Gamboa to deal with Espenido case as an ''internal issue''
The chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP) on Wednesday said he will deal the issue with Police Lieutenant Colonel Jovie Espenido internally.
“Regarding Col. Espenido, leave it to us. It's purely an internal issue. I will deal with Espenido squarely as the chief PNP and he being a member of the PNP,” said Police General Archie Francisco Gamboa said in an interview with reporters at Camp Crame.
Gamboa refused to answer questions related to Espenido.
Gamboa also said they are eyeing on coming up with a social media protocol and gag order was given to the 356 cops allegedly involved in President Rodrigo Duterte’s drug list.
“That's a general instruction… as a matter of fact we are coming up with social media protocols for PNP personnel because you have to resort our own internal mechanism,” he said.
Gamboa added they will investigate if Espenido has any violation when he spoke to the media about his inclusion in the list.
The PNP chief said he will not call for Espenido to return to the national headquarters.
In a media briefing same day in Bacolod City, Espenido recalled all his accomplishments since he started serving the PNP on 1996 where he was able to arrest some government officials and personalities involved in illegal drugs.
“I’m just giving you reference that even the President Digong ( Duterte's nickname) is not yet the president, we are already fighting (illegal drugs),” he said.
Espenido reiterated that he was excluded in the Duterte's narcolist in 2017.
“There is a resolution in 2017, adjudication for your exclusion… It (adjudication process) was already done in 2017, the removal of my name. It’s already 2020. Why does my name is still there?” he asked.
Espenido believed politicians involved in illegal drugs kept on including him in the drug list.
“I cannot really pinpoint but this is one thing I can tell you… it’s really politicians… those who I had stepped on (their toes) since I was a Police Office 1 (Patrolman). That kind of person may be is running after me,” he said.
“They should stop accusing me if they are not guilty… you politicians, if you are not guilty... why run after me? Why accuse me if you are not guilty?,” he added.
Interior Secretary Eduardo Año last week revealed Espenido was included in Duterte’s drug list for the PNP’s validation and adjudication process.
“I acknowledge the bravery of SILG because he just proved that the government is transparent… that even Espenido helped in the war on illegal drugs. He is not also exempted from the information that came from constituents or people,” Espenido said.
Espenido also expressed gratitude in the one-month adjudication process implemented by Gamboa as this will give the 356 relieved cops peace of mind, especially those who are not really involved in illegal drugs.
With Duterte expressing his belief in him, Espenido said he is more encouraged and challenged to continue his work. Ella Dionisio/DMS
“I’m not scared of anything… I owe my life to God… but you are free to kill me anytime… I also apologized to my officers if I speak. I hope you understand, my name is at stake. I’m not saying the PNP is bad, the PNP itself is a very nice and protective department… those who are in the department are the ones who made the mistake,” he said.
“We should accept the truth and change it immediately… don’t tolerate it,” he added.
Espenido said there might be a failure in the PNP’s intelligence after he was included again in the list.
“I encourage intel officers to speak the truth… that’s why I’m saying I’m being politicized. I did not commit a sin but you are saying I am… To the police officers, we should always process the intelligence cycle before giving (it to) the end users- for me I can prove that is not the due process of intel cycle,” he said.
For Año , the adjudication process is Espenido’s way in proving his innocence by submitting documents that will prove his not included in the illegal drug trade. Ella Dionisio/DMS