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Espenido warns narco-mayors: Resign if you want to live longer

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Espenido
President Duterte pins a medal on Ozamiz City police chief Jovie Espenido during the 116th anniversary of the police service at Camp Crame yesterday. KRIZJOHN ROSALES/PHILIPPINE STAR

THE TOP police official involved in the bloody raid in the residence of Ozamiz City Mayor Reynaldo O. Parojinog, Sr. has issued a warning to the mayor where he will be assigned next.

Espenido
President Rodrigo R. Duterte pins a medal on Ozamiz City police chief Jovie Espenido during the 116th anniversary of the police service at Camp Crame in this August 2017 file photo. KRIZJOHN ROSALES/PHILIPPINE STAR

Ozamiz City Police Chief Inspector Jovani Espenido told the media that while he does not know yet where he will be deployed next, Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Director-General Ronald M. dela Rosa already hinted that he will be transferred to another area with the “next target.”

In a manner reminiscent of President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s threat to drug users, Mr. Espino said: “Kung saan ako malagay, resign na lang. Kung involved [on illegal drugs], mag-resign na lang, para humaba buhay (Wherever I may be reassigned, just resign. If you are involved in drugs, just resign so you can live longer).”

Mr. Parojinog, along with his wife and 13 others, were killed in the Ozamiz operation.

Mr. Espenido was at the Department of Justice (DoJ) yesterday to check a complaint filed against him. However, he declined to discuss the details of the case saying he has yet to look into the accusations.

Mr. Espenido led the raid last July 30 in the residence of Mr. Parojinog, among the alleged narco-politicians included in the list of Mr. Duterte.

Mr. Parojinog is the second mayor allegedly involved in the drug trade killed under the administration of Mr. Duterte.

The first was Mayor Roland R. Espinosa, Sr. of Albuera City, where Mr. Espenido also served as police head.

Meanwhile, Mr. Duterte on Wednesday said the country’s drug problem — which he previously promised to end in just six months upon taking office — will not be solved by a chief executive in just one term.

“Look, itong shabu and drugs, et cetera, cannot be solved by one man for a President for one term. It has bogged nations,” Mr. Duterte said in his speech before businessmen and government officials.

Last year, the firebrand leader also admitted that it was a “miscalculation” on his part when he promised during the election campaign to end the drug scourge in three to six months.

Sought for comment, Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto C. Abella told reporters yesterday that the feisty leader’s recent statements were “not an admission of failure.”

“It is an admission of the depth, the breadth, and complexity of the problem especially considering the fact that he has also said that it was only after he became President that he realized how widespread narco-politics had become,” Mr. Abella said. — Kristine Joy V. Patag and Ian Nicolas P. Cigaral

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