In August 2016, President Duterte disclosed that more than 150 former and current government officials and policemen allegedly involved in illegal drugs were on his controversial drug list.
Among the alleged “narcopoliticians” on the list were Ozamiz City Mayor Reynaldo Parojinog and his daughter, Vice Mayor Nova Echaves.
The Parojinogs had earlier appeared before Director General Ronald Dela Rosa, chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP), in July 2016 after they were linked to convicted drug lord Herbert Colangco.
The Parojinogs also handed over firearms for police custody after their licenses were revoked by the PNP.
The elder Parojinog denied the President’s allegation.
“I am not involved in illegal drugs. In fact, I am against it and I have been fighting it since I became mayor in 2001,” Parojinog said then.
The Parojinogs of Ozamiz are known to be the leaders of the notorious Kuratong Baleleng crime syndicate, which grabbed national attention because of a string of brazen bank robberies, kidnappings and a sensational rubout case against ranking police officers until Reynaldo and his brother Renato ran for public office.
Reynaldo Parojinog first ran for public office in 1997 and won unopposed as barangay chair of Sta. Cruz in Ozamiz City.
In 1993, the police listed him as the second most-wanted criminal in the country for allegedly being the chief of Kuratong Baleleng gang, which was engaged in kidnap-for-ransom. In 1994, he returned to Ozamiz and engaged in the construction industry.
In December 2016, the Parojinogs were also accused of graft after the mayor awarded a gymnasium renovation project to his children’s Parojinog and Sons Construction Company in 2008.
The Sandiganbayan granted the Parojinogs’ motion to quash their graft case on April 7 and upheld the dismissal of the graft case filed on June 14.
Parojinog was the third mayor in Mr. Duterte’s narcolist to be slain. Two other politicians in the list that died during alleged shootouts with the police were Mayor Samsudin Dimaukom of Datu Saudi Ampatuan, Maguindanao, and Mayor Rolando Espinosa of Albuera, Leyte.
On Oct. 28, 2016, Dimaukom was killed by narcotics agents in a shootout in Makilala, North Cotabato. Nine others, including five of Dimaukom’s bodyguards, were killed in the exchange of fire.
A few days later, on Nov. 5, Espinosa and his fellow inmate, Raul Yap, were shot dead by policemen in their detention cell.