Ricardo “Ardot” Parojinog, the former Ozamiz City councilor, was found dead this morning inside his cell in his hometown, the Philippine National Police announced today.
Ardot, whose family was accused by President Rodrigo Duterte of being involved in the illegal drug trade, was supposed to attend a court hearing. There was reportedly no indication of violence on his corpse, prompting the authorities to conduct an investigation.
Cops assigned to the night shift have been put under restrictive custody and will be investigated in connection with the former councilor’s death.
Ardot is the brother of Ozamiz City Mayor Reynaldo Parojinog Sr., whose house was raided by the police in August 2017. The ensuing gun battle killed the mayor, his wife Susan Parojinog, as well as several others. Ardot was not inside his brother’s home when the police attack occurred.
Prior to the raid, Duterte included Mayor Parojinog and his daughter, then-vice mayor Nova Parojinog-Echavez, on the government’s narco list, a roster of politicians whom the president believes to be benefitting from the illegal drug trade. However, Duterte’s camp has denied that the president had anything to do with the raid.
After the police stormed the house, they allegedly found half a kilo of methamphetamine or shabu within the property but the Parojinogs have said that the drugs were planted. Reynaldo Parojinog Jr., Ardot’s nephew, was sentenced to life imprisonment in 2019 in connection to the discovery of the contraband. Meanwhile, former Vice Mayor Parojinog-Echavez is also in detention for illegal possession of drugs, firearms, and explosives.
This article, Former Ozamiz City councilor Parojinog found dead inside cell, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company. Want more Coconuts? Sign up for our newsletters!