By Argyll Cyrus Geducos
Malacañang welcomed the arrest of fugitive Ozamiz City Councilor Ricardo “Ardot” Parojinog in Taiwan after a year of hiding.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque made the statement after the Philippine National Police confirmed that Parojinog was arrested by Taiwan police Wednesday evening.
Roque, in his press briefing in Marawi City, assured residents of Ozamiz City that Parojinog will be tried for the charges hurled against him.
“Ito po ay mabuting balita dahil unang-una, ano pong ginagawa niya at nagtatago sa Taiwan kung siya po ay walang batas na nilabag. Sabi nga po nila, flight is evidence of guilt (This is a good news because first of all, what was he doing hiding in Taiwan if he did not break the law. As they say, flight is evidence of guilt),” Roque said.
“Sisiguruhin naman po natin na magkakaroon ng katarungnan. Kung merong nalabag na batas itong si Councilor Parojinog siya po ay iimbestigahan, lilitis, at paparusahan sa krimen na ‘yan (We will make sure that there will be justice. If he broke the law, then he will be investigated, tried and punished for his crimes),” he added.
He also urged the citizens of Ozamiz City to report to the authorities if they know of other crimes that Parojinog may have committed.
“Kung meron pa po kayong reklamo dito sa nahuling councilor, makipag-ugnayan po kayo sa otoridad ng sa ganoon kung hindi pa nasasampahan ng kaso, eh masampahan na rin (If you have other complaints against the arrested councilor, please go to the authorities so you can press charges),” he said.
“Well, tinging ko po sa illegal possession of firearms tsaka sa drugs eh (Well, I think with all the cases against him about firearms and drugs), he will be very busy defending himself already,” he added.
Parojinog went into hiding in January last year months before his brother Ozamiz City Mayor Reynaldo Parajinog Sr. and 14 others were killed in a police raid in their house in Misamis Occidental on July 30.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) issued an immigration lookout bulletin order for Parojinog in August last year after being absent in meetings for months.
President Duterte has tagged Parojinog as one of the politicians in his narco list and offered a P5-million bounty in September, 2017 for his capture.
The Parojinog clan was accused of their involvement in the illegal drug trade. Vice Mayor Nova Parojinog and nephew Reynaldo Parojinog Jr. are facing charges for illegal possession of firearms and ammunition, and illegal possession of dangerous drugs.