OZAMIZ CITY—Police C/Insp. Jovie Espenido says he’s not yet making a leave of tearful goodbye to residents as he hints there is still no gesture of parting from him.
Espenido was formally designated as the new officer-in-charge of the Iloilo City Police Office effective Wednesday, Aug. 29, by PNP Director General Ronald dela Rosa, reports reaching The Philippine Preview said.
The PNP chief said he had second thoughts about assigning Espenido to Iloilo, citing several protests from Ozamiznons about reassigning his well-decorated policeman.
De la Rosa added that If he had his way, he’d prefer Espenido to remain in Ozamiz to resolve the [drug] problem here since “there is still unfinished business” and that “the situation in Ozamiz is not yet totally stable.”
It can be recalled that President Rodrigo Duterte himself announced during last Monday’s commemoration of the National Heroes’ Day at the Libingan ng mga Bayani in Taguig City that he is reassigning Espenido to Iloilo City.
Meanwhile, a report from Rappler.com says Espenido is given an officer-in-charge position because his current rank is not in keeping with requirements for a city as big as Iloilo.
Rappler explained that Espenido cannot be Iloilo City’s chief of police because his rank is too low for a major city like Iloilo, in fact, it’s two ranks below the minimum requirement.
The 2012 PNP confidential memorandum, National Police Commission (Napolcom) rules of the ranks assert that a city director must at least be a Senior Superintendent to qualify to head a highly urbanized city such as Iloilo. Ozamiz City, Espenido's previous assignment, is only a component city, allowing him to lead its cops without question, it continued.
Consequently, Espenido was named the “Officer-in-charge (OIC)” of the Iloilo City PNP instead as Police Chief. He was not even given the designation of acting police chief finishing as that also requires him to be a Senior Superintendent.
De la Rosa has declared that Espenido’s case may have “an exemption” because it’s a presidential directive.
As for Espenido, he is requesting Ozamiznons to support his fight, especially in this stage of completing his mission in the city in reducing all forms of criminalities caused by illegal drugs.
The police chief told members of the Misamis Occidental Media Practitioners Society (MOMPS) he will still continue as the city’s PNP head to run after the allies of the Parojinog family.
Espenido said he wanted to stay in the city as police chief if not of Duterte’s pronouncement reassigning him in Iloilo City.
He also called residents to help the PNP by enlisting in the Barangay Intelligence Network (BIN) to hasten the arrest of Councilor Ricardo “Ardot” Parojinog, Manuel “Maning” Francisco, Marlon "Ailon" Parojinog and Jimmy Chan to name a few.
The BIN is a force multiplier and, in effect, is part of the police force, although BIN members are only limited to giving information to barangay tanods--the so-called police agents--who would then relay the information to the police.
Members of the BIN are allowed to carry guns provided they must have a permit to carry the same.
Espenido explained the BIN will surely help chase the other members of the Parojinog group and said those who want to sign up in the BIN may visit the PNP office.
He ended his meeting with the local media by telling eager residents to be calm and keep on praying for peace to lead in the city. (MICHAEL MEDINA, WITH REPORTS FROM EXPEDITA ROXAS)