Parojinog burial postponed to give way to private autopsy

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File photo of Mayor Reynaldo Parojinog Sr. from the Facebook account of Ozamiz City Facebook

MANILA – The burial of Ozamiz Mayor Reynaldo Parojinog Sr., his wife and brother will be postponed as relatives seek a second, private autopsy to determine the circumstances of their death in a police raid two weeks ago.

The family of the Parojinogs – members of a political clan that had held a tight grip on politics in the southern city for decades despite a colorful record of having links to criminal activity – said Sunday the scheduled burial for Monday would have to be reset to Wednesday (Aug. 16).

The decision was announced by Aido Vasquez, nephew of the slain mayor, quoting the family as heeding an advice by their lawyers for a private autopsy. Reports earlier said the state-conducted autopsy had determined that the mayor and his bodyguards had tested positive for powder burns, meaning, they fired guns. However, relatives quoting witnesses and citing other evidence insist that the police raiders had committed “overkill” in serving six search warrants on the homes of the mayor, a son, a daughter and two farms. They also presented CCTV footage of men entering the Parojinog home before the raid, and apparently planting guns.

The Parojinogs announced the decision to defer the burial to Aug. 16 after a local court rejected an urgent motion by Ozamiz Vice Mayor Nova Princess Parojinog and her brother Reynaldo Junior to attend the wake of their parents Reynaldo Sr. and Susan.

The court had said the risk of violence was very strong because the sight of the Parojinogs might inflame sentiments of the mayor’s supporters.

Meanwhile, a necrological service was held for the deceased. Officials and employees of Ozamiz city hall joined relatives of the Parojinogs in the eulogies, which recalled the late mayor’s deeds.