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Espenido transfer to Iloilo cancelled amid killing of top drug lord

President Rodrigo Duterte pins a medal on Ozamiz City police chief Jovie Espenido during the 116th anniversary of the police service at Camp Crame. The STAR/Krizjohn Rosales 

MANILA, Philippines — The reassignment of Chief Inspector Jovie Espenido to Iloilo City has been cancelled, the Philippine National Police Regional Office 6 announced Saturday.

PRO-6 director Chief Superintendent Cesar Hawthorne Binag said the controversial cop will remain under the Northern Mindanao police office.

Senior Superintendent Henry Biñas, meanwhile, will be the new officer-in-charge of the Iloilo City Police Office.

"Nakatanggap po kami ng official documents, dalawang documents, galing sa national police headquarters, at nakumpirma namin. Ang unang order ay ang pagtatalaga kay Senior Superintendent Henry Biñas as Iloilo City police head," Binag said during a press conference on the killing of Iloilo's most wanted drug personality, Richard Prevendido

"Pinakakansela rin ang reassignment ni Espenido as officer-in-charge ng Iloilo City," he added.

When Binag was asked if the cancellation of Espenido's transfer was related to Prevendido's death, the police official said he had no idea.

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Prevendido, said to be the top drug lord in Western Visayas, was shot dead on Friday night after a firefight ensued while cops attempted to serve a warrant of arrest.

Earlier this week, President Rodrigo Duterte announced he was granting Espenido's request to be transferred to Iloilo City for an unspecified position.

With a reputation for eliminating alleged "narco-polictians," Espenido received an award from the PNP for his performance in the government's war on drugs. He led a deadly drug raid in Ozamis City that left mayor Reynaldo Parojinog and several others dead in August.

He was also the chief of police of Albuera, Leyte when Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. was killed by Criminal Investigation and Detection Group personnel inside his cell at the Baybay sub-provincial jail in November last year. 

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