Condemn the mass murder campaign of the US-Duterte regime under the total war policy and martial law! Denounce the Ozamis City Massacre!

The NDF – Zamboanga Peninsula Region strongly condemns the brutal mass murder of the Parohinog households at early dawn last Sunday, July 30, 2017 at Barangay Lawis, Ozamis City. The CIDG raiders only served a violent extra-judicial death sentence for Mayor Aldong Parojinog and his family in a grisly rub-out. The search and arrest warrants which was purportedly intended to be served under the cover of darkness was downright phony and ridiculous. All the Parojinogs in the huntlist of the CIDG are all high-profile public officials of the city and could easily be invited or arrested anytime during public office hours at the Ozamis City hall.

Malacanang promptly declared a major victory for Duterte’s continuing bloody drug war. As Duterte chants build, build, build, his police and army executes kill, kill, kill. The crazed killing spree is unjustified as it is unwarranted. There was absolutely no resistance from the Parojinogs contrary to official claims that the Parojinog guards drew first blood..

That the Parojinogs of Ozamis were engaged in gangsterism, illicit drug trade combined with intense anti-NPA vigilantism in the 80s and early half of the 90s were well-chronicled nationally and publicly known in the Zamboangas starting from its home base in Misamis Occidental. It is no secret at all that the Kuratong Baleleng, out from which the Parojinogs rose to prominence from notoriety, was a Philippine military creation.

The rise of the constrabulary-backed anti-communist vigilante group Kuratong Baleleng, which Ongkoy Parojinog headed by direct appointment from Major Calanog of the Philippine Army, eventually propped up Ongkoy’s unsavory underworld reputation to a prized military asset, from hunted-down local thugs to admirable Robinhoods. Ongkoy was a veteran anti-Moro vigilante fighter during the tumultuous Barracuda-Ilaga wars early in the 70s in Mindanao. The AFP and PC condoned the local crime group in exchange for loot-sharing and as anti-communist cannon fodder. The Kuratong Baleleng, as the NPA weakened in the late 80s, spiralled out of control. When Ongkoy was gunned down by five PC assassins in 1990 in a cockpit firefight, it signaled that the Parojinog patriarch had outlived his usefulness. The Kuratong Baleleng, as an anti-communist vigilante group, gradually disintegrated as several criminal gangster groups arose, comprising of army deserters, militiamen and lumpen elements, and violently rivaled to fill up the void with Ongkoy’s demise.

The Parojinog siblings (Renato, Reynaldo, Ricardo and Octavio) surrendered to the AFP, allowed to settle their criminal cases in the legal courts thus reinvented themselves by rejoining the political mainstream. Starting 1998, the Parojinog Lawis-based clan won local seats in the barangay, city and provincial legislatures topping the electoral polls and unseated or allied with traditional political dynasties. They are extremely popular and draw admiration from their Ozamis constituents because of their local Robinhood image as opposed to local traditional politicians who are divorced from their constituents, greedily elitist and hopelessly corrupt. They won top positions in every local elections and oftentimes run unopposed. They have developed a web of connections within the civil and military bureacracies. Political figures running for president and senators seek audience and dine with the Parojinogs for mutual accommodation. Deposed ex-president Estrada was reported to have paid unofficial visits to the Parojinog residence in Ozamis City during the late 90s, which included drinking bouts up to the wee hours of the morning despite the controversies hounding the Parojinogs.

But Renato, the eldest of the Parojinog siblings, who was elected a provincial board member in 2001, was ambushed in a busy street intersection in downtown Manila in 2002. Apparently, the bad blood between the Parojinogs and their local political rivals and continuing allegations on illegal drug-trafficking and Kuratong Baleleng gangsterism refused to die down.

Casualties without a legitimate fight is simply a rub-out and a massacre.

Earlier at 8 PM that fateful night, local residents and CVOs on duty around the Parojinog residential houses had observed an unusual increase in police car bypasses and intelligence surveillance teams in the Lawis area. They had sensed there was an ongoing military operation. They had heard of an impending arrest and death threats to Mayor Parojinog as news thickened the past several days with the sudden the reinstatement and reappearance of Supt. Jovie Avenido as city police chief. Avenido, reassumed his post after serving only three days of his 90-day suspension related to his involvement in anti-drug controversies in Leyte.

Minutes later after a 2:30 AM blackout, a crackle of gunfire bursts shattered the eeirie silence of the Lawis neighborhoods. All four guards sprawled dead to the pavement with point blank hits at the forehead. They did not fire any provocative warning or retaliatory shots as the armed intruders stormed the gates of the Parojinog compound using automatic rifles and handguns. No grenade coming from the Parojinogs was ever lobbed at the assaulting policemen who were freely firing in all directions fronting and entering the houses and rooms supposed to be searched. As there was no gunfight, it was a shooting overkill right from the start up to finish.

The CCTV was quickly incapacitated with the swift removal of hard drives, wirings and functional parts while the armed intruders barged inside the houses and rooms with continuous gunfiring and sparing no one inside. Rooms were searched and ransacked in a turbulent mess. Mayor Parojinog was said to have come out of his master’s bedroom to ask what was happening but was quickly seized, punched repeatedly until he fell and beaten to the pulp. He was promptly executed. The dead and half-dead victims were dragged and lumped together in a blood-soaked room. Two grenade blasts, all coming from the police raiders, thundered inside the slain mayor’s house and outside to ward offcivilian volunteers who had wanted to extend emergency help to the embattled Parojinog household. Another grenade was tossed into the vice mayor’s house but did not explode.

Those who perished inside the houses of the Parojinog compounds were unarmed civilians including a child, a half-paralyzed house helper and a farmhand. Ozamis City PNP Chief Jovie Abenido refused to divulge the complete identities of the 16 fatalities. His refusal stems from the fact that almost all of the sixteen (16) fatalities were civilians who were barely awake when the shooting rampage started and who could only whine in pain while bleeding to their inexorable deaths.

It was a dastardly act of PNP troopers who, after the carnage, marched with swagger amid jeers and scorn from the people of Ozamis who fully knew Parojinog and his household were haplessly butchered. There were accounts that some inhabitants tried to sympathize with the Parojinogs by hurling stones and debris at the state troopers but were met with indiscrimate strafing fire in return.

No to mass murder to solve the drug problem in Philippine society

The illegal drugs trade and its rampant proliferation of shabu in the towns and cities can only be solved by completely eradicating the roots of poverty and inequalities in the entire country, as outlined by the NDFP agenda on CASER. Widespread poverty is deeply rooted is the centuries-old landlessness of the peasant masses. Rampant joblessness is the direct end-result of pre-idustrial development in the cities and the backwardness of agriculture in the countrysides. The problem on illegal drugs is just one of the many symptoms of a sick society, like the Philippines. A sick solution like putting a premium on mass murder and rub-outs will never work.

Mayor Aldong Parojinog was a condemned man from the very beginning. His gangster history would never leave him. He is perennially accused as a drug lord and protector. He surrendered personally to Duterte in Malacanang and was reportedly assured of due process. Aldong’s bloody murder is the ironic mockery of the fascist state swallowing its own kind. Kuratong Baleleng was a monster created by the AFP and the PNP. Bank heists and other forms of gangsterism attributed to the Parojinog siblings were tolerated and supported by corrupt civil and military bureaucrats for a time. Then they were allowed to run for elective posts, won and served as public officials only to be hunted down one after the other.

We could not identify with nor sympathize with Aldong’s anti-social past. Existing Philippine electoral laws cleared and allowed the Parojinog siblings to run for elective public posts which legally cleared them from past wrongdoings and lingering questions about their desirability of character. We likewise could not pre-judge Aldong of continuing guilt on allegations of his involvement in the illegal drugs trade even as he sat as a public official of the Philipine government. Aldong has repeatedly denied those charges, hence, it is the primary duty of the Philipine judicial courts to prove otherwise. As such, Parojinog deserved better than being butchered like a lousy dog in the end. Dead men tell no tales. That is the only logic behind Aldong’s tragic rub-out.

Buried in the headlines are the nameless faces of the Parojinog household staffs of helpers and errand boys who double up as CVO and as gate sentry. Most of the victims are jobless peasants who found temporary manual work as floor sweepers, clothes washer and animal farm tender. One is a half-paralyzed heart stroke patient; one is child. Mass murder disguised as a Malacanang victory is a hoax and should be exposed.

Concocting fake encounters in the guise of serving arrest warrants is license to legitimize mass murder and genocide through marial law. Martial law is the most convenient way to circumvent the due court processes recognized by even the most reactionary of constitutions. Martial law only recognizes suspended human rights and the need for extended suspension of those basic individual and collective rights of the Filipino people. Marcos imposed martial law for 14 illegitimate years of open terrorist rule and kleptocracy. And, with continuing martial law, the army and the state police cannot violate anything that does not exist in the first place. So goes the sick paranoia promoted by all bloody dictators in history. It is, after all, Duterte himself egging his rogue troops to commit murder, plunder and rape with impunity while assuring his fascist clones in his second SONA that there are no human rights violations in all legitimate military operations.

The US-Duterte regime abhors respect for human rights and international humanitarian law in limplementing its anti-drugs, anti-Moro and anti-NPA war campaigns. Duterte has sparked a war on words with his political critics and ends up cursing and threatening them with guns, bombs and encarceration. In his anti-Maranao military adventurism in Marawi, Duterte had succeeded in sowing the seeds of war for the future generations of Maranao to continue. With the blatant murder of Parojinog, Duterte has taught the Filipino people why they need to fight with the Moro people in waging the national democratic revolution through protracted people’s war.

Topics: Oplan Tokhang, US-Duterte

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