Controversial police officer moved to Catanduanes
Controversial Chief Insp. Jovie R. Espenido is moving to Bicol, after serving for 21 months as police chief of Ozamiz City, where he is leaving behind a blood-spattered record.
Espenido has been reassigned to the Catanduanes Police Office, according to a memorandum sent on Oct. 11 by Director Lyndon G. Cubos, chief of the Philippine National Police Directorate for Personnel and Records Management, to the police regional office in Bicol on Oct. 11.
The reassignment follows a “verbal instruction” from PNP Director General Oscar Albayalde, Cubos said. He did not mention any reason for the move.
Killing of judge
But the decision came three days after the fatal attack on Judge Edmundo Pintac of Ozamiz Regional Trial Court Branch 15.
Pintac, 61, was shot dead by four men on two motorcycles as he was driving home on Oct. 8.
His police bodyguard, assigned to him under Espenido’s administration, took a leave of absence on Oct. 7.
A check by the Inquirer showed the Ozamiz City police was headed as of Saturday by Supt. Ramil Waper, former chief of the PNP Provincial Public Safety Company in Misamis Occidental.
Espenido confirmed on Facebook on Sunday that he had been reassigned to Catanduanes.
He said the turnover of command was set for Monday, Oct. 15.
Bloody drug campaign
Espenido presided over a bloody campaign against illegal drugs in Ozamiz City, his command always insisting the suspects had resisted arrest.
He was also accused of manhandling suspects, with one video of a raid showing minors suffering abuse at the hands of Espenido himself.
In September, the Department of Justice brought homicide charges against Espenido and two of his officers for the killing of six robbery suspects in a police operation in June last year.
Nine people were killed in that operation, but relatives of only six of the suspects brought charges against Espenido.
Espenido shot to national fame or notoriety for leading the July 30, 2017, raids on the houses of then Ozamiz City Mayor Reynaldo Parojinog Sr., his daughter, Vice Mayor Nova Princess Parojinog, son Reynaldo Parojinog Jr., and younger brother, Councilor Ricardo Parojinog.
The raids led to the killings of 14 people, including Mayor Parojinog. —Reports from Inquirer Mindanao and Inquirer Research
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