Sunday, December 3, 2023

On Espenido’s case: Why the rush of the palace to clear Espenido?

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INCONSISTENT. FUZZY. DULL THINKING. These are just some of the terms which people ascribe to the present Duterte Administration.

Look at this.

On the issue of top Duterte anti-drugs crusader Lieutenant Colonel Jovie Espenido, Duterte’s close man, former AFP chief of Staff and now local government’s secretary Eduardo Ano confirmed the inclusion of Espenido in Duterte’s own drug list of 356 policemen involved in the illegal drug trade. Espenido is said to be the protector of the rival drug syndicate of the Parojinogs based in Ozamis City.

After Ano’s confirmation, now comes Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo quoting the president as saying that Espenido is definitely “clean” and that his inclusion in the list  is just “politics.”


Poor Espenido–he lost his chance of clearing himself from this mess. Right now, he is being freezed by no less than PNP chief Archie Gamboa for his alleged illicit association. Gamboa had to take action. Reports say Espenido is being offered early retirement. But why?

Why the sudden clearing of Espenido with no less than the Palace taking the cudgels for him? Had the president read intelligence reports about his man, the cop whom the President gave the order to “kill, kill, and kill” with impunity?

What then will happen to the on-going internal investigation being conducted by the Philippine National Police (PNP) and intelligence agencies such as the ISAFP and NICA? How about the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency’s own probe against Espenido?

By clearing Espenido, the palace wittingly or unwittingly unleashed a Pandora’s box. It does not help Espenido’s cause that the palace did such a thing–back him up. Is the palace saying that all these intelligence work undertaken by the PNP, DILG, NICA, ISAFP and PDEA are all s..hit? Is the President saying that these intelligence agencies did not do their homework and falsely associated Espenido with these drug syndicates?

My gulai.  Seems like Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson is right– this thing about Espenido just proves why Duterte’s anti-drugs campaign is now in the doldrums.


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