Philippine mayor linked to illegal drug trade killed in police raid

Twelve people including a city mayor have been killed in a shoot-out with police during anti-drug raids

Senate minority leader Franklin Drilon said it was "too much of a coincidence" that the date and time the search warrant was served against the Ozamiz mayor was similar to then Albuerra, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa who was also killed in a pre-dawn raid.

Meanwhile, lawyer Lawrence Carim, a member of the Parojinogs' legal team, has complained that he was barred from entering the PNP headquarters at Camp Crame to accompany the vice mayor and her bother Reynaldo Jr. who were flown in from Ozamiz early Monday morning.

The police provincial chief says cops recovered grenades, ammunition, and illegal drugs in the raid. "Initial investigation revealed that there were 15 who died on the Parojinog side during the encounter", Gonda said in a report.

The drug killings have been widely criticised by Western governments and human rights groups that have called for an end to what they suspect were extrajudicial killings related to the anti-drug campaign.

Placed under the custody of Ozamiz City Police Station and Regional CIDG 10 was Vice Mayor Parojinog.

Several weapons and a large volume of crystal meth were seized following the operation against Ozamis Mayor Reynaldo Parojinog, Xinhua news agency reported.

Espenido said there are still high-value targets in Ozamiz and urged them to come clean.

Parojinog, who was facing corruption charges, denied any link to the drugs trade after his family was named by Duterte in a list of local government officials he ordered to be targeted.

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Past year police shot dead a mayor in a cell on Leyte island and another mayor and nine of his bodyguards were killed allegedly during a fire-fight in the southern Philippines.

All three mayors were among more than 160 officials Duterte named publicly as being linked to illegal drugs in August a year ago as part of a shame campaign.

Ozamiz City Police Chief Senior Inspector Jovani Espenido said at the media briefing that Parojinogs were the source of illegal drugs in Ozamiz.

"During the implementation of search warrant, the operating police personnel encountered volley of fire from the security of the Parojinog, which prompted them to retaliate with their own fire".

"The administration vowed to intensify the drug campaign", presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said in a statement.

Police say they have killed suspects only in self-defence and deny involvement in a spree of killings of drug users by mysterious vigilantes.

"If he found out you are using or selling shabu, you will get a mouthful from him", a relative said, saying he was so strict when it comes to illegal drugs' use and trade.

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