CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY: Controversial Ozamis City Police Chief Insp. Jovie Espenido denied he is planning to run as mayor of Ozamiz City in the 2019 local elections.
Espenido disputed the speculation amid reports that he has reportedly registered with the Commissions on Elections in Ozamiz City in preparation for the next election.
In a telephone interview with The Manila Times, Espenido said he was only joking when he said he would run for mayor in the future. “My mission in Ozamiz City is to get the Parojinogs who were reportedly one of the biggest drug lords in Mindanao.”
President Rodrigo Duterte announced on Monday that he would assign Espenido to Iloilo City, in Panay, where he described the mayor as an “illegal drug protector.”
He said that as a policeman, he serves at the pleasure of the President, the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
“As a public servant, I am always bound by the orders of my superior officers,” he said.
Espenido, who remains as Ozamiz City police chief pending a mission order from Camp Crame, said he still has a mission to eradicate all traces of the Parojinogs in Misamis Occidental.
As of press time, the mayor’s brother, Councilor Ricardo Parojinog has remained at large and is the object of a manhunt with a P2 million reward for his capture.
The mayor’s daughter, Vice Mayor Princess Parojinog Echavez and son Reynaldo Jr. were arrested and are currently detained in Manila on illegal drugs charges and illegal possession of firearms.
The vice mayor denied her father was engaged in illegal drug trafficking and accused law enforcers led by Espenido of having planted the evidence against them.
Espenido first hogged the limelight in connection with the arrest and killing of Albuera town mayor Rolando Espinosa while the latter was in detention in Baybay, Leyte jail also on drug trafficking charges.