Reynaldo Parojinog Jr., a member of a once-influential political clan from Ozamiz City, Misamis Occidental province, was sentenced to life in prison today after being found guilty on drug charges.
The Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 79 also ordered him to pay a PHP500,000 fine (US$9.569), according to CNN Philippines.
Parojinog was arrested at his home in the village of San Roque in Ozamiz City during a raid in August 2017 that left his father, then-mayor Reynaldo Parojinog Sr., mother Susan Parojinog, and several others dead.
Prior to the raid, President Rodrigo Duterte included then-mayor Parojinog and his daughter, then-vice mayor Nova Parojinog-Echavez, on his so-called narco list, a list of politicians whom the government believe 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 police stormed the house, they allegedly found half a kilo of methamphetamine, or shabu, in the Parojinogs’ home. Parojinog Jr. insisted that the drugs were planted by the authorities, but the court today said that he had failed to present evidence backing up that claim, reported The Philippine Daily Inquirer.
The court further said that Parojinog Jr.’s wife, Minnielisa Parojinog, was present to observe the police search, which uncovered a sling bag that was subsequently opened with Minnielisa, several village officials, and members of the media present.
After his sentencing, Parojinog Jr. left the court looking disappointed with the verdict, reported CNN Philippines. Wearing a bulletproof vest, he was brought to the Metro Manila Jail Annex in Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City.
Aside from the drugs, illegal firearms and explosives were allegedly found during the raid, leading to a separate charge of illegal possession of firearms that’s being handled by a Quezon City court.
Meanwhile, Parojinog Jr.’s sister, Echavez, is also facing charges of possession of illegal drug and firearms possession, also in Quezon City, according to ABS-CBN News.