Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo confirmed yesterday that c ontroversial police Maj. Jovie Espenido will be assigned to Bacolod City.
“ He’s already assigned here…the President has only one instruction, get rid of the drug menace where you are assigned, in other words, enforce the law,” said Panelo, who was in Bacolod City, yesterday.
Negros Occidental Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson Jr., in reaction to Espenido’s impending assignment to Bacolod yesterday, said “Let everybody be forewarned – for those that are still in the drug business I think you better think twice already”.
Espenido, former Ozamiz City police chief, is expected to initially report to the Police Regional Office 6 headquarters in Iloilo City next week.
Ozamiz Mayor Reynaldo Parojinog Sr., his wife Susan, brother Octavio and sister Mona were killed in an anti-drug operation in 2017 during his term as police chief there.
He was also the police chief in Albuera, Leyte, when former mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr., who was detained on drug charges, was killed in his cell by police officers serving a search warrant.
Asked if Espenido was on a special assignment in Bacolod, Panelo said all police assignments are special “in the sense that you have to do more than you used to do.”
“If Espenido’s reputation in one place is that the drug syndicate was toppled, that means he is persistent,” Panelo said.
Panelo said his message to the syndicates is “Don’t violate the law otherwise you might be resting comfortably, if you resist arrest, in a final resting place…If you don’t resist arrest, you just surrender, there will be no problem.”
The problem is if one addicted to drugs resisting arrest is a given, he said, because they don’t want to be jailed. Moreover, their brain cells are affected so they will fight back, he added.
Espenido is expected to initially report to the Police Regional Office 6 headquarters in Iloilo City next week.
“We know the reputation of Espenido, obviously in his previous assignments he became popular because of his war on drugs,” Lacson said.
His new assignment “already tells us that the war on drugs will be further pushed here in Bacolod City,” the governor added.
Lacson said the assignment of Espenido to Bacolod is not his call, it’s the call of the Philippine National Police heirarchy. He also pointed out that Bacolod is a highly urbanized city and not under his jurisdiction.
“The thing is we should not be afraid if are not into the illegal drug trade business,” he added.*
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