Father of former Miss World Philippines latest victim in Duterte's war on drugs

Hillarie Parungao during the 2015 Miss World contest - Copyright (c) 2015 Rex Features. No use without permission.
Hillarie Parungao during the 2015 Miss World contest - Copyright (c) 2015 Rex Features. No use without permission.

The father of 2015 Miss World Philippines has become the latest victim in a war on drugs that has claimed over 8000 lives since president Rodrigo Duterte took power last year.

Edmundo Parungao allegedly shot himself inside a police station in Solano, northern Philippines, after a drugs-related arrest.

“I’m broken, I will always be, and no one or nothing can ever mend my heart,” his daughter Hillarie Parungao, 26, wrote on Facebook.

Ms Parungao, a TV presenter who was crowned Miss World Philippines in 2015, wrote a grief-ridden tribute to her father, who she credited with launching her modelling career as he used to ask for her photos when he was working in Taiwan.

As a child she “followed him everywhere” on his rare visits home and she once found him crying in the garden.

“My first memory of my dad…A man in his denim jeans and white t-shirt. Bubbly, full of life and love, hurting and sobbing,” she wrote. “As I sit watching him now sleeping still, I told him, ‘Dad, you will never be hurt anymore’.”

According to a police report seen by the Philippine Star, her father grabbed the gun of his police escort who had uncuffed him when he complained of chest pains.

It fits a pattern of reports where thousands of drugs suspects have allegedly been killed fighting arrest in “encounters” with police, or while reaching for guns in custody.

Thousands more have been murdered in unsolved vigilante-style executions that have drawn international condemnation since Duterte was elected last summer, pledging to kill criminals in a crackdown on drugs crimes.

On Monday a Filipino lawyer asked the International Criminal Court in The Hague to charge Mr Duterte and 11 other Philippine officials with mass murder and crimes against humanity for the killing of thousands over the past three decades.

Jude Josue Sabio has previously represented self-confessed hitman, Edgar Matobato, who made headlines last year when he claimed he worked as a paid assassin for Duterte when he was mayor of Davao City in the southern Philippines.

The Philippine government has so far not responded to the case. Mr Duterte has previously said that killing criminals is not a crime against humanity. On Sunday he also warned he could “eat the liver” of terrorists.

In quotes | Rodrigo Duterte, President of the Philippines


Register Log in commenting policy