OZAMIZ CITY—President Rodrigo Duterte personally visited the city yesterday, Aug. 17, and met with residents and local policemen. He came with PNP Dir. General Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa.
The president’s visit centered on his talk to troops, recognizing the bravery of the seven police officers who participated in the operation against the family of Mayor Reynaldo Parojinog Sr. and inspection of confiscated firearms.
It is also a day after the burial of the slain mayor and 3 other family members.
Last August 15, during his speech in the 116th Police Service Anniversary in Camp Crame, Duterte promised that he will visit Ozamiz but will not announce when.
Duterte awarded ‘Medalya ng Kadakilaan’ medals to Police Provincial Director Sr/Supt. Jaysen De Guzman, P/Supt. John Francis Encinareal and C/Insp. Jovie Espenido, city police chief.
Chief Insp. Berlito De Guzman, PO3 Sherwin Paul Seraspe and PO1 Benzon Gonzales were also given recognition.
In his speech, the president explained that Parojinog’s death is “a lesson to other suspected narco-politicians.” Parojinog is one of the mayors named in Duterte’s narco list.
Duterte likewise renewed his commitment to the police force of his continuing support and repeated his message of unrelenting effort to eliminate illegal drugs in the country, highlighting its ill effects to the local politics.
"I’m here to congratulate you. Mabuhay ang PNP! "Mabuhay ang nagsakripisyo ug katong mga taga-Ozamiz nga nitindog sa tyranny."
Duterte made clear that political dynasties connected to drugs do not give the people free will to choose during elections and instead give them false hopes through patronage.
"Look what happens if drug is allowed to flourish in the place. There is narco-politics. May election ba dito na malinis?" the President asked.
The President said this is what is happening in Ozamiz City as it is being ruled by the Parojinogs, adding he expects narco-politics to stay for some time, hoping however that he can free the country from narco-politics before he steps down from power.
Duterte then promised policemen of his full support such as hospitalization of the members of their families and educational needs of their children.
"What can I assure you is meron nang mga benefits but before I go out as President, meron na akong seed money na 20 billion. Kung makuha ko ’yang amount na 50 billion, hindi na ninyo maubos ‘yan, ang interes lang," he said of his planned educational trust fund.
Policemen can also expect his full support whenever they face prosecution as long as they do their duties, the President said.
But for cops involved in the drug trade, the president said his P2 million reward stands for their capture.
Espenido then presented the president more than 300 high and low powered firearms including a 60mm machine gun, m16 rifles, shotguns and handguns, among others, surrendered by city gun owners and village chieftains.