By Jennifer P. Rendon
As far as Police Regional Office (PRO)-6 is concerned, controversial Police Lieutenant Colonel Jovie Espenido is cleared of any involvement in the illegal drug trade.
“In the region, safe to say that we couldn’t find any reliable information of their involvement. It’s a national agency effort,” Police Brigadier General Rene Pamuspusan, Western Visayas police director, said.
Espenido, the government’s poster boy in its campaign against illegal drugs, was part of the 357 active police officers who were on the PRRD (President Rodrigo Roa Duterte) narco list.
Pamuspusan said there are 10 PRO-6 personnel, Espenido included, who were sent to the national command for adjudication.
“Espenido was cleared because there was no reliable information or validated report to show that he was involved in illegal drugs,” he said.
But since Espenido was only assigned at PRO-6 for barely four months, reports said that adjudication will also be conducted by his previous commands in PRO-8 and 11
Meanwhile, Pamuspusan did not name the other nine officers but based on their adjudication, “some were cleared, some were to be forwarded to the National Adjudication Board for further validation.”
The 10 policemen on the PRRD list were relieved and assigned to the Office of the Chief PNP but were placed on detailed service at PRO-6.
Pamuspusan said they are presently assigned at the Regional Personnel Holding and Accounting Unit (RPHAU).
“We would be accounting for them. I asked the personnel division (Regional Personnel and Human Resource Doctrine Division) to give them something to do because we don’t want them to be idle,” he said.
In his two press conferences done in the cities of Bacolod City and Iloilo, Espenido again made several controversial pronouncements.
He claimed that as his name was on the PRRD narco list, the government can go after him.
Espenido was quoted as saying that there would be no other entity, apart from the government and the police, that would kill him.
When asked to comment, Pamuspusan quipped, “Yun ba sinabi nya?”
“I haven’t heard the right context of what he said. I can’t comment on that,” he added.
Espenido also claimed that some barangay officials, police officers, and personnel of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) are allegedly involved in illegal drugs.
He was relieved from BCPO as deputy city director for operations and head of City Drug Enforcement Unit (CDEU) on Feb 5 and was transferred to Camp Crame in Metro Manila.
Espenido said he cannot identify who’s after him but he suspects that politicians may be behind tagging him in illegal drugs.