PNP: ‘Permission’ for Espenido to kill Bacolod drug suspects just for ‘emphasis’
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police (PNP) believes that the order given to controversial police official Lt. Col. Jovie Espenido by President Rodrigo Duterte to kill in Bacolod City is just to emphasize the Chief Executive’s promise to end the illegal drug trade.
“The PNP views it as putting emphasis on his campaign promise to eradicate illegal drugs,” PNP spokesperson Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac said in a statement.
“Lt. Col. Espenido is placed there to help intensify the campaign against crime, illegal drugs, and rogue cops, following established procedures and rule of law with utmost respect for human rights,” said Banac.
In his speech on Thursday, Duterte said Espenido is “free to kill everybody” in Bacolod City where he was recently assigned, and which the President described as “badly hit” by illegal drugs.
Espenido, who served as police chief in Ozamiz City, Misamis Occidental, was recently promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and was assigned as deputy director for operations of the Bacolod City Police Office.
He turned controversial following the deaths of Mayor Rolando Espinosa in Albuera, Leyte and Mayor Reynaldo Parojinog in Ozamiz City, where he was previously assigned. Both local chief executives were linked to illegal drugs. /muf
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