During the early morning of Sunday, July 30, members of the Philippine National Police and Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG), armed with search warrants, raided homes of alleged illegal drug personalities in Ozamiz City, Misamis Occidental.
Mayor Reynaldo “Aldong” Parojinog Sr. and his wife died during the raid on their house, while 13 other people were left dead after the police operation.
Authorities claimed that the shootout ensued when the Parajinogs and their supporters fired at police officers.
Ironically, close circuit television (CCTV) cameras are installed in and around the Parojinog residence. However, the CCTV cameras were “paralyzed” during the time of the incident.
Citing irregularities on how law enforcers conducted the raid, the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) is awaiting the official police report and is already initiating its own investigation on the incident.
“No conclusions yet at this time, but the purpose of the investigation is to determine if protocols were followed in the implementation of the search warrant and use of deadly force,” CHR spokesperson Jacqueline de Guia.
CHR commissioner Gwendolyn Pimentel-Gana reminded the PNP to comply with the existing rules of engagement covering arrest and search warrants.
“There are set procedures on how to legally and validly serve warrants of arrest or search warrants,” Gana said.
Several lawmakers have assailed the credibility of the police operations and expressed doubt that due process was followed in the raid. The slain mayor’s daughter, Nova, accused the policemen of planting drugs at the scene.
Meanwhile, Malacañang vowed that it would not meddle in the CHR’s investigation.
United Nations human rights experts urged the government to immediately act on the increasing reports of human rights violations, including murder, threats against indigenous peoples and the summary execution of children.
There are unresolved cases of extrajudicial killings in the Philippines that have become emblematic of persistent dangers that threaten everyone. Unless the PNP clarifies what really transpired during that fateful morning, the Parojinogs’ case will just be added to the string of criminal incidents wherein police officers have instantly shot suspected drug peddlers and pushers upon encounter.
We live in a civilized society that is bound by laws, which required all people to live based on respect for the sanctity of life, democracy and human rights.
It is unpleasant to see officers you expect to uphold the law and apprehend criminals, as the same people the citizenry should be afraid of. It is a betrayal of trust and a degradation of peace and security. They are, after all, in charge of ensuring the public’s safety and purging misfits from the streets.
Without proper enforcement, stringent national and international laws do little in promoting and protecting the right of every citizen. When this happens, the world succumbs to senseless violence. (AJPress)