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They did it again Featured

They did it again Image: Rappler

The Philippine National Police – and by virtue of the principle of command responsibility, President Rodrigo Duterte – did it again. The PNP committed what appears to be nothing less than cold-blooded murder. In fact, what happened to Ozamis City Mayor Reynaldo Parojinog Sr., his wife, son and nine associates was not simple murder, but a massacre.
It does not matter if the now deceased mayor was a mafia-style drug lord, which is what the Duterte government is saying in so many words. Because Parojinog was guilty as sin, he and his clan had forfeited their right to live. This is now the logic that has become prevalent within the PNP, and we all have a right be afraid of what comes next.
Using that logic, in the early morning hours of Sunday, this week, ostensibly to serve a warrant, the PNP killed everyone in the household of the Ozamis mayor.
The first obvious question: why was a warrant being served at 3:00 in the morning?
Standard procedure, is it? I think not.
I have never been involved in law enforcement in any way, shape or form, but I’d like to think that I still have some common sense. Granting for the sake of argument that Mayor Pajorinog and his group had indeed fired at the policemen serving the warrant, wasn’t the reaction of the cops a severe case of overkill?
Not only were they a larger force with superior firearms – a grenade was hurled at the house of the mayor, which almost certainly caused some of the fatalities – but the advantage was completely theirs. They had the place surrounded, after all.
The PNP team could have used tear gas, or they could have waited until morning by which time the mayor and everyone inside the house would have realized that they had no choice but to surrender.
All news reports state that not a single cop was killed or injured by the supposed shooting coming from inside the mayor’s house. So was there really a need to eliminate everyone inside?
Let me state that I do not know any of the victims of the heinous crime committed at the start of this week by the very force that has a sworn duty to protect and to serve. I wasn’t even aware of the existence of the late mayor and his cohorts. All I know is what I’ve read in the papers, and heard and seen on TV as well as online news.
Like everyone, I have too many questions about what happened, and I doubt if those questions will ever be answered.
There is a bothersome trend that has emerged with this week’s killing of the Ozamis mayor. He was the third mayor who had been tagged by the president as narcopoliticians to be shot to death by the PNP.
Previously, Datu Saudi Ampatuan mayor Samsudin Dimaukom died in a shootout with the police. But the worst of the killings of Mindanao mayors accused of being involved in the illegal drug trade has to be the case of Albuera mayor Rolando Espinosa, who was already detained in a prison when he was executed gangland style by a PNP team.
That team, quite incidentally, was suspended but was recently reinstated by the PNP brass, supposedly because of the country’s shortage of cops.
So what is the ordinary citizen supposed to make of all this?
Literally thousands of Filipinos have been killed in the name of President Duterte’s war on drugs, yet the drug menace has not been eradicated. If anything, it’s only gotten worse, as proven by the massive shabu haul that came out this week. Reportedly, more than 600 kilos of shabu worth some P6.4 billion had come in from China by passing through legitimate channels.
The shipment passed through the Bureau of Customs, leading some lawmakers to conclude that corrupt customs personnel were in cahoots with the drug lords.
That wholesale importation of shabu may have been unearthed by the government, but doesn’t it prove that the drug lords remain as active as ever? Why else would they dare to bring in illegal drugs if they were not certain that they could distribute the same, and continue to earn billions?
In the weeks and months to come, more local government officials suspected of being involved in the narcotics trade are likely to be killed. No longer will anyone be presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
As long as the president points to anyone as being a narcopolitician, his or her days are numbered. This is known as Duterte’s Law.

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