involved in "narcopolitics", although the former mayor had repeatedly denied this accusation. The spokesman says there was no exchange of fire and that the mayor's security guards did not fire.

He was the third mayor to be killed under Duterte's bloody crackdown on drugs, which has left more than 3,000 dead in reported gunfights with police and thousands of other unexplained deaths of suspects.

All three mayors were among more than 160 officials Duterte named publicly as being linked to illegal drugs in August previous year as part of a shame campaign.

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In November, Rolando R. Espinosa, Sr., mayor of Albuera town, was killed during a night-time raid in a provincial jail.

Just a week before Espinosa's death, another mayor, Samsudin Dimaukom, was killed in what authorities said was a gun battle with law enforcement.

Relatives even said that Parojinog did not spare those he suspected to be involved in illegal drugs, including his kin.

Since he took office, police have reported killing almost 3,200 people in the drug war.

He revealed the police were armed with at least six search warrants issued by a regional court following confirmed reports that the Parojinogs kept high-powered firearms, ammunition and illegal drugs inside their heavily-guarded and sprawling compound.

"The administration vowed to intensify the drug campaign", Ernesto Abella, presidential spokesperson said, according to AP.

The police chief had explained that the bodies were displayed so that their kin could identify them and to encourage people allegedly victimized by the slain suspects to come forward.

Town mayor killed as Philippines war on drugs escalates