A lawyer of Vice Mayor Nova Princess Parojinog-Echavez on Monday said that the deadly police raid that left 15 people dead, including mayor Reynaldo Parojinog Sr. and his wife, was an overkill.
“I’m all for the war on drugs… but there is such a thing as justified killing, and there is such a thing as overkill,” Atty. Ferdinand Topacio said in an Unang Balita interview.
Topacio said the old wife of the mayor, Susan, could not have pulled out a gun and fired at the policemen during the predawn raid inside their home in Ozamiz City.
“Babaeng matanda, alangan namang bumunot iyon ng M16, M14 at pagbabarilin ang mga pulis. Malayo pong mangyari,” he said.
Pending the release of results of the police’s forensic examination of the crime scene, officials have yet to say if the mayor’s wife also fired a gun during the supposed gunfight.
In a radio interview hours after the police raid on Sunday, Ozamiz City legal officer Jeffrey James Ocang said the mayor could not have also engaged policemen in a gunfight.
“Malaking tao po [si mayor]. Hindi naman ho ‘yon basta basta makakalaban ng barilan. Nagtataka po kami kung bakit naging ganito po iyong resulta, ganito ka-bloody,” Ocang said.
He said that the mayor, his wife and provincial board member Octavio Parojinog sustained gunshot wounds in the head.
Meanwhile, Topacio said that they believe the police committed an abuse in the implementation of the search warrant.
Search warrant, CCTV
He said that as a general rule, search warrants are served during the reasonable hours unless it was specified in the warrant that the subject for the police’s search is mobile or can only be found during night time.
Topacio said that as of the interview on Unang Balita, he and the other lawyers have yet to receive a copy of the search warrant from the police.
He said that during the inquest proceedings for the vice mayor set later today, they will ask for the public official’s release because of the police’s violation of the 36-hour deadline for the filing of charges.
During the interview, Topacio also said that the raiding policemen’s decision to “destroy” CCTV camera recordings at the Parojinogs’ house was irregular.
“Kung talagang maayos ang pag-serve ng warrant, kung talagang sinabi mo na sila ay nanlaban kaya sila napatay, ‘di ba ang pinakamagandang ebidensya doon ay [ang cctv] video?” he said.
The search warrant was served by policemen at around 2:30 a.m. on Sunday. Police said that before they arrived at the mayor’s house, power supply to the city was cut off.