Espenido explained that the raid was carried out very early at 2:30 a.m. to ensure that the search warrants could be served as the residences of the Parojinogs, especially during daytime, were “shielded” by many of the family’s supporters.
“Kami ang implementor. May initiative ‘yang kung si Senator Drilon…kami rin mga pulis. Hindi puwede na gayahin sa kanya. Hindi puwedeng magaya ang interpretasyon niya. Tiningnan namin kung kailan mase-serve namin ‘yong search wala maraming tao, hindi naka prepared sila. Tinitingnan namin security ng mga implementor. Ang bahay ni mayor marami nagpunta marami nag-vigil, parang human shield ba,” he said.
[We are the implementors. Sen. Drilon has initiative and the police also have initiative. We can’t imitate his initiative. We can’t interpret the way he does. We were looking at the right time to serve the warrants when there wasn’t a lot of and they were not prepared. We were looking at the security of the implementors. There are many people who conduct vigil at the mayor’s house, they’re like human shields.]
Espenido issued the statement after Sen. Franklin Drilon questioned why the search warrants were served before dawn. He compared the incident to the November 5, 2016 killing of Rolando Espinosa, who, according to government investigators, was a victim of premeditated murder.
On Monday, Sen. Francis Pangilinan also doubted that the police’s raid on the Parojinog residences were legitimate.
“Serving warrants of arrest past 2 AM. Disabling the Close Circuit TV cameras prior to entering the premises. All 15 suspected drug lords at the scene of the crime and their ‘armed to the teeth’ bodyguards are killed. No injuries or casualties on the side of the PNP. Hindi makatotohanan. P’wedeng gawin ito kaninuman [This isn’t realistic. This could be done to anyone.]