Espenido to Duterte: âSir, Iâm on the listâ
“Sir, salamat nakaserbisyo ko sa inyong time. Salamat sa inyong trust. Pero mangayo kog pasaylo nga HVT (high-value target) diay ko. Naa sa list diay ko,” Espenido relayed to reporters yesterday the text message he sent to the president.
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Espenido to Duterte: ‘Sir, I’m on the list’
Iris Hazel M. Mascardo (The Freeman) - February 19, 2020 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — Police Lieutenant Colonel Jovie Espenido, touted as the “poster boy” of the government’s drug war, revealed sending a text message to President Duterte after learning he was on the drug list.

“Sir, salamat nakaserbisyo ko sa inyong time. Salamat sa inyong trust. Pero mangayo kog pasaylo nga HVT (high-value target) diay ko. Naa sa list diay ko,” Espenido relayed to reporters yesterday the text message he sent to the president.

Espenido was the station chief of Albuera, Leyte when alleged drug lord, former mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. of that town, was killed in a police operation inside the Abuyog penal colony in 2016.

He was also the station chief of Ozamiz City when the houses of the influential Parojinog clan were raided and ultimately led to the deaths of several family members in 2017.

Among the possible reasons Espenido could think of for his inclusion in the list was a particular photo in which he was seen with Rogelio Bato Jr., lawyer of slain Mayor Espinosa Sr., in a restaurant.

Espenido explained it was during that time when he was asked by then PNP chief Ronald dela Rosa to assist Espinosa, who was in the process of surrendering to Camp Crame and to talk to dela Rosa on legal matters.

The current PNP chief, Archie Gamboa, has chided the media for releasing reports that linked Espenido to drugs but did not deny nor confirm if such reports were true.

On Monday, Espenido broke his silence and accused his higher-ups of committing “failure of intelligence.”

In his stopover in Cebu yesterday on his way to Iloilo City, where he will be installed as part of the adjudication process, the controversial police official also aired his gripe over the accusation.

Nevertheless, he said he fully accepts the order of the chief PNP and agrees to the process that they have to undergo before they could clear their name.

"Ang ka dili lang nindot sa akong side is nangita ko og sakto pud ba nganong ing-ana (But I cannot make sense of why this has happened),” Espenido said, referring to the reason why he was included on the list.

According to him, he was shocked when he first knew his name was part of this list. But after a while, he added, he came to accept it believing everything has a purpose and such is part of a policeman's life.

“Magbuhat kag maayo, kontrahan ka. Magbuhat kag daotan, mas daghan ang imo kontra (If you do good, you will get enemies. If you do bad, you will get more enemies),” he said.

Espenido said he chose to speak up to clear his name in the name of those who believe in his cause against illegal drugs, especially his “mentors”. He said he will stand by the truth.

Espenido then expressed his gratitude to the president who, although not his direct superior, “partly cleared” his name for excluding it in the narco lists he had previously released.

He further urged and reminded his colleagues in the service “to mind their own business.”

Espenido, said to be “Duterte’s favorite,” shared that the president has not yet personally talked to him these days.

Despite being tagged in drugs, Espenido said he is hopeful that it will all make sense one day.  KQD (FREEMAN)

JOVIE ESPENIDO
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