“Bacolod is badly hit now and I placed Espenido there because he is the only police official feared the most. And I told him to go there and you are free to kill everybody. ‘Go, start killing them’,” Duterte said.
Edd Gumban/File
Duterte tells Espenido: Kill everybody in Bacolod
Rhodina Villanueva, Christina Mendez, Romina Cabrera (The Philippine Star) - October 19, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines – President Duterte has directed controversial police official Lt. Col. Jovie Espenido to “kill everybody” in Bacolod City, which he said is “badly hit” by illegal drugs.

“Bacolod is badly hit now and I placed Espenido there because he is the only police official feared the most. And I told him to go there and you are free to kill everybody. ‘Go, start killing them’,” Duterte said.

Asked for comment on Duterte’s instruction, Espenido said it was just the President’s manner of talking.

Espenido thanked Duterte for trusting him and giving him a free hand to do his work in Bacolod.

He said he would bring to Bacolod the police “best practices” from his stints in Ozamiz City, Misamis Occidental and Albuera, Leyte.

Espenido told dzMM radio that he would be working under the police commander of Bacolod. He was assigned as deputy director for operations of the Bacolod City police.

Espenido though declined to comment on whether there were drug targets in his new assignment.

Espenido was chief of police of Albuera town in Leyte when mayor Rolando Espinosa was shot dead in his detention cell at the Baybay City jail in 2016 by police raiders who claimed they were serving a search warrant for guns and drugs before dawn on the mayor.

The following year, Espenido was transferred to Ozamiz City where mayor Reynaldo Parojinog and 15 others were killed during a drug raid.

Both mayors were included in the list of narco-politicians.

Duterte said he is ready to go to jail with Espenido in the campaign against illegal drugs in Bacolod City.

“Start killing them. If the two of us will go to jail, so be it,” Duterte said before the 45th Philippine Business Conference and Expo at the Manila Hotel late Thursday.

Philippine National Police (PNP) spokesman Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac said the President was just putting emphasis on the campaign against illegal drugs when he issued the order to Espenido.

“The PNP views it as putting emphasis on his campaign promise to eradicate illegal drugs. PLtCol Espenido is placed there to help intensify the campaign against crime, illegal drugs and rogue cops, following established procedures and rule of law, with utmost respect for human rights,” Banac said.

Duterte, on the other hand, lamented anew that illegal drugs has been destroying the country. 

“I will also die anyway, so we all go to hell together. If you want you can join us, come on,” he remarked.

Before the business event, Duterte again pitched his campaign against illegal drugs.

Duterte has said he would be “happy to slaughter” three million drug addicts and repeatedly vowed that police would not go to jail for killing in his drug war.

His drug campaign has also led to wider violence in which thousands of people have been murdered in unexplained circumstances.

The rising body count has shocked the world, and anti-narcotics and human rights groups have called for the UN to condemn Duterte’s policy.

Human rights advocates said Espenido should not have been promoted and appointed to a senior position in the first place, given his involvement in bloody operations in the past. 

 

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