Ozamiz Mayor Parojinog, 7 others tested positive for gunpowder - PNP

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The police says Ozamiz Mayor Parojinog died of gunshot wounds in the face and chest, which was "delivered at a distance."

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 3) — The late Ozamiz mayor and seven others who were killed in simultaneous police raids tested positive for gunpowder nitrate, the police said on Thursday.

Philippine National Police Spokesperson Chief Superintendent Dionardo Carlos said this is a strong indication that Mayor Reynaldo Parojinog, Sr and the seven fired their guns.

"Positive for paraffin test or gunpowder nitrates si Mayor Reynaldo Parojinog at iba pa ho nilang kasama," he said, citing the partial report by the Crime Laboratory Region 10.

"Ibig sabihin the firearm was near their body or limb were fired kaya nagkaroon ng gunpowder burns," Carlos said at a news briefing. A paraffin test determines the presence of gunpowder particles on a person suspected of firing a gun.

He said the results of the test are inconclusive "but it helps in the investigation."

The results come amid allegations that killing of Parojinog, his family members, and supporters was a rubout.

President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday, referring to the death of Mayor Parojinog, reiterated that police and soldiers should make sure their enemies are killed during a shootout.

"Otherwise, if the other guy can still pull the trigger, you will end up with a dead police or a dead military soldier," he said.

Superintendent Carlos said the partial result of the investigation will show the Parojinogs resisted the serving of search warrants.

"It will show us the firearms that were recovered in the premises were used and there was a gunbattle. There was an exchange of gunfire, and it will reinforce na meron ho talagang nagpalitan ng putok kasi nandu'n po sa loob ng premises 'yung mga katawan na nagpositive sa gunpowder burns," he said.

Duterte had earlier tagged Parojinog and his daughter, Vice Mayor Nova Parojinog who is in police custody, among the narcopoliticians operating in Mindanao. The two have denied the charges.

"My order to the military and the police and rightly so: to destroy the organization, both the supplier, the users and everybody connected with the organization because they keep alive the trade," Duterte said on Wednesday.

However, Vice Mayor Parojinog's lawyer, Ferdinand Topacio said in an interview that the Parojinogs were cooperating with authorities to give up the drug trade in the region.

Mayor died of gunshots

Superintendent Carlos said 15 cadavers, composed of several members of the Parojinog family and their security team, were found at the crime scenes. Of the 15, seven bodies were not autopsied upon the request of their family.

He said Mayor Parojinog died of gunshot wounds in the face and chest, which were  "delivered at a distance."

His wife Susan and his siblings Octavio and Mona all died of blast wounds. The other fatalities sustained gunshot wounds in the neck, chest, and back area, the police said.

Carlos confirmed a grenade exploded in the residence of the Parojinogs, but he said it has yet to be found out who threw the explosive.

"It has to determined. The account of the police is it came from the security forces of the Parojinogs," he said.

Vice Mayor Parojinog's lawyer Topacio said witnesses told him grenades were rolled under the doors of the houses of the Parojinogs prior to the police search.

"That is why they said it was not true that the searching team was met with an initial volley of firearm shots. Without any warning, there were already explosions and there were already gunshots from all directions," he said.

Police Chief Director General Ronald Dela Rosa on Monday denied a rubout, saying he wanted the mayor alive.

"They were meant to be operated upon, not liquidated. Depende na 'yun kung manlaban sila, then magkakaroon ng engkwentro. Wala na tayong control," he said.

The incident took place around 2:30 a.m. on July 30 when the police were serving search warrants at several of the family's properties in Barangays Baybay San Roque and Baybay Santa Cruz in Ozamiz, Misamis Occidental. Sixteen people died in the shootout.

Raps for siblings

Meanwhile, the Justice department, also on Thursday, recommended filing illegal possession of firearms and drug charges against Vice Mayor Parojinog and her brother Reynaldo Parojinog Jr.

Reynaldo Jr., who was recommended to be charged with three counts of illegal possession of firearms and ammunition, was also recommended to face an illegal possession of an explosive rap.

The siblings have been detained at the custodial center at Camp Crame.