W. Visayas chief ordered to deal with Espenido

Third Anne Peralta-Malonzo

PHILIPPINE National Police (PNP) chief Archie Gamboa said on Saturday, February 22, that he is passing the ball to Western Visayas police director Rene Pamuspusan to decide on the possible filing of administrative charges against Lieutenant Colonel Jovie Espenido for speaking out about his inclusion in President Rodrigo Duterte’s drugs watchlist.

“The regional director of region 6 (Western Visayas) already took charge of that process. Pinatawag niya si Espenido to explain... Should it not convince the region director then appropriate pre-charge would be executed otherwise pwede ring hindi. I’m leaving it up RD6 to do it,” he said in a press conference in Baguio City Police Office.

He added that what Espenido did cannot be considered yet as insubordination.

“Hindi pa naman (insubordination) pag sinabi mo kasing insubordination that is a grave offense at ako naman sinabi ko naman sa inyo bilang ama I understand people because of emotions o naapektuhan ang pamilya kaya nga ayoko magsalita pero siya nagsalita he’ll be dealt with accordingly,” said Gamboa.

Gamboa earlier said he has ordered the 356 policemen who were included in the drugs list to not speak about their inclusion on the list pending the conduct of the adjudication to verify their alleged involvement on illegal drugs.

It was an order that Espenido failed to follow after he granted media interviews in order for him to clear himself.

It prompted Gamboa to conduct investigation against Espenido.

Espenido was claiming in his interviews that there was a failure of intelligence on the part of the PNP maintaining that he should not be there.

Aside from Gamboa, former PNP chief and now Senator Ronald dela Rosa also took offense on Espenido’s attacks against the PNP, saying the latter should shut up as he was already putting the entire PNP on bad light.

Espenido has gained Duterte’s trust and confidence after he led the operations which resulted in the neutralization of former Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa and former Ozamiz City Mayor Reynaldo Parojinog who were both included in the President’s list of narco-politicians.

Espenido was the police chief of Albuera when Espinosa was shot dead inside his detention cell in Baybay City, also in Leyte, in November 2016.

Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) agents claimed that Espinosa resisted when they served a search warrant for illegal firearms in his detention cell.

Espenido was then assigned to Ozamiz City in Misamis Occidental where he led the raid in the properties of then mayor Parojinog, in July 2017.

The mayor, his wife and 13 others were killed while his son Reynaldo Jr. and then the Ozamiz City Vice Mayor Nova Princess Parojinog were arrested and were charged over illegal drugs.

Gamboa said they will submit to Duterte their recommendation on the 356 policemen on the

Meanwhile, Gamboa maintained that 356 names on the list should remain confidential.

“No I don’t think so (they should be named). Dun parin tayo sa hindi ko muna sasabihin klasi nag-promise ako sakanila now remember the moral requirement for a public servant more specifically as a PNP officer is a continuing requirement while your civil service so those who were found positive on drugs and after a confirmatory test is done should summarily be dismissed from service,” he said.

On Thursday, National Capital Regional Police Office Director Major General Debold Sinas identified Staff Sergeant Ronald Carpio as among the 356 policemen on the list after the latter tested positive of drug use. (SunStar Philippines)