Palace: No reason to revoke Espenido’s return to Ozamiz

Published December 2, 2018, 7:26 AM

by Patrick Garcia


By Argyll Cyrus Geducos

Malacañang defended President Duterte’s decision to reassign Police Superintendent Jovie Espenido back to Ozamiz City, Misamis Occidental saying the police officer’s drive against criminality can keep the city in check.

Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo (OPS / MANILA BULLETIN)
Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo made the statement after a group called the Concerned Ozamiz Professionals opposed Duterte’s order for Espenido to return to Ozamiz City.

In a statement Saturday evening, Panelo said that the Palace is not seeing any reason to not push through with the recall, adding that the group opposing it may be supporting the illegal drug trade.

“The Palace finds no compelling reason to revoke the reassignment order of PNP Chief Inspector Jovie Espenido, which took effect last November 29, on account of the opposing call by this certain group called the Concerned Ozamiz Professionals (COP), whose existence is questionable, and if it does exist is obviously supporters of the drug syndicate,” he said.

According to Panelo, with its extensive database, the Philippine National Police (PNP) is in the best position to decide on the best strategies to undertake in stopping criminality for each locality.

He added that Espenido’s recall is necessitated by the successful prosecution of the drug cases filed in court against the Parojinogs. Espenido led the police operations against the illegal drugs in Ozamiz last year.

The Palace official also said that even if incidence of crimes and illegal drugs in Ozamiz City decreased, this could be because of the dedication of Espenido.

“Even assuming that the incidence of crimes in Ozamiz has decreased, this can be attributable to the relentless drive of Espenido against criminal elements, and the more reason should he be taken back as police chief so he could continue his determined drive to rid Ozamiz City of the illegal drug operators,” Panelo said.

In July last year, Ozamiz City Mayor Reynaldo Parojinog Jr. and 14 others were killed in a series of anti-drug raids led by Espenido. Last week, Duterte ordered the return of the controversial police official who was recently transferred to the Catanduanes Provincial Police Office.

“Espenido was successful in ridding the place of drug lords, those who push through drugs. And apparently, since his departure, the drug incidence there increased by leaps ad bounds. So the President needs men like Espenido to do the work,” Panelo said, explaining Duterte’s decision to call back Espenido back to Ozamiz City.