AT LEAST P112 million worth of suspected methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu were recovered during a series of anti-illegal drugs operations on Wednesday, December 6, by the Ozamiz City police in Misamis Occidental, a police official said Thursday.
Ozamiz City Police chief Jovie Espenido said he believed the illegal drugs were among the stash of the Parojinog family, who allegedly monopolized the illegal drugs operations in the area prior to the death of Mayor Reynaldo Parojinog in a police raid last July 30.
“Lumang supply iyan, pagdating ko sa Ozamiz tinago nila. Ngayon lang inilabas dahil nakita nila, na naghahanap sila ng pera at patay na yung papa nila,” Espenido said. (That's part of their stocks. They probably hid it when I arrived in Ozamiz. They're probably unloading it now to raise money because their father is dead.)
“According sa nakuha naming information, up to 86 kilos iyan last year. ‘Yung transaksyon nila, ‘yung taga-Cebu, magpupunta sa Ozamiz, sakay lang ng barko. Ganundin ‘yung taga-Lanao, taga-General Santos,” he added.
(Based on the information we have gathered, they had an inventory of up to 86 kilos last year. Their buyers from Cebu, Lanao and General Santos would come here in Ozamiz and get the supply, which would be transported by sea.)
Espenido said the series of anti-illegal drugs operations started when Butch Merino, a former driver and bodyguard of detained Ozamiz City Vice Mayor Princess Nova Parojinog, was arrested at a checkpoint. Some P8 million worth of illegal drugs, a firearm and two magazines seized from him.
Merino, during the interrogation, identified his supplier as Melden Rabarez. Authorities conducted an entrapment operation to arrest Rabarez along with a certain Roselyn Walohan.
Police recovered Rabarez and Walohan cash worth P27 million and a kilogram of shabu intended for a distributor in Lanao.
Meanwhile, Chief Inspector Cipriano Bazar Jr., acting head of Regional Tactical Operations Center, said Ozamiz police conducted follow-up operations on the strength of a search warrant at the homes of Melodia Malingin, Gaudencio Malingin, Maychell Parojinog Gumapac, Manuelito Francisco, Rizalina Francisco, June Francisco, Ricardo Parojinog and Christopher Parojinog, all supporters and relatives of the slain mayor.
The Malingins were arrested during the operation. Police recovered from them at least eight kilos of shabu and drug paraphernalia.
The other subjects of the warrant, however, eluded arrest but police recovered from their house illegal drugs and other paraphernalia, firearms and assorted ammunition.
Espenido said they have information that detained Vice Mayor Parojinog still has control over the illegal drugs trade in their area.
“Sinabi na may magtawag kay Vice Mayor sa kulungan para sa transaksyon (They said the vice mayor gets calls and does business even in detention),” he said.
Mayor Parojinog, who was on drugs watchlist of President Rodrigo Duterte, was killed along with his wife and 13 others in a pre-dawn raid on his residence in Ozamiz City on July 30, 2017. (SunStar Philippines)