Ozamiz City Police Chief Insp. Jovie Espenido on Thursday said that he will begin the investigation and identification of policemen allegedly involved in killings ordered by the Parojinog clan in the city.
Espenido made the statement after President Rodrigo Duterte offered a PHP2 million bounty for each cop allegedly used by the Parojinogs to silence those who opposed them during the 116th Philippine National Police Service Awards at Camp Crame, Quezon City,
“Di ko pa na-identify pero pag uwi ko identify ko sila. First time ko marinig yun, first time ko nga makatabi si President alam nyo naman ang probinsya naming malayo sa Davao,” Espenido told reporters in a chance interview at the Department of Justice.
He said his predecessor may be able to identify the said police officers considering that he was assigned to Ozamiz city only last December.
“Siguro yung naka-identify nun yung pinalitan natin na hepe kay bago man tayo, syempre wala na yun sila (maybe my predecessor can identify those policemen since I’m new to the post),” Espenido added.
But he said when he was transferred to Ozamiz city from his previous posting as police chief of Albuera, Leyte, he and his predecessor he identified as Supt. Aranton did not talk about such issues since they focused on the turnover.
He said the killings might have happened under his predecessor’s watch.
“Siguro kasi panahon natin sa awa ng Panginoon zero crime rate tayo for two months. Huli tayo ng huli ng mga wanted persons, yung buy-bust natin,” he noted.
Earlier this week, authorities discovered a mass grave in Barangay Cogon, Ozamiz City where the bodies of people killed by cops working for the Parojinogs were dumped.
The President though did not say how many cops are working for the Parojinogs.
Espenido led the anti-drug operations in the city last July 30 which resulted in the death of Mayor Reynaldo Parojinog Sr. and 14 others.
Police claimed the Parojinog’s security personnel fired at them while they were trying to enter the family compound, prompting them to retaliate in return.
In the aftermath of the raid, police also arrested Ozamiz City Vice Mayor Nova Princess Parojinog Echavez and his brother, Reynaldo Jr.
The Parojinog siblings are facing charges of illegal possession of firearms and ammunition and illegal drugs. (PNA)