Stooping down to the level of the Parojinogs

Yes, that’s what this government has done. That’s my personal opinion, of course.

Though not yet proven in court, it is already a general and a common knowledge that the Parojinogs in Ozamis City are into a number of illegal activities, including the distribution of illegal drugs not just in Ozamis but also beyond.  Since, politically, the Parojinogs control the city, they were basically “untouchables.” Plus, the rumors that police and military officials are into the Parojinogs’ payroll.

I have been to Ozamis a number of times because my husband is from Misamis Occidental.  I like the city, in fact, from my experience, it is nothing like the descriptions made by some after the raid by the police into the Parojinog properties.  I think, though, that the Parojinog properties have become some kind of a tourist attraction, that when you visit Ozamis, somebody will always tell you or show you, although from afar, that that’s the Parojinogs. Actually, what I saw was just a high cement fence with barbed wires on top and a watchtower that stood higher than the fence. Well, the way I saw it, the fence and the watchtower, tell you something.  As in my case, I spun a tale of drugs,  of women, of killings, of blood, from all the other stories that I heard from everywhere. Whether the stories were true or not is another tale, but as the popular saying goes, “if there’s smoke there’s fire.”

Anyway, in one of our visits to Ozamiz some years back, I got the impression that it is a better city, as far as tourism is concerned, compared to some cities in the Visayas.  The impression was based on what I saw : clean public toilets in areas most frequented by tourists. For me, it was most impressive!  For a city described to be ravaged by illegal drugs, having clean public toilets, is, well, really commendable.

At the center of the current circus that’s playing out in the President’s war on drugs, is the raid into the Parojinog properties at early dawn, allegedly, to serve an arrest warrant that resulted in at least 16 persons dead. At early dawn, in the backdrop of darkness, power and  CCTV cameras cut. We heard and continue to hear, so many versions of the story, each teller portraying himself or herself to be someone more credible than the other. The plot thickens by the day and it has become more difficult whom to believe.

We hear comments here and there, “the Parojinogs deserve to die.” One blogger said, he himself  pretended to criticize the Duterte government in order to push it to act against the Parojinogs.  He claimed to be the source of the tips to which the police used in the eventual raid. His motive? Revenge. Now that the Parojinog are either dead or in jail, he said, Ozamis can start having peace and progress. Fingers crossed, because I think the Parojinog clan is more than the 16 people dead during the raid. The blogger acted in revenge, he said, so the Parojinogs won’t do the same?

Another very popular comment is, the death of the 16 is well justified just so to give Ozamis the development and peace they so deserve. Another one is, this is the change that we want, so bravo to the just recently awarded police chief who warns the local officials of his next assignment, “surrender or run.”

My two cents : as I have said, it has now become difficult whom to believe. But this I say, the way the police did it is no different from how the Parojinogs act. The Parojinogs are public officials, hence, seen very frequently in the City Hall or in the Sanguniang Panlalawigan Offices.  I don’t want to think that the police are barred from going into and talking to these public officials in their respective offices. Is it an official protocol to serve warrants of arrests in the dark of the night or early dawn instead of during office hours in the subjects’ public office?  That is if going into their residences is impossible.

Was it necessary to stoop down to the level of the Parojinogs?  Or to the Espinosas of Albuera for that matter?

“They deserve to die.” As a Christian, I have learned that God did not authorize us, humans, to take another life even if “they deserve to die.” If you believe in God, let me tell you, He gave life, He will take it back.

In the meantime, there is an instituted justice system that will deal with the kinds of Parojinogs and Espinosas and the Lims. Is it also corrupted you say? Then let the present dispensation lead by President Duterte fix what has been corrupted. Taking matters into the hands of the police while disregarding the rule of law is not the change that we expect.  We want change, yes, for the better.

 

Simply put, I want to tell stories. I want to show you pictures from places I've been to. I want to show you the world from the eyes of a daughter, a sister, a friend, a wife, a mother, a grandmother. From the eyes of a neighbor, a colleague, an OFW.

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