A SISTER of the late Ozamiz City Councilor Ricardo ‘Ardot’ Parojinog’ on Sunday died in a local hospital where she has been hospitalized due to a life-threatening medical condition, Philippine National Police chief, General Camilo Pancratius P. Cascolan announced yesterday.
“As investigation went underway to determine the circumstances surrounding the death of former Ozamis City Councilor Ricardo “Ardot” Parojinog last September 4 while under police custody, his sister Melodia “Apyat” Parojinog-Malingin who is co-accused in the same case for violation of RA 9165 and RA 10591 succumbed under similarly life-threatening medical conditions yesterday morning at the Mayor Hilarion A. Ramiro Sr. (MHARS) Medical Center in Ozamis City,” said the PNP chief in a statement he read before newsmen at Camp Crame.
According to the PNP chief, Ozamis City police investigators have quoted attending physicians as ruling that Melodia’s death was due to cardiogenic shock secondary to intractable cardiac arrhythmia Atrial Fibrillation to Ventricular Tachycardia Secondary to Massive Gastro Intestinal Bleeding Secondary to Uremic Gastropathy.
He said that Melodia has since been under detention while awaiting trial of criminal charges for vilation of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 and RA 10591 or the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulations Act of 2013 filed against her and her husband Gaudencio when police discovered eight kilograms of shabu worth P54.4 million inside their house which they raided on December 6, 2017.
Gen. Cascolan said that the remains of the late ‘Ardot’ Parojinog has been turned over to his family after examination by PNP forensic examiners. He said that ‘Ardot’ was discovered “unconscious and unresponsive” inside his jail cell at around 6 a.m. last Friday.
Responding medical personnel from the City Health Office of Ozamis City ruled that ‘Ardot’ died of cardio-pulmonary arrest secondary to cardio vascular disease.
Gen. Cascolan said he was told by Misamis Occidental Provincial Office director, Colonel Danildo Tumanda, that the family of ‘Ardot’ did not request for an autopsy knowing fully well the health condition of the deceased.
“At any rate, Misamis Occidental PPO will proceed with its investigation,” Gen. Cascolan said.
‘Ardot’ died of cardiac arrest hours before he was to be escorted out of a local police jail to attend a hearing of criminal charges filed against him, officials said. Police also ruled out any ‘foul play’ in the death of the 57-year old Parojinog.
Tumanda said that a medical team from the Ozamiz City Health Office which initially examined the body of Parojinog said that the victim died or cario-pulmonary arrest secondary to cardio-vascular disease.
The official said that Parojinog was unconscious and was not responding to any call when found in his cell at the Ozamiz City Police Station around 6 a.m. Friday by a duty guard.
The guard immediately called the attention of his fellow officers who in turn called the assistance of the local health office which sent an ambulance and a medical team to the police station.
Parojinog, a resident of Barangay Bagacay was found dead hours after he was escorted to the city police station by a team of policemen from the PNP Headquarters Support Service led by Lieutenant Col. Jigger Noceda prior to his scheduled court appearance.
Tumanda assured the public that they are conducting an impartial investigation into the case of Parojinog who is facing charges for illegal possession of firearms, ammunition and explosives and violation of the anti-pilferage law before an Ozamiz City Regional Trial Court.
‘Ardot’ is a brother of the late Ozamiz City Mayor Reynaldo Parojinog Sr. who, along with his wife and 14 others were killed in a police anti-narcotics raid in July 2017.
President Duterte in September 2017 offered a P5 million bounty for the capture of ‘Ardot’ who fled to Taiwan to escape arrest by the PNP until he was arrested by Taiwanese authorities in May 2018 and turned over to the police which has build-up evidence to bolster their charges that the Parojinogs were running a well-entrenched drug syndicate in Northern Mindanao.
“No violence was noted but he was supposed to attend a hearing in an Ozamiz City court today. His travel was covered by a court order,” said PNP spokesman, Brigadier Gen. Bernard M. Banac on Friday.
The dead inmate is a brother of the late Mayor Parojinog Sr. who was killed in a bloody police raid in July 2017 along with his wife and 13 others. ‘Ardot’ was not in the area during the raid.
He was arrested in May 2018 after 10 months of hiding in Taiwan by Taiwanese police authorities on the strength of a ‘Red Notice’ from Interpol and was turned over to the PNP.
‘Ardot’ was believed to have fled the country thru the backdoor after the Bureau of Immigration issued a ‘lookout bulletin’ on him and hid in Taiwan until a tip led Taiwan policemen to his whereabouts.
He was charged with violation of Republic Act 10591 or the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulations Act of 2013 and RA 951 or illegal possession of explosives in the country.
Two children of the slain mayor, former Ozamiz City Vice Mayor Nova Parojinog and her brother Reynaldo Jr. are now being held at the maximum-security PNP Custodial Center in Camp Crame on charges of illegal possession of firearms and ammunition and dangerous drugs.