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Duterte: Police had to shoot

By: Argyll Cyrus B. Geducos and Aaron B. Recuenco

President Duterte has defended the policemen in the raid in which Ozamiz City Mayor Reynaldo Parojinog and 15 were killed last Sunday morning.

Duterte reiterated that his order to the police was to “destroy” drug organizations, including everyone involved, to fully end the illegal drugs trade.

According to Duterte, the police had to protect themselves or the country would have dead law enforcers instead of dead narco-politicians.

“The police and the military should make sure that their enemies are dead. Otherwise, if the other guy can still pull the trigger, you will end up with a dead police or a dead military soldier,” Duterte said.

“Bakit ko gusto ‘yan? Eh ako ‘yung commander-in-chief of all the armed forces in the Philippines,” he added.

Duterte recalled how he confronted the mayors linked to the illegal drugs trade and urged them to stop. “Sinabi ko talaga sa kanila, ‘Do not do it. Do not do it because my order is to destroy the organizations,’” he said.

“Hindi naman ito na basta you pick one enemy at a time. You are up against an organization,” Duterte added.

Duterte also said that the Parojinogs were running Ozamiz as if it was a feudal state of the family. “Sasabihin, ‘Bakit namatay’? My order to the military and the police and rightly so: To destroy the organization, both the supplier, the users, and everybody connected with the organization because they keep alive the trade,” the President said.

Meanwhile, eight of the 16 persons who were killed in the raid, including Parojinog and his brother Octavio, tested positive for powder burns in a paraffin test conducted by the Philippine National Police.

Chief Supt. Dionardo Carlos, PNP spokesman, said the other fatalities were no longer subjected to paraffin tests upon the request of their families.

“This will help determine about firearms used and firearms were nearby that were recovered in the premises were used, and if there was a gun battle,” said Carlos.

Initial impression shows that those who tested positive in the paraffin test fired a gun due to gunpowder nitrates present although experts said there are some factors that affect the result of the test. Carlos said the result of the paraffin test is not conclusive.

A survivor of the raid has claimed that there was no firefight and that all the victims were gathered inside a room where a grenade was lobbed by a policeman later and that those who survived the blast were shot at close range.

The survivor’s allegation was confirmed by autopsy results on the eight fatalities which stated that Parojinog’s wife, Octavio, and Octavio’s wife died of blast wounds.

But Ozamiz police said it was the Parojinogs which lobbed the grenade as indicated by a grenade pin retrieved on the hands of one of his slain bodyguards.