Meet the Parojinogs; founder of notorious Kuratong Baleleng turned political dynasty

Even before the news of the deaths of the Parojinogs couple and fourteen others erupted, the Parojinog patriarch and had already been linked to illegal drug trade by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on one of his public speeches.



Ozamiz City Mayor Reynaldo "Aldong" Parojinog and his daughter, Vice Mayor Nova Princess Parojinog, previously faced graft charges for an suspicious building construction contract of a public gymanasium.

His daughter also admitted that she had a relationship with the high-profile New Bilibid inmate, Herbert Colangco, however, dismissed doing business with him.

The Parojinog remained popular for years despite the many serious allegations against them.

A resident named Geraldine Signar even claimed that the Parojinogs were good to them.

PAROJINOGs and the BIRTH OF KURATONG BALELENG GROUP

There's this one strong link that ties the Parojinogs and the Kuratong Baleleng gang and that is the father of the slain Ozamis City mayor's father being the founder of the said group.

The late Octavio “Ongkoy” Parojinog Sr. was the founder of the Kuratong Baleleng gang which was originally composed of members of the militia and soldiers which aim is to hunt down communist rebels - New People’s Army in Mindanao in 1986.

In just few years since the gang was established, the active revolts within Misamis Occidental, Zamboanga and Zamboanga del Sur began to decline.

However, the group became notorious after shifting their propagandas to kidnap-for-ransom, bank robberies, extortion and other illegal activities. It's founder, Octavio Sr., used the gang in both legal purpose and illegal activities.

Photo shows some of the 11 members of the notorious Kuratong Baleleng holdup and robbery gang nabbed by the police in 1996 and later killed in what is believed to be a case of police “rubout” (photo credit: pcij.org).

The military disbanded the group in 1988 and placed all of its members in the wanted list. But despite the disbandment, the group continued it's felonious operations.




Top police officials under the supervision and control of then Task Force Habagat chief and later senator Panfilo Lacson who were implicated in the 1996 killing of 11 Kuratong Baleleng gang members while under their custody (photo credit: pcij.org).

The group's founder was killed after he resisted arrest for illegal possession of explosives with destructive arson in 1990. Reynaldo Sr automatically became the group's head since his older brother, Renato, was also killed in February of 2002.

Reynaldo along with his other brother, Ricardo, surrendered themselves to the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (ISAFP) and faced charges of assault and bank robbery, " "the P2 million robbery of Solid Bank in Tangub City in 1988, the P12 million Monte de Piedad armored van robbery on Roxas Blvd. in 1990, the P5 million heist at an RCBC bank in Pampanga, and the P12 million Traders Royal Bank robbery in Buendia in 1991".

However, charges were dropped due to insufficient evidences.

Before Renato died, he was a provincial board member of Misamis Occidental in 2001. Reynaldo was already in his 5th term as mayor of Ozamis City before his death on Sunday. Meanwhile, the remaining living brother, Ricardo, is a councilor of the same city and was a former board member of the Misamis.

Despite their many notorious crimes, the family's political venture was a success as they were attributed to having the image of "Robin Hood" for sharing their loots with some residents.



"Kuratong Baleleng members gained the trust and admiration of some residents by sharing their loot with them," wrote Jet Damazo in "Kuratong Baleleng Gang: From Friend to Foe."

This is partly the reason why Reynaldo Parojinog won the 2001 mayoral elections by a landslide.


On Sunday, Ozamiz City Mayor Reynaldo Parojinog Sr. and his wife were shot dead during a dawn drug raid in their home in Ozamis. His brother, Misamis Occidental board member Octavio Jr. the mayor’s daughter, Vice Mayor Nova Princess Echavez, and son Reynaldo Jr. were arrested.

Along with the slain couple were twelve other individuals killed during the raid for illegal drugs and loose firearms.

According to police reports, while they were serving the search warrants, they were greeted with a violent resistance from the side of the suspects.

"Nagkaroon po ng pagpapaputok galing sa security ng mga Parojinog kaya po iyung PNP (Philippine National Police) natin is nag-retaliate," Supt. Lemuel Gonda, spokesperson of the Northern Mindanao police, explained.


Source: ABS-CBN, PhilStar



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