By Ben Rosario
GINGOOG CITY, Misamis Oriental – Were the remaining members of the Parojinog family and their diehard minions the cause of a scare that prompted the Presidential Security Group (PSG) to force presidential daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte to skip a political rally for her senatorial bets?
Former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief and administration senatorial candidate Ronaldo “Bato” de la Rosa said it was possible.
Former Philippine National Police chief and senatorial candidate Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa (HNP / FACEBOOK / MANILA BULLETIN)
In an ambush interview in his appearance in a Hugpong ng Pagbabago campaign sortie here, De la Rosa said sympathizers of the late Ozamiz Mayor Reynaldo “Aldong” Parojinog were still a security threat in the territory where his family reigned for nearly 30 years before his death in 2017.
“May mga tao pa sila na nandyan they can pull something out na makakagulat sa atin andyan pa rin. Matagal nilang hinawakan yang lugar na yan eh,” said dela Rosa. (They have men who are still around and can pull out something that can surprise us. They controlled the area for a long time).
Mayor Duterte was leading a team of big motorcycle riders in 105-kilometer trip from Sindangan, Zamboanga del Norte to Tangub, Misamis Occidental on Molave town when she was advised by the PSG not to appear in the scheduled HNP rally that morning.
Duterte later admitted to reporters that her non-appearance in Tangub was caused by a security issue that the PSG had gathered.
Also a no-show in the Tangub political event was Misamis Occidental Rep. Henry Oaminal, a political foe of the Parojinogs.
Tangub is an adjoining town of Ozamiz City, a town under the political control of the Parojinog clan for 30 years before the killing of Mayor Parojinog, his wife, Susan and 13 others in a dawn raid staged by the police in July 2017.
The slain mayor and members of his family, including Ozamiz City Vice Mayor Nova Parojinog and her children, brother Reynaldo Parojinog Jr., were suspected of being engaged in big-time drug trafficking operations in Misamis Occidental and adjoining provinces.
“Matagal nilang nahawakan yang lugar na yan. They can do anything kung may tao pa silang naiwan dyan na medyo malakas ang loob pwede pa rin gumawa ng kalokohan,” De la Rosa responded when asked if there is a possibility that the security threat on Duterte may have been caused by the Parojinogs. (They lorded over the area for a long time. They can do anything if they still have people who are daring enough to do some foolishness)
Bato, who was handpicked by Mayor Duterte as Davao City chief and later appointed PNP chief by President Duterte, recalled that the Parojinogs used to be influential and powerful in their territory during Aldong’s reign.
“Hindi pinagbabayad ang government officials sa RoRo dahil magagalit ang mga Parojinog,” De la Rosa recounted about his personal encounter with the Parojinogs. (Government officials do not pay fare for RoRo (roll on, roll off ship) ride because the Parojinogs will get angry.)
Mayor Duterte was apologetic to local leaders of Tangub, Ozamiz City and adjoining towns who attended the HNP rally hosted by Tangub Mayor Philip Tan last Wednesday.
The HNP senatorial team campaign manager disclosed that she and her staff opted to stay in Molave, Zamboanga del Sur since Brig. Gen. Jose Eriel Niembra, commander of the PSG, informed her that they cannot proceed to Tangub City.
“Sinabi na lang nila na yung order (not to proceed in Tangub City) came from the highest officer sa PSG... (the situation), it's beyond my control,” said Mayor Duterte. (They told us that the order came from the highest officer of PSG since (the situation), its beyond my control.)