THE National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) will investigate the death former Ozamiz City councilor Ricardo “Ardot” Parojinog who was found dead inside his detention cell at the Ozamiz Police Station Friday morning.
“I have already discussed this matter with NBI OIC Eric Distor. We agreed to let our field operatives do some initial fact-checking. (We’ll look into) the state of his health before he died,” said Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra on Sunday.
Guevarra said he has required the NBI, an attached agency of the Department of Justice, to submit an initial report as soon as possible.
“The NBI will find out if Parojinog had already been sick before he was transferred, and what his condition was upon actual arrival in Ozamis. I will leave it to the OIC chief to determine who will make this preliminary inquiry. I have requested him to advise me of their initial findings ASAP, ” Guevarra said.
Ardot has been detained at the PNP Custodial Center since 2018, but he flew to Ozamiz on Thursday to attend a hearing the next day.
Ardot was pronounced dead, without any bruises or other physical signs of foul play. Authorities are still waiting for the report of health officers.
Ardot is the brother of slain Ozamiz City Mayor Reynaldo Parojinog Sr, who was killed along with 15 others when police served warrants at the clan’s properties in July 2017.
It also led to the arrest of his niece Vice Mayor Nova Parojinog and nephew Reynaldo Parojinog, Jr.
Ardot was not home during the raid.
President Rodrigo Duterte in 2017 placed a P5 million reward for the capture of Parojinog, who was being tracked down by authorities for his alleged ties in the illegal drug trade. In July 2018, he was deported back to the Philippines from Taiwan.
Reynaldo Jr. was sentenced to life imprisonment for drug possession, while Nova is facing charges for illegal possession of firearms and dangerous drugs.