Duterte wants Espenido back in Ozamiz
President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday ordered the return of controversial Chief Insp. Jovie Espenido to Ozamiz City in Misamis Oriental.
While speaking at the groundbreaking of the Ozamiz Airport Modernization Project, Duterte called Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Oscar Albayalde to ask him about his plan to reinstate Espenido in the province.
“Sir nandito ako sa Ozamiz. Sabi ko sa kanila gusto ba ninyo babalik si Espenido?” Duterte told Albayalde.
(Sir, I’m here in Ozamis. I asked them if they want Espenido back.)
Duterte then asked the crowd: “Gusto nyo bumalik si Espenido (Do you want Espenido back)?” They answered “yes.”
“Gusto talaga nila, Sir (They really want him back, Sir). They feel safer with Espenido,” the President added.
Espenido is currently the police chief of Virac town in Catanduanes.
Espenido was the police chief of Albuera town in Leyte two years ago when he led the dismantling of the illegal drug operations of the region’s biggest drug syndicate ran by Kerwin Espinosa, whose father, Rolando Espinosa, was serving as mayor.
Espenido ran after the members of the drug group, forcing the mayor to surrender to the police and Kerwin to leave the country.
The mayor was killed at the Leyte subprovincial jail in Baybay City on Nov. 5, 2016, reportedly during a shootout with policemen.
Espenido was transferred to Ozamiz City on Dec. 8, 2016. More than seven months into his assignment, he led an antidrug operation that killed Mayor Reynaldo Parojinog and 14 others.
Last year, Espenido also figured in a deadly operation against suspected criminals in Ozamis. The operation led to the killing of nine people and the arrest of six others suspected of involvement in the series of robbery incidents in the city. /ee
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