A POLICE official linked to the death of another alleged “narco-politician” in 2016 is among those facing investigation once again, along with “plenty” of police units, in the killing of another local official said to have been also involved in the illegal drug trade, an official heading the inquiry said on Thursday.
Inspector General Alfegar Triambulo said Chief Insp. Jovie Espenido, who headed the police in Albuera, Leyte under the late mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr., is one of the police officers whom the Internal Affairs Service (IAS) will be looking into as it investigates the bloodbath in Ozamiz City last July 30.
Triambulo also said that the investigation could take longer because there were plenty of other police units involved in the raid where Mayor Reynaldo Parojinog Sr. and 15 others were killed in an alleged shootout with policemen who were tasked to serve six search warrants on the local chief executive and other members of his family.
“I think this investigation will last longer,” Triambulo, a civilian lawyer, told reporters in a text message.
As of posting time, the IAS chief said its regional office in Northern Mindanao has not estimated the exact number of policemen involved since it covered the Ozamiz City Police Station, the Misamis Occidental Provincial Police Office and the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group in the region.
“It will depend on the violations which will be categorized by the Napolcom into: misconduct, neglect of duty, irregularity in the performance of duty, among other things,” Triambulo said.
(Napolcom is the National Police Commission.)
Espenido was among the more than 20 policemen who were accused of killing Espinosa inside the Baybay City Jail last November. The Albuera mayor was tagged as an alleged drug lord in Eastern Visayas and was said to have bee holding a blacklist containing politicians and police and military officials engaged in the illegal drug trade.
But even before the investigation on the Espinosa killing could wrap up, Espenido was transferred to the Ozamiz City Police Station.
Espenido faced suspension following a complaint from Ormoc City Mayor Richard Gomez whom the police officer linked to illegal drugs in 2016. Gomez denied the allegation.
The suspension order, however, was cancelled. DEMPSEY REYES