OZAMIZ CITY – Dismayed over the leakage of information about a law enforcement operation here on Sunday, the chief of the Misamis Occidental police vowed to cleanse his ranks.
Senior Supt. Edgar Daniel, Misamis Occidental Provincial Police chief, said the process of cleansing the local police started Monday with the complete replacement of the Ozamiz City police force with elements drawn from various areas of the country.
“Internal cleansing is needed. Actually, it is long overdue,” Daniel told reporters.
Combined forces of the police, Philippine Army and anti-narcotics agents simultaneously swooped down early morning Sunday on the houses of 13 persons allegedly involved in the illegal drugs trade.
The operation yielded various illegal items from seven houses, which would constitute evidence to file charges against the individuals cited in the search warrants for the operations, Daniel said.
However, authorities skipped serving a search warrant for the houses of Mayor Reynaldo Parojinog; his daughter, Vice Nova Princess Parojinog; and the mayor’s younger brother, City Councilor Ricardo Parojinog (not Nova Princess’ younger brother as earlier reported), after intelligence operatives learned that the Parojinogs got to know about the raids in advance.
Daniel said they sensed that the Parojinogs had advance knowledge of the raid when they held vigils outside their respective houses. The biggest was at the city mayor’s residence in Barangay San Roque, attended by leaders from various barangays, barangay health workers, religious groups, and even local media practitioners.
Earlier, the three Parojinogs surrendered their firearms to police custody after the licenses for these guns were revoked by the Firearms and Explosives Office of the Philippine National Police. The PNP revoked their gun licenses after President Duterte bared his list of narco-politicians, including the Parojinogs.
“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 announced on Monday the replacement of the entire city police force with elements drawn from various areas of the country.
Daniel expressed confidence the new slate of officers would be able to combat criminality and meet the goals of the Duterte administration’s intensified war against illegal drugs.
“Before, there were many raids that turned out negative results,” he lamented.
Daniel stressed that the cleansing of police forces all over the country has become one of the priorities of the Philippine National Police.
During Sunday’s simultaneous raids, the 13 personalities were not around their respective houses, according to Daniel who warned that such operations 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 this for the next six years,” Daniel stressed.
Apart from the three, three more elective officials figured in the search warrant. They are village chairs Brendon Francisco of Barangay Tinago, and Edgar Echavez of Barangay San Antonio; and village councilman Marlon Parojinog of Barangay Cogon.
Echavez, who used to be a professional basketball player, is the former husband of Nova Princess.
The rest are identified as local traders or engaged in business: Grace Sanciangco, Clint Tamparong, Joel Colangco who is a relative of convicted criminal and alleged Bilibid-based druglord Herbert Colanggo, Jurilyn Bancong, Remy Gumapac, Rey “Popo” Parojinog, Ian Dionson, Artemio Salas who is husband of city councilor Daisy Salas, Manuel Francisco who is husband of city councilor Rizalina Francisco, and Ted Conde whose wife is a Parojinog.
According to Daniel, various illegal items were seized from several houses and such inventory would be used as evidence to prepare charges against the concerned individuals.
In Tamparong’s house, authorities recovered a .38 revolver, a 5-gram sachet 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 in Tamparong’s house has an estimated street value of P42,000.
A hand grenade was seized from Bancong’s house while ammunition for M-16 rifle and a 9mm handgun were recovered from Sanciangco’s house.