‘DON’T BE AFRAID’: Espenido leads Bacolod drug unit

Mayor Evelio Leonardia (2nd from right), Brig. Gen. Rene Pamuspusan (right), regional director of Police Regional Office (PRO)-6; and Lt. Col. Jovie Espenido (2nd from left), deputy city director of Bacolod City Police Office (BCPO), during a press briefing at the Bacolod City Government Center Monday, along with Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran (3rd from left), and Col. Henry Biñas (left), Bacolod City police director. (Glazyl Y. Masculino)

By: Glazyl Y. Masculino

BACOLOD City – “Huwag kayong matakot (Don’t be afraid).”

This was the instruction of Police Lieutenant Colonel Jovie Espenido, following the announcement of Police Brigadier General Rene Pamuspusan, regional director of Police Regional Office-6 yesterday, of his new assignment as head of the City Drug Enforcement Unit (CDEU) here.

Espenido told the people here that they should not fear his presence in the city; especially that he is leading the drug war here.

Huwag niyo naman unahan,” Espenido said in a press briefing at the Bacolod City Government Center yesterday.

Nagtatrabaho ang police para maubos lahat ng drugs. We will do our best. Magtulungan tayo,” he added.

Espenido‘s name has been in the limelight recently due to his aggressive campaign against illegal drugs in the past years.

Just last week, President Rodrigo Duterte told Espenido that he is “free to kill everybody,” citing the big problem of illegal drugs here.

Espenido, who is also concurrently the deputy city director for operations of the Bacolod City Police Office (BCPO), said the president has its own privilege and prerogative to say anything.

Sa ground tayo naman namamahala, huwag kayong matakot, lahat naman tayo may Panginoon, relax lang,” Espenido said.

Although he said that they are mandated and obeying lawful orders, Espenido stressed that he is still dependent on God with his actions.

“We should not just be a law abiding citizen, but should also be a law abiding Christian,” he said.

He said the people should trust the police and the government because they are mandated and protected by God.

For his part, Mayor Evelio Leonardia said that Espenido’s assignment here is full of good intentions.

He believes that Espenido will be one of the contributors to the stability of peace and order here.

Meanwhile, Pamuspusan said that Espenido was assigned to lead the drug enforcement unit here, as he can perform what is expected of him.

“He is here to do a job. I’m sure he can perform well,” he added.

Pamuspusan said that Espenido was instructed to arrest the last man and drug personality here, adding that the president’s order should not be taken literally since Espenido will still perform accordingly under the law.

Pamuspusan said that the problem of illegal drugs does not see any boundaries.

It so happens that Bacolod has many accomplishments against illegal drugs lately, but this is really a challenge for them to do some more, the regional director added.

“This is really a challenge to improve on intelligence operations, and establish strong coordination among raiding units, and city and provincial offices in the region,” he said.

With Espenido’s assignment in CDEU, Police Colonel Henry Biñas, BCPO director, said that they will be more aggressive in the campaign against illegal drugs here.

However, he did not elaborate further as to the level of their aggressiveness in the drug war this time.

Espenido said that the people of Bacolod should “make good,” and help the city so that nothing bad will happen during the implementation of the anti-drug operations.

Sana mag surrender na sila or stop doing the illegal activity,” he said, referring to those who are still engaging in the illegal drug trade.

Espenido said he is just doing his job and he is not here to intimidate the people.