Police arrest Parojinog dummy and ‘Kuratong’ member

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The Martial Law Special Action Group (ML-SAG) arrested two men for possessing unlicensed firearms and illegal drugs, one of whom is said to be a member of the dreaded Kuratong Baleleng gang.

Authorities identified the suspects as Rico Bacon and his brother-in-law Virgilio Toledo Jr.

Confiscated from the suspects were a Beretta 9mm handgun loaded with magazine and an extra clip, an M2K fragmentation grenade, and nine sachets containing suspected “shabu”.

Adrian Alvariño, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency-10 (PDEA-10) director, said Bacon was an active member of the Kuratong Baleleng, an anti-insurgency militia that had turned into an organized crime syndicate based mainly in Ozamiz City.

The group was said to be founded by the late Octavio Parojinog Sr., whose son Reynaldo Sr., the former Ozamiz mayor, was gunned down by law enforcers in a raid on July 30, 2017. The Parojinog family has maintained they are not involved in criminal activities.

Some members of the Parojinog family and supporters were killed in the operation, while Reynaldo’s daughter and the city’s vice mayor, Nova Princess, was arrested along with his brother, Reynaldo Jr.

Alvariño said they have reason to believe that Bacon was merely a dummy for Parojinog’s properties in this city, one of which is a luxurious residence with a swimming pool in Apovel Subdivision, Brgy. Bulua.

Bacon supposedly transferred the property to his name after the death of Reynaldo Sr., the PDEA-10 director said.

The PDEA director said Bacon and Toledo have been on the agency’s watchlist. (PNA/Jigger J. Jerusalem)